The SunTrust Foundation has pledged $500,000 to assist with disaster relief and recovery efforts in areas hit by Hurricane Irma.
The foundation, a philanthropic organization started by Atlanta-based SunTrust Bank, which has offices in Columbus, said it will donate $250,000 right away to the American Red Cross to assist first responders who are now helping storm victims. The remaining $250,000 will be given to organizations as needs develop in the coming days and weeks.
SunTrust Bank branches also will accept donations at its branches through Oct. 13 for American Red Cross relief efforts.
At one time a Category 5 hurricane, Irma barreled into southern Florida Sunday after crossing the Atlanta Ocean and creating destruction in the Caribbean islands. It moved up the Florida peninsula on Monday, eventually becoming a tropical storm and bringing high winds and flooding rains into Georgia, South Carolina and Alabama.
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The SunTrust Foundation was started in 2008. Aside from helping with American Red Cross disaster relief, it distributes grant money to support activities to improve financial education, financial counseling, career readiness and small business entrepreneurship. It has offered more than $112 million in grants in the U.S. since its founding.