Taking care to new heights

Lianne Wang takes care to another level. Actually, 14 levels. She’s a Truist teammate who recently rappelled a 14-story building to help end homelessness—even though she’s afraid of heights.

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Lianne Wang:

To be able to lend a hand and to be able to care for others. It’s something that makes your life more meaningful. I want to set a good example for my children, as my mother has done for me.

I can’t expect somebody to do something that I wouldn’t do myself. I’ll be nervous, but my sister will be right next to me, and our mother will be watching, guiding us down.

Speaker 2:

Ready to rappel.

Lianne Wang:

I am the business banking leader in the greater Washington region for Truist. I’m looking forward to speaking to the students on today’s session.

I remember working with a family that was new to the country, like we were, and opening up their first checking account. The child was doing the interpretation for the parents and just getting flashbacks into that’s what my parents felt when they first got here.

We didn’t have a lot growing up, but whatever we had, we always shared with our neighbors, with our family. It was second nature to help other people.

We are going to New Hope Housing’s Mondloch Place. This is one of the shelters and homes that New Hope Housing provides.

Jan Sacharko:

It’s a very simple solution, sometimes, to homelessness: Getting people into housing that’s appropriate and affordable, without giving them a whole bunch of hoops to jump through, without making all sorts of rules that are easy to break so we can kick them out again, and give them a chance.

Lianne Wang:

Financial education is so important at every level, not just the young kids growing up, that’s super important, but as an adult.

I would imagine that some of our guests here never had that type of financial education or financial literacy.

To have someone who was sleeping on the streets move into a permanent home, that’s the ultimate goal, is to have a home that you can call your own, have a bed that you can sleep in, where you’re not out in the weather, getting snowed on, getting rained on.

We started talking about this event last year. At the time, it sounded really exciting. It’s Over The Edge. We’re going to rappel off of a building. We’re gonna raise so much money. I jumped in with open arms saying, “Yes, I will do it.” Even though I am deathly afraid of heights, but it’s a great opportunity.

I feel like I’m gonna cry. Oh my God, I’m so nervous.

I was in my third year in college. My mother got ill. She was in Taiwan. We were there for about two weeks. And I made the decision to come back to school because I didn’t want to disappoint her. I said goodbye, came back, and two weeks later we got the call that she had passed.

Li-Ping Hwang:

I couldn’t be at Charlottesville to comfort her. I know my mom want me to take care of my brother and sister. And I try my best to take care of them whenever I can. I think I did a pretty good job about it. I hope.

Lianne Wang:

Caring is something innate for me. You care about your children, your family, your friends, your teammates, your community. That’s part of my DNA.

Li-Ping Hwang:

Lianne is 100% of my mom when I see her. I can see her strong will coming from my mom. I see that love, compassion is a part of her. When she put her mind to it, she can accomplish anything.

Lianne’s son:

Go, Mommy, go.

Lianne Wang:

My fear of heights is nothing compared to being homeless. If I can just help one person by doing this, I feel like I’ve done my job.

I’m ready. I’m ready.

Jan Sacharko:

Ending homelessness is not something that we do alone. There are a lot of community partners and people involved. And with this event, thanks to Lianne, all of our rappelers, our sponsors, our partners, we’ve already raised over 215,000 and still counting. And we are just truly grateful for every single one of you.

Lianne Wang:

Oh, my god.

High five.

I feel great. I did it! Yeah.

Raised to care

When Lianne was 9, she emigrated from Taiwan with her family. Through their experience—and her mother’s influence—she learned that care was universal.

Lianne’s mother was always her biggest inspiration. But as the youngest of four, Lianne had a lot of family to look up to.

When Lianne’s family came to America, they didn’t know English. She realized she needed to find her voice to help them succeed. So she became her family’s translator.

Space was tight in her family’s two-bedroom basement apartment, but it was full of love and fun. They worked hard to build their new life and support their community by sharing and giving however they could.

The Wangs eventually were able to buy a house, and Lianne, a straight-A student, headed to college. Her family’s dreams had come true.

New Hope Housing

Bringing hope to housing insecurity

In college, Lianne discovered her passion for math, business, and finance. Today, those passions fuel her personal purpose of passing on financial literacy to those who need it. It makes her a perfect fit to serve on the board of New Hope Housing, where they believe that homelessness isn’t a personality flaw—it’s often a math problem. So they provide the tools and services to help people escape the cycle of homelessness. 

Lianne goes Over The Edge

When New Hope Housing came up with the idea to partner with Over The Edge for an urban rappelling fundraiser event, Lianne was among the first to sign up. “My fear of heights is nothing compared to being homeless,” she said. With her family and Truist teammates below, her sister by her side, and their mother inspiring them both—Lianne rappelled off the roof of the Crystal City Hilton on a rainy Friday morning. 


raised for New Hope Housing


above the original fundraising goal


stories rappelled by Lianne, her sister, and 80 others


more reason to believe in living your personal purpose

Show care your own way

The New Hope Housing fundraiser raised $230,000 to help provide housing, education, employment, and mobile medical care for men, women, and children experiencing homelessness in Northern Virginia. It was such a success that they decided to make it an annual event—so you can be like Lianne and go Over The Edge, too.

Fulfilling a personal purpose. Inspiring financial wellness.

When bank recruiters came to her college, a light bulb went off. This was Lianne’s chance to use the tools she’d been given to offer something she never had—financial literacy. And after 26 years at Truist, she has a lot of valuable lessons to share, especially for immigrants navigating a new culture and currency.