What is #RiseUp4Families? 2022: Year in Review
At Dream First Bank, our mission is to help build up our thriving community. That’s why we jump at any chance to lend a helping hand to those who might need a boost and why we are so proud of our #RiseUp4Families program.
This program started years ago with small goals. At first, it was helping a coworker who spent some time in the hospital with COVID-19 and needed some help. Then, it pivoted to help another colleague whose spouse was dealt the tragic blow of a late-stage cancer diagnosis.
Our employees often pulled together when they heard stories of individuals and families needing a little extra assistance. As more and more team members witnessed the positive impacts of their donations, the idea was circulated of a bank-wide system for providing this kind of community support. From this endeavor, #RiseUp4Families was born.
Making a Difference
Since its conception, #RiseUp4Families has been a project dedicated to lifting up our community. Some of the lives our project has touched include:
- Multiple families who have loved ones battling cancer
- A mother who needed to stay close to her child, who required a lengthy hospital stay
- Several individuals experiencing unexpected hospital stays that needed some financial backup
We at Dream First Bank know that community banking is supposed to be a force for positive change in our own neighborhood. That’s why, besides providing aid to these families, we are constantly looking for projects that will have large-scale impacts on our community.
Meeting Needs with Creativity and Compassion
With some bright ingenuity, our team was able to come up with simple ways to raise funds for those who require them. We pay small amounts to wear casual clothes on the second Wednesday of every month. The proceeds from our garage sales made up of donated goods from our homes all support worthy causes. We’re especially proud of two colleagues who attained the Beyond the Vision award and donated it to #RiseUp4Families. This significantly boosts the project’s financial bandwidth.
Getting Everyone Involved
However, we recognize that our resources as single banks are limited. For this reason, we have organized and executed many community meetings for #RiseUp4Families. Some of the events we’re incredibly proud of are:
- Johnson bike drive, where we collected dozens of new and used bikes. On enrollment day, we were able to roll up with all of them and offer bikes to any family that needed one
- Syracuse school supply drive, in which employees and customers alike donated school essentials for Syracuse students
- Ulysses coat drive, which put warm, clean coats on the shoulders of Ulysses children that may have gone without one
- Stuff the Turkey food drive, an event in its second year. A giant turkey is set up in each branch location, and anyone can pop in and drop off non-perishable food items to be donated. The food is then gathered and brought to a community center that needs it. Last year, the employees at one branch donated their time, as well as food, and helped out with prepping Thanksgiving meals for community members.
- Christmas for those in need, which looks a little different at each of our locations. Every branch is charged with identifying a specific need in its own neighborhood and working to meet it, whatever it may be. In some cases, branches will “adopt” families that need assistance purchasing Christmas gifts that year. One branch focuses on making gift bags for local senior citizens, complete with food, blankets, fun puzzles, and more. It’s an exciting opportunity for employees to see a promising change in their own backyard!
Dream First Bank is exceptionally proud of our employees. Although the project is still in its infancy, #RiseUp4Families continues to have uplifting impacts across our community. You can learn more about the project by visiting any of our branch locations to find out how you can get involved.