Our FIRST Values aren’t just something we preach. We try to incorporate them in our work here at the Bank and in our lives outside of these walls, too. Our values of Family, Independence & Innovation, Relationships, Stewardship, and Teamwork are ones that often overlap.
“First National Bank has been giving back to our communities for more than 130 years. By making volunteering a priority, we’re able to make an impact as a team,” said Bill, Chairman and CEO. “We live here, too, and have always made our business decisions with that in mind.”
Each employee receives 12 VTO (Volunteer Time Off) hours a year as an incentive to get involved and as a reiteration of the importance of giving back to our communities. In 2016, our employees volunteered nearly 950 hours utilizing our VTO program! Even more, this does not include hours volunteered during non-work hours.
Although we do several volunteer projects and events throughout the year, below is a snippet of a few we do annually.
After a successful United Way rally and several on-site fundraising events, our United Way Committee broke the record AGAIN for money raised this year! In 2016, employees reached a new goal – $108,320! To sweeten the deal, First National Bank always does a 100% match, which raised our total to $216,640. We were then nominated and awarded the Business of the Year award for organizations with 101-500 employees!
“The United Way has always been something we support whole-heartedly,” said Sarah, Salesforce Customer Relationship Manager. “The excitement has always trickled down from the top of our organization, which is why we have such great employee participation every year.”
For nearly 20 years, the Bank has volunteered with Junior Achievement (JA). From 4 employees to now 37, each year the participation has grown. Through JA, our employees have the opportunity to teach kids from Kindergarten through 12th grade through either a 5-week course or a one-time lesson they call “JA in a Day.”
Recently, First National was nominated for an award by Junior Achievement of South Dakota.
“It’s the 2017 Spirit of Volunteerism Award in the Corporate Humanitarian Award Category,” said Tony, Senior Auditor. ”It’s a mouthful, but basically it’s an award to recognize the Bank’s hard, continuous work through JA. We’re definitely honored to be nominated.”
Rake the Town
Rake the Town is an annual event put on by Active Generations. Individuals are able to sign up to have their yards raked by volunteers when the leaves begin to pile up in the fall.
“It’s a fun time,” said Susie, Training Specialist. “I remember when we started 7 or so years ago, we only had a handful of employees that were interested. But, every year, our group just keeps growing.”
In 2016, First National Bank had 32 volunteers sign up to rake. They ended up raking 18 yards in one day!
For nearly 10 years, Terri, Mortgage Loan Originator, has championed a special project around the holidays for Children’s Home Society.
“With the help of several employees, we typically make around 50 tie blankets every year, one for each child,” said Terri. “Every blanket is then embroidered with the child’s name on it to make it extra special for them.”
Employees can “check out” a blanket to tie during work hours (using their VTO). This is a way for several employees to get involved in a project that ends up making a significant impact on these children. Terri ventures out every year on Christmas Eve with the finished products and places the respective blanket over each child as they sleep.
As a Bank, we’ve been involved with Project S.O.S. the past few years. Our internal Wellbeing Committee holds a donation drive and organizes groups to help assemble every year.
In 2016, the Bank had 36 employees sign up to pack backpacks with school supplies, assembly line-style, at The Banquet.
“It’s very fast-paced and a little chaotic, but it’s amazing to see how many backpacks are put together in that short amount of time,” said Myrissa, Human Resources Specialist. “It’s bittersweet, too, because you realize that’s how many children are in need.”
Leading up to the actual packing of the backpacks, we typically hold a donation drive for 4 weeks prior at all of our branch locations to collect needed supplies.
“Our 57th Street branch was overflowing with donations within the first week,” said Myrissa. “In the end, we had a truck-bed full of school supplies that we were able to donate!”
National Volunteerism Week has been celebrated annually since the 1970s. Whether it is sharing time or financial support, there is always a way for each of us to get involved. We challenge you to find a cause, event, or opportunity to make a difference this week, as we’ll all be doing the same!