By: Jessica Sire, AVP, Community Program Manager
April is National Volunteer Month, a time dedicated to honoring the volunteers who give their time and resources to generously support our communities. At Columbia Bank, volunteerism is a vital part of our commitment to the communities we serve. Each April, we celebrate National Volunteer Month with Melanie Dressel Community Commitment Week. This week celebrates our late CEO Melanie Dressel’s commitment to the community by allowing employees the chance to participate in group volunteer activities where they can get involved with a variety of nonprofits. Last year, during this one-week alone, our bankers volunteered 3,515 hours!
Why Volunteerism Matters
As a local bank, we believe in four pillars of giving back to our community: Employee Giving, Company Giving, Fundraising and Volunteerism. Though all four are important to our Corporate Social Responsibility program, volunteerism is one of the ways we can best enable our bankers to roll up their sleeves and get involved in their own communities. All team members bring unique passions and perspectives and we encourage them to give back to the organizations they are excited about. Volunteerism keeps our bankers connected to each other and to our communities. It is their passion that drives our culture as a community bank.
Since joining Columbia Bank in 2015, I have been consistently blown away by the heart and energy our bankers put into community involvement. That is why we put so much time and effort into setting up programs around skilled volunteerism and paid volunteerism, which offer our bankers endless opportunities to get involved. Just last year our bankers volunteered over 26,944 hours! Through this volunteerism, we have been able to stock shelves at food banks, teach financial literacy to youth, clean up local parks, and so much more. What I love most about volunteerism is that any one person can make a difference in their community, but together we accomplish so much more.
How to Get Involved
Volunteering can make a bigger impact than you might think, even just a few hours goes a long way. My advice? Go where your heart is! Are you a dog lover? Chances are your local humane society could use some extra help caring for sheltered dogs. Do you love reading? Share your love of the written word by volunteering as a reading tutor at your local library. Love to cook? Hop down to your local shelter and help prepare much needed meals for those in need. You can also use your personal and professional skills to give back. Many organizations need skilled support around areas such as finance, IT, legal and marketing. There are endless ways for you to give back in your community with the gifts of your time and talent. Join us in volunteering during National Volunteer Month and beyond! Together, we can make a big impact in our communities.
Check out some of these great Northwest organizations to learn more about getting involved today.
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