2023 was a challenging year for our industry, but it had its bright spots. For example, all the good our team members got to do in their communities this year.
At Atlantic Bay, our business is more than just mortgages. Families – like yours – have always been at the very core of what we do. And it all starts with AB Cares, our company’s philanthropic wing that centers on the mission of doing good and giving back to the communities we serve.
Putting people first is our number one priority. Through AB Cares’ employee-run community impact committees, our team members can voice their ideas and passions for the causes most meaningful to them, our customers, and the communities we serve. And what happens next? Our team gets to work.
From raising money through donation drives like the Super Bowl Squares Fundraiser or contributing time and energy with in-person events like the many Roc Solid Foundation playset builds, 2023 was a humanitarian hit in a time when our industry was recuperating. But speaking of Roc Solid...
“Hope always wins” are the first words to greet you when visiting Roc Solid’s official website. We’ve been an official partner of Roc Solid for the last five years, so take it from us: their mission of “building hope for children and families fighting pediatric cancer” is oh-so-real. Roc Solid consistently goes the extra mile to ensure the thousands of kids diagnosed with cancer each year and their families know that they’re not fighting their battle alone.
One way Roc Solid accomplishes its mission is by building playsets for young children. In 2023, Atlantic Bay team members participated in 24 “On Demand” and “Play It Forward” builds – including the 2023 Play Defeats Cancer Tour. Senior Mortgage Banker Dorie Fusaro participated in a playset build earlier this year. “The experience was awesome,” shares Dorie.
“It feels good to do something for someone in need – especially children. In our case, the playset was built for a three-year-old little girl named Sofia.”
"We paired up in groups and worked together with good communication and patience. We honed some skills that perhaps we hadn’t had before. We laughed and cried that day. The laughter came easy, and joy was ignited when we saw the playset finally come together. Writing notes of encouragement on the set for Sofia at the end and ultimately watching her see the playset for the first time was simply unforgettable. Watching her parents watch her, seeing my coworkers wipe away their tears, and of course, the awe we all had for the people from Roc Solid who make this their work was beyond inspiring. It was a terrific experience, and I will be joining every build going forward that I am able to attend without hesitation.”
Thank you for sharing your experience with us, Dorie! And stay tuned to Roc Solid’s official website for more playset-build opportunities in your local area in 2024.
Roc Solid also supports cancer-afflicted families by providing “Ready Bags” - backpacks stocked with hospital essentials – for families at the child’s diagnosis. Over the past couple of years, many Atlantic Bay team members participated in virtual Packing Parties when they couldn’t meet in person, but this year, the festivities were held in person. We even had a station set up at our Employee Appreciation Picnic for our team to pack bags.
Rounding out our list of engagements with Roc Solid this year is the 2023 Roc Run 4 Fun 5K.
Since 2019, Atlantic Bay employees across all departments have participated in the unconventional “race” to raise money for Roc Solid. The virtual 5K can be taken at your own pace, on your own time, and wherever you want. Our employees ran, walked, biked, hiked, and swam as they logged miles throughout Nov. 17-19. Of course, if an employee couldn’t participate, they also had the opportunity to donate or post to social media to spread awareness.
During the week of May 8-12, more than 200 Atlantic Bay team members ventured into their communities for the 2023 Week of Service, all in the name of offering a helping hand to 60+ local charities, nonprofits, and volunteer organizations.
The Week of Service is an annual event sponsored by AB Cares. It’s a chance for team members to use their paid volunteer hours to do good and give back to our communities beyond the typical mortgage guidance or loan contract. It’s simple: when you join the Atlantic Bay family, you find new avenues to help meet the needs of families nationwide.
For instance, our Senior Vice President of Closing, Jennifer Solis, found her avenue helping individuals who’ve experienced domestic violence, human trafficking, sexual assault, and homelessness.
“I recently volunteered at the Samaritan House in Virginia Beach,” shared Jennifer shortly after the Week of Service’s conclusion. “We sorted some of the donations and painted a few rooms to help give it a brighter and happier feel. The cases that run through this group aren’t always positive, so it felt good to think that our actions may put a smile on someone’s face.”
“Anytime I volunteer, it reminds me that so many people need help. It’s one thing to need help, but asking for help is much harder than people realize. If I can help ease that for them, it makes a difference.” - Jennifer Solis, Senior Vice President of Closing
Our entire team is committed to continually serving all members of our communities – during the home loan process and beyond.
The Kansas City Chiefs weren’t the only team rolling this past January. Once again, AB Cares held its annual Super Bowl Squares Fundraiser to raise money for four local Boys and Girls Clubs. Their mission of “enabling all young people, especially those who need us the most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, and responsible citizens,” resonates with us immensely. With support from 148 employees, our team raised a grand total of $7,350.
Did you know that one blood donation can save three lives?
On August 3, AB Cares hosted a blood drive at the Atlantic Bay headquarters in Virginia Beach. From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., employees, family members, friends, and generous participants headed through the double doors of the Large Conference Room in Suite 100 to do their part and donate. We guess you could say that kindness is just in their blood!
We’d also like to quickly thank Points of Light – the world’s largest nonprofit organization dedicated to volunteer service – for recognizing our team of 800+ as a Hampton Roads Civic 50 honoree. Standing alongside companies devoted to putting people first and building stronger communities for all of us is simply remarkable.
This recognition fuels our passion to continue making a difference in the neighborhoods we all live, work, and love – one home and one family at a time.
Now, with that said, what’s next for us?
2024 is right around the corner, but the sun hasn’t set on this year just yet! As always, we pledge to continue to provide the same care, consultation, and commitment to the communities we’ve lived and lent in since 1996. The charitable opportunities listed above were just a few ways AB Cares and the entire Atlantic Bay team epitomized an attitude of gratitude that’ll undoubtedly carry on into the new year.
In a time when so many industries face seemingly ever-mounting challenges, our borrowers, partners, and industry friends can always rely on us. And that’s because we care.