Community Spotlight

First Interstate Bank: Committed to Communities

Founded in 1968, First Interstate Bank is celebrating a huge milestone this year: it’s 50th anniversary. For 50 years, First Interstate Bank has been committed to its communities. First Interstate Bank chose to celebrate by holding the first annual company-wide day of volunteering! Each market across its six-state footprint planned a day full of volunteering with the focus on partnering with an organization whose mission centered around fighting poverty.

“Make a lasting impact”

First Interstate Bank routinely gives back to the charitable organizations in their community, but they wanted this 50th anniversary event to be special.  They wanted to provide not only valuable volunteer hours but to make a lasting impact.  After a tour of the Council of Community Services’ Homeless Shelter, it was clear that First Interstate Bank would be able to make a difference at the Council of Community Services.

First Interstate Bank Gillette

At the time of the tour, the Homeless Shelter was down to one washer and dryer set and the washing machine had just quit working.  Bedding and laundry wouldn’t be able to be washed and the Council of Community Services was scrambling to find a solution.

During the shelter tour the First Interstate Bank team were very receptive to ongoing needs like sheets and towels and agreed the facility could use a facelift.  So, they took their tour knowledge and the proverbial ball began rolling.

Rolling at lightspeed is more like it! When sharing the shelter tour experience with the rest of the team at First Interstate Bank, the washing machine woes made the top of the list.  Lisa Vnoucek, First Interstate Wealth Management, who is president of BNI (Business Network International) for the Heartland Energy in Business Chapter, thought she and BNI might be able to help.

Help they certainly did!  BNI Heartland Energy in Business quickly found a new washer and dryer set to donate. They even arranged delivery and installation!  It was obvious that First Interstate Bank meant business.

“Determined to extend an act of kindness”

While it would have been easy to consider their mission completed, First Interstate Bank didn’t stop there.  They were determined to give the shelter the facelift it deserved.  Determined to extend an act of kindness to residents they would likely never meet.  They would give the shelter a fresh coat of paint, add artwork, and replenish supplies.

First Interstate Bank set up collection points at each branch in Gillette and began to collect bedding, artwork, and food.  They also recruited help from around the community getting paint donations from Sherwin Williams.

While supplies were pouring in, employees of First Interstate Bank were also giving.  Paying to wear jeans- “Jeaning Up”- on Friday’s First Interstate Bank collected money to make a cash donation to the Council of Community Services which would be double matched by the First Interstate Bank Foundation.  The First Interstate Bank Foundation also awarded mini-grants to help with supplies for the volunteer day.

After an entire month of preparation, the volunteer day was finally here.  On Columbus Day, a day most bank employees enjoy as a holiday, the team at First Interstate Bank gave wholeheartedly to the Council of Community Services.  27 employees gave over 95 volunteer hours to transform the Homeless Shelter.

In what felt like minutes the Homeless Shelter had a completely new feel.  Residents were now met with comforting colors and it was obvious the facelift had been a labor of love; bringing comfort to those who needed it most.  While celebrating their 50th anniversary, First Interstate Bank found a way to impact hundreds of lives for the next 50 years.

First Interstate Bank continues to support local organizations with “Jeaning Up” days and has expanded their volunteer reach to the Soup Kitchen as well.  First Interstate Bank has been committed to communities for 50 years, and they have no intention of stopping anytime soon.

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