First Northern Bank, an independent community bank serving the greater Sacramento area since 1910, recognizes the community service of its employees during National Volunteer Week, April 6-13.
The bank’s nearly 200 employees volunteered 7,690 hours of their time throughout 2013, mostly on evenings and weekends, to more than 250 nonprofit organizations within the bank’s service area.
Every employee who volunteers 100 or more hours in a year receives a cash award of $100; 200 or more hours earns the employee a $200 cash award; and 300-plus hours earns the employee $300.
The community service awards — called “Franklin Awards,” in honor of Ben Franklin, whose likeness appears on the $100 bill — are presented by senior management at the employees’ workplace.
Since 2005, when the bank set up an online community service log, participating employees have recorded 52,139 hours of volunteer time, which is the equivalent of 25 people working full-time for one year.
First Northern employees are out and about in their communities, serving on boards, taking meals to seniors, raising funds for charity — you name it.
In addition to the volunteer efforts, since 2001, First Northern has contributed $1.7 million in funds and in-kind services to help nonprofits from the Bay Area to the Sierra Nevada foothills. Most of this support is provided by First Northern quietly, with little fanfare.
For the past 10 years, for example, the bank has donated deposit services valued at $20,000 to the annual Komen Sacramento Race for the Cure. Through KUIC 95.3 FM, First Northern also provides air time to nonprofit organizations who serve low- and moderate-income individuals.
The bank also has sponsored nearly $5.3 million in Federal Home Loan Bank grants to build affordable housing in Yolo and Solano counties.
And, most recently, FNB has provided the First Northern Financial Scholars Program, free of charge, to area high schools. This online program by EverFi uses the latest in new media technologies to bring complex financial concepts to life. Using the EverFi platform, Armijo and Fairfield High School students have become certified in more than 600 personal finance topics, such as budgeting, saving, using credit cards wisely and financing higher education.
“We reinvest in our communities because an economically healthy, vibrant community is the key to success for our local small businesses,” says Kimberly DeBra, First Northern Bank’s community relations officer. “Putting ‘People First’ is one of our core business values — we value and nurture our relationships with our customers, employees and community.
“Throughout these tough economic times, it has been more important than ever to continue doing what we can to help the communities we serve.”