Farmers & Merchants Bank Advocates for Homeless Women and Children at Huntington Beach Fourth of July Parade

F&M Partners with Colette’s Children’s Home to Raise Homelessness Awareness

Huntington Beach, CA, July 05, 2012 --( Farmers & Merchants Bank (F&M) has partnered with longtime customer Colette’s Children’s Home to march with pride in the 108th annual Huntington Beach Fourth of July parade. F&M supports the nonprofit’s mission to shelter, feed and heal homelessness for families in Orange County. F&M employees will walk alongside women and children who have benefited from the services provided by Colette’s.

“F&M has a longstanding dedication to support women and children in need, and the Huntington Beach office has been actively involved with Colette’s for more than three years,” said Brian Bielicki, F&M’s Huntington Beach branch manager. “Colette’s provides a vital service to our community’s most disadvantaged, and we’re proud to support them in addressing this need.”

During the parade, Colette’s representatives will wear t-shirts acknowledging the help provided to them by the nonprofit including:

· Colette's helped me find a HOME
· Colette's helped me become SELF-SUFFICIENT
· Colette's helped me get a JOB
· Colette's gave me the tools to SUCCEED

Headquartered in Huntington Beach, Colette’s Children’s Home was founded in 1998 to address the needs of chronically homeless women and children in Orange County. At that time, Colette’s had the capacity to serve six homeless women and children; as of March 2012 they have the ability to serve 164 occupants at any given point and up to 108 occupants in their permanent affordable housing site.

Nondiscriminatory and dedicated to serving women with high risk issues, in 2011 Colette’s Children’s Home enabled the preparation of over 150,000 meals, provided over 52,000 bed nights, reunited more than 60 children with their mothers, helped 150 women find employment and assisted 238 women and children with moving into permanent housing.

“Every day we are reminded that people in this community need help, and through the generous donations and dedicated volunteers involved with Colette’s, we are reminded of the incredible people devoted to helping them,” said William O’Connell, executive director of Colette’s. “The Fourth of July parade brings the entire Huntington Beach community together, and with F&M sponsoring our entry to the parade, we can raise awareness on behalf of women and children in need throughout Orange County.”

Providing assistance to women has long been a priority for F&M dating back multiple generations, when Carrie Z. Walker, wife of F&M founder and president C.J. Walker, started a support group in Long Beach to assist abandoned women.

The Huntington Beach Fourth of July Parade is the largest celebration of our nation’s independence west of the Mississippi. This year, the city expects more than 200,000 attendees and will feature special guests from the local community, entertainment and sports world.

About Farmers & Merchants Bank

Founded in Long Beach in 1907 by C.J. Walker, Farmers & Merchants Bank has 21 branches in L.A. and Orange counties. The Bank specializes in commercial and small business banking along with business loan programs. Farmers & Merchants Bank of Long Beach is a California state chartered bank with deposits insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (Member FDIC) and an Equal Housing Lender. For more information about F&M, please call the media contacts listed or visit the website,
Farmers & Merchants Bank
Jessica Fix
714 426 0444
Media Contact
HKA, Inc. Public Relations