To mark its fourth annual Volunteer Day, First Interstate Bank closed all branches at noon Sept. 8 to grant employees paid time to volunteer in their communities. More than 1,820 employees supported 234 separate nonprofit organizations across six states, making this year’s impact the largest ever.
Volunteer Day in Sheridan
The overarching philanthropic focus of this year’s Volunteer Day was anchored in combating poverty, hunger and homelessness. However, employees were empowered to select whichever nonprofit organization they desired to ensure they catered to the specific needs of their communities.
Here in Sheridan, volunteers participated in six service projects, supporting seven organizations including People Assistance Food Bank, Habitat for Humanity of the Eastern Bighorns, The Hub on Smith and Sheridan Recreation District, among others. Throughout these organizations, volunteers could be seen painting, providing information to seniors on scams and fraud prevention, landscaping and constructing homes.
“This day simply concentrates and magnifies the efforts of our wonderful employees, who give and give generously to the places where we live and work,” said Steve Crow, Northern Wyoming market president in Sheridan. “We are honored to celebrate the power of community with our neighbors today.”
Recognizing the challenges brought on by COVID-19, employees were given the option to volunteer on site at organizations that accommodated safe social distancing. Additional options allowed employees to volunteer remotely — from their home, from the bank or virtually by hosting webinars or financial education seminars.
“First Interstate Bank presented to our staff and our patrons about financial education,” said Jamie Brester, volunteer and community education coordinator for The Hub on Smith.
“They were so informative and provided great knowledge! First Interstate was amazing! We appreciate being a part of this day,” Brester added.
Commitment to community
Giving back on Volunteer Day isn’t just a one-and-done focus for First Interstate. It’s a philanthropic philosophy employees bring to life every day at the $18.9 billion organization with branches across six states.
“Giving back to the places we call home is what makes us who we are,” First Interstate President and CEO Kevin Riley said. “Yes, we’re a full-service community bank, but more importantly, we’re a trusted community partner and neighbor. We are honored to celebrate the power of community with you on Volunteer Day — and every day.”
In addition to Volunteer Day, First Interstate champions other innovative philanthropy-focused programs, including Teach Children to Save, Neighbors Feeding Neighbors, Coats and More, and Get Smart About Credit.
Additionally, through the organization’s volunteer match program, the bank pays nonprofits $10 for each hour First Interstate employees volunteer at their organizations. First Interstate also matches employee donations to nonprofits and is committed to donating 2% of its net income before taxes to charitable organizations.
In fact, over the past 11 years, First Interstate has contributed $36.3 million in donations and 143,000 volunteer hours to nonprofits across its footprint.