Main Street Matters ICBA Blog

Giving Thanks by Giving Back

Nov 20, 2018

givingthanks1Just before Veterans Day, a group of ICBA staff spent the afternoon volunteering at the Capital Area Foodbank to help seniors in need in the nation’s capital. It was a great way to work collectively to give back and give thanks, especially since veterans make up roughly 20 percent of the CAFB’s food recipients.

During the event, the ICBA team worked as an assembly line to load and pack 500 boxes of groceries—a task completed in under two hours thanks to a collective, coordinated effort.

It was a sage reminder of the power of uniting under a shared cause—a philosophy ICBA embraces daily in its own mission to create and promote an environment where community banks flourish. And the event reflected the service community bankers routinely contribute as they work to ensure the continued growth and prosperity of the local neighborhoods in which they live and work.

One needs to look no further than ICgivingthanks2BA’s 2018 National Community Bank Service Award winners to see this community bank dedication to service in action. This year’s winners included Grand National Award recipient BayCoast Bank in Swansea, Mass., and National Award recipients Midwest BankCentre in St. Louis and Kennebec Savings Bank in Augusta, Maine.

All had diverse and impactful service projects that made a difference in the lives of residents, and each project was as unique as the communities these banks serve. The stories of community bank service are never-ending and further reason why we at ICBA are so proud to serve this great industry.

Other community service leaders include River Valley Bank, which logged 5,676 employee volunteer hours and provided nearly $430,000 in grants and scholarships last year. Its service continued as several employees this month prepared and served hot meals to underprivileged residents of Wausau, Wis., in advance of Thanksgiving.

Fidelity Bank is working to make a positive impact in its community by shining a light on mental illness in children and young adults. The Lominister, Mass.-based bank, and founder of the SHINE Initiative, has raised more than $1 million towards this effort and has established the LifeDesign Community Dividend to distribute financial support to local community organizations, events, and causes.

These community outreach efforts and thousands more performed by ICBA members every year represent a hallmark of community banking—volunteerism and community service—and an overarching belief that by doing right everybody wins. It’s a virtuous cycle that’s small enough so that everyone can participate and big enough to create a timeless tradition and lasting impact.

How does your bank participate in the charitable cycle of giving? Use the hashtag #communityservice to share your bank’s story and spread a bit of holiday cheer for the season. Happy holidays!