SouthStar supports community servicemortgagepress.comHOPE worldwide-Georgia, community programs, employee participation SouthStar Funding's focus on personal service goes beyond the wholesale lender's customers to include non-profit and volunteer organizations throughout the Atlanta community. To promote service in the communities where it operates, SouthStar Funding grants each employee one paid day per year to volunteer. Many of the staff located in the Atlanta headquarters participates in a program with HOPE worldwide-Georgia, an organization that promotes the healthy development of children and families residing in at-risk communities. SouthStar Funding began working with HOPE worldwide-Georgia in 2003. The company hosts underprivileged children at its headquarters for several hours on certain days when schools are closed. SouthStar Funding employees, including the president, use some of their volunteer hours to participate in tutoring sessions and games with the children. "SouthStar Funding's commitment to our organization has had a tremendous impact on the lives of these children," said Ray Humphrey, executive director of HOPE worldwide-Georgia. "The volunteers bring joy and encouragement to many who rarely receive much of either. We are very grateful for the generous support that SouthStar Funding has given us over the last several years." SouthStar Funding volunteers participate in several community programs, including the Make a Wish Foundation, Cigna Sports Challenge, AIDS Walk Atlanta, Atlanta Humane Society Pet Parade and the Mortgage Bankers Association of Georgia's Lend a Hand event. "Since opening our doors in 1998, SouthStar Funding's focus has remained on personal service, and that has always extended into the local community," said Kirk Smith, president. "Even as we've grown into a much larger company, we've made sure that our community involvement remained. Enabling our employees to volunteer is great for them, for us and for the people they serve. HOPE worldwide-Georgia is particularly special because of the obvious impact we have on these children." For more information, visit www.southstar.com.