Just as April showers bring May flowers, so too does the first full month of spring bring additional hope and support to communities and people in need throughout the country. First established in 1974, April is National Volunteer Month, and Columbia Bank has a lot of volunteer efforts to celebrate.
For the communities served by Columbia Bank, April is additionally significant as we recognize and honor Melanie Dressel, the bank’s late CEO. Melanie Dressel Community Commitment Month is Columbia Bank’s month-long celebration of volunteerism and giving back to the community through a variety of volunteer projects across the Northwest and Northern California.
Since 2017, Columbia Bank employees have celebrated Melanie Dressel’s legacy by supporting over 231 volunteer projects and contributing more than 7,537 volunteer hours of community service.
During April of 2022, groups across the bank’s footprint participated in volunteer activities making a hands-on impact to the lives of our neighbors and community members. This year, the number of volunteers, hours of work, specific activities of support, and organizations supported was truly staggering.
By the end of the month, 717 Columbia Bank employees had volunteered 1,987 total hours in support of 198 community organizations by way of 238 separate volunteer activities.
Judy Coe, a Columbia Bank commercial banking specialist, talks about why she participates in the volunteer campaign. “Not only does volunteering improve our community, but volunteering is so good for the soul. People who volunteer tend to live longer, more fulfilling lives. I think we need to realize, though, that every person has a different passion and talent, and volunteering looks different for each of us.”
Jake Dusek, a financial advisor who volunteers with a local robotics club, says of his volunteer experience: “I want to give back to an awesome program and cause that helps keep kids involved in math and science at the age where they are most likely to give up on the STEM world.”
While the efforts of Columbia Bank volunteers in April was amazing, it really was a slice of the ongoing impact that bank employees make every day of the year from Tacoma to Boise and Portland to Redding.
Employee action is a hallmark of Columbia Bank and a major pillar of the organization’s mission and culture. To that end, the bank provides every employee with 40 hours of paid volunteer time each year that can be used to get out into the community and cultivate passions outside of the office.
As we reflect on another successful Melanie Dressel Community Commitment Month, Columbia Bank is proud of the impacts of our employee volunteers who have once again brought hope and action to hundreds of organizations in the west whose missions are helping every community the bank serves become better places to live and work.
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