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Celebrating a Legacy of Community Commitment

by User Not Found | May 08, 2018

During the week of April 23, our entire Columbia Bank team set out to engage with our communities through volunteerism as part of Melanie Dressel Community Commitment Week. As many of you know, we memorialized our late CEO last year with a day of volunteerism in her name. Due to the overwhelming success of our inaugural Community Commitment Day, we expanded the celebration to an entire week for 2018. During our second annual celebration of Melanie’s legacy, our employees and their friends and families volunteered 3,515 hours of service across our Northwest footprint! These hours were spread across 43 cities with over 70 community projects.

Throughout Washington, Oregon and Idaho, our employees demonstrated their commitment to causes that they are passionate about, causes that make a real impact in the communities where they live and work. It is quite evident that Melanie Dressel Community Commitment Week will become a mainstay of Columbia Bank into the future.


In Washington, 333 bankers volunteered at 37 different projects including: Habitat for Humanity, Rebuilding Together South Sound, Emergency Food Network, Northwest Harvest, Ballard Food Bank, Blessings Under the Bridge, Earthcorps and more!

Emergency Food Network – Tacoma, WA

Emergency Food Network provides 14.4 million pounds of healthy, nutritious food annually to 71 food pantries, meal sites and shelters for distribution to families and individuals in need throughout the Tacoma area. This year over 50 employees volunteered and helped to sort over 11,000 pounds of rice. In addition, a group of these bankers goes back to volunteer at the Emergency Food Network once per quarter!

Blessings Under the Bridge – Spokane, WA

Blessings Under the Bridge serves warm meals in a safe comfortable place and offers fellowship to those in need in the greater Spokane area every Wednesday night. During Melanie Dressel Community Commitment Week, over 25 of our commercial and retail team members from the Spokane area joined Blessings Under the Bridge to help serve warm meals.


In Oregon, 222 volunteers participated in 21 different projects including: Good Neighbor Center, Portland Children’s Museum, Eugene Mission, Oregon Food Bank, Meals on Wheels, United Way of Mid-Willamette Valley, Ronald McDonald House and more!

Portland Children’s Museum – Portland,

The Portland Children’s Museum believes children are interested in things worth knowing about, so they are dedicated to developing interactive exhibits that make visible the ways children think, imagine, design and create using arts and sciences. Our bankers volunteered by leading children in a variety of hands-on activities including clay art, recycled material crafts, super Spirograph and amazing arm art. A couple of volunteers even helped with a children’s performance in the theater!

United Way of Mid- Willamette Valley – Salem, OR

United Way of Mid-Willamette Valley focuses on supporting its friends and neighbors because they believe we all benefit when we have the opportunity to reach our full potential. They work together with local businesses, government, schools, faith groups, individual community members and nonprofits alike – because it takes the whole community to get results. This was one of our most attended events with over 45 volunteers participating. Our bankers helped assemble hygiene and food kits for those experiencing homelessness, as well as financial literacy kits that will be distributed to schoolteachers in the Marion, Polk and Yamhill counties.


In Idaho, 56 bankers volunteered their time at 13 projects including: Elderhelp of Idaho, Post Falls Food Bank, Priest River Animal Rescue, Habitat for Humanity and a highway clean up.

Idaho Department of Transportation Highway Clean-up – Sandpoint, ID

Fifteen employees participated in this event, working hard to clean up garbage and debris from a busy section of highway in the Sandpoint area.

St. Vincent De Paul North Idaho – Coeur d’Alene, ID

At St. Vincent De Paul, your donations stay in your community. The organization provides a variety of services and direction that supports individuals and families in north Idaho who need assistance to enrich, fortify and rebuild their lives and dignity. During Melanie Dressel Community Commitment Week over 20 of our bankers took shifts where they served meals to those in need at Father Bill’s Kitchen.

The participation, passion and spirit demonstrated by hundreds of Columbia volunteers and their friends and families was a truly inspiring tribute to Melanie and her commitment to community service. Columbia employees are proud to be known throughout their neighborhoods and the banking industry as dedicated and caring people who work hard to enrich the communities in which they live and work.


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