April Cornerstone Donor Spotlight: Wells Fargo

Kendalyn Mckisick Events

Founded in 1852, Wells Fargo’s vision is to meet the financial needs of customers and help them succeed financially. With $1.9 trillion in assets, they now have 7,400 locations, over 13,000 ATMs, digital platforms, call centers, and offices in 32 countries and territories. Wells Fargo came to Alaska in 1883 and employs 540 Alaskans while also supporting several non-profit efforts throughout the state.

The Wells Fargo Foundation has a powerful philanthropic focus, targeting three critical issues facing individuals, families, and communities in America: housing affordability, financial health, and small business growth. In 2019, Wells Fargo donated $455 million to over 11,000 national and local non-profits focused on creating system change and economic development for underserved communities, “we use our philanthropic resources and business expertise to address complex societal issues to pave a path to stability and financial success for the underserved,” states Judith Crotty, Community Development Manager and Vice President of Wells Fargo.

One of the complex societal issues Wells Fargo helps to navigate is the issue of youth homelessness in Alaska. Due to a combination of factors, children in Alaska are 56% more likely to be abused and neglected than the national average, resulting in trauma and oftentimes serious life threatening situations. The prevalence of youth homelessness and the ability to access proper mental health resources is a unique, local issue. To bring awareness to this issue and to support the work we do to help at-risk youth in our community, Judith Crotty has been an active Covenant House Alaska Board Chair and Board Member; she has also participated in the Executive Edition Sleep Out for the past 6 years—every time, she has surpassed her fundraising goal, “I have been committed to Covenant House Alaska for so many years because I truly believe in the effectiveness of their programs and the strength of their leadership. They are welcoming and respectful of all youth. They provide shelter from the storm that these youth are facing.”

In addition to having Judith as an active Board Member, we have several other volunteers who come to us from Wells Fargo to fulfill various needs. Currently we have Rights of Passage Mentor, Mary Michaelsen, who has been an amazing influence on the youth who are working towards independent living situations and yoga teacher, Shep Delolli, who has been offering yoga to youth and staff since 2018. Over the years, several volunteers have come in to do a variety of things, like serving meals to youth, engaging youth in activities, preparing soup for donation, providing financial education, and making blankets for youth to receive on Christmas morning. In addition to working for Wells Fargo, all of these volunteers have in common the belief that, “Covenant House’s youth teach us compassion and courage.”

The Wells Fargo philosophy of “responsible and responsive” is something we have seen exemplified in how they show up to aid our community in times of need. The positive impact is felt by many. They have been making an annual contribution to Covenant House Alaska since we opened our doors 31 years ago. From financial support to the investment of time and other resources, they continue to be a solid supporter of Anchorage’s youth who find themselves experiencing homelessness. Without hesitation, they join us in our mission to provide shelter from the storm.

If your organization would like to know more about how to become a cornerstone sponsor of Covenant House Alaska, please contact Director of Development, Joe Hemphill, at jhemphill@covenanthouseak.org.