Ten worthy nonprofits are feeling a little extra sparkle this season, thanks to $25,000 in much-needed grants awarded by First Interstate Bank and the First Interstate BancSystem Foundation this December.
"Believe in Local has been one of the most rewarding — and powerful — campaigns we've had the privilege of supporting," said Amberly Pahut, Executive Director of First Interstate BancSystem Foundation. "For every community, there's a different need. Whether it's refilling depleted food banks, supporting families in crisis, or boosting early childhood education, we're here to support our neighbors in the ways that are most important to them."
The holiday award cycle continues the Believe in Local grant campaign, launched in July 2022. In its inaugural effort, 40 nonprofit organizations across First Interstate's 14-state footprint received a $25,000 gift each to further their missions on behalf of First Interstate Bank neighbors and markets.
And as the year ended, the Believe in Local Campaign expanded its generosity with a special Holiday Edition. Ten more nonprofits were selected from the original pool of nominations to receive $2,500 grants for a total of $25,000.
"Making a difference in the towns and cities we call home is part of our company DNA," continued Pahut. "We are particularly proud that our employees were the driving force in the nomination and selection process, continuing the Bank's dedication to support low-moderate income and DEI priorities.”
All told, Believe in Local awarded over $1 million in 2022.
First Interstate, member FDIC, annually donates 2% of its pre-tax earnings to local communities through Foundation grants and donations. These funds aid in supporting workforce development, improving financial literacy across all age groups, and mitigating poverty, among other worthwhile initiatives.
Learn more about First Interstate Bank's philanthropic work through its Community Scorecard. Catch the latest Believe in Local campaign announcements by visiting the Believe in Local microsite or follow First Interstate Bank on LinkedIn and Facebook.
Believe in Local Holiday Edition Grant Recipients
Bitterroot Health Foundation of Hamilton, Montana, supports Bitterroot Health, which provides hospital services, specialties, and clinics to the Bitterroot Valley. It believes that improved medical services result in a healthier and safer community.
Children's Home Society is South Dakota's oldest human services nonprofit organization. What began as an orphanage in the late 1800s has evolved into residential treatment, special education programs, emergency shelters, crisis intervention, forensic interviews and advocacy, adoption and foster care, nurse-family visitation, and prevention education and training.
Completely KIDS of Omaha, Nebraska, received a $2,500 grant for educating and empowering children and families to create a connected, healthy, and safe community and to help them break the cycle of poverty. The program supports more than 2,000 kids and their families via schools, homeless shelters, and other partnerships to overcome barriers to their success by providing nutritious meals, mental health services, parenting classes, and language skills.
Feeding Laramie Valley of Laramie, Wyoming, is committed to creating a sustainable and equitable food system and promoting food security throughout the Rocky Mountain Region—especially in Albany County in Southeast Wyoming. They work to fulfill their mission through increased food production, access, distribution, and educational efforts that encourage community-led food sovereignty.
Glad You Stayed Project, located in North Liberty, Iowa, received a $2,500 grant for educating the public on real-time suicide prevention actions and resources to save the lives of those struggling with mental health and suicidal ideation. This small nonprofit began five weeks after teen Dylan A. Salge died by suicide. Abbey Schley, a 17-year-old grieving her friend, decided to be part of the solution. She started I'm Glad You Stayed to provide guidance and support to people contemplating suicide and their friends and loved ones.
Life Stories Child & Family Advocacy in Greeley, Colorado, received a $2,500 grant to support abused and neglected children by advancing coordinated investigations, prosecution, and victim services. By providing a Child Advocacy Center, Court-Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs) for children in need, and community education with their Darkness to Light program, Life Stories is working to make their community safer for all children.
MentorKids USA in Scottsdale, Arizona, a $2,500 grant to support its program that serves K-12 grade students year-round, focusing on three distinct areas: academic excellence, spiritual growth, and leadership development. As kids progress through the program, they mentor and tutor younger students, receive advanced leadership training and educational support, and engage with their community through outreach events and projects.
Ophelia's Place in Eugene, Oregon, was awarded a $2,500 grant to help girls enhance their emotional health, manage life's challenges, and learn about themselves. It also offers guidance for parents, teachers, and peers through in-person classes, at its locations, and in schools.
Wellspring Family Services in Seattle, Washington, a $2,500 grant for helping prevent homelessness and offering early learning, family support, counseling services, and an employee assistance program that advances well-being in families and the workplace. In addition to the Believe in Local grant, we awarded $3,500 toward their annual Giving Together campaign and an additional $10,000 donation from the market—bringing the award total to $16,000. Last year, the organization assisted 2,888 families through housing services.
Youthworks of Fargo, North Dakota, was awarded a $2,500 grant to support its many services, which include anger management training for adults and youths, shelter for runaways and youths with unsafe home lives, court-appointed guardians who can advocate for each child's safety, a motivational writing program for kids, health and wellness, and youth advocacy and development. YouthWorks also has programs to help teens out of human trafficking, provide transitional living for homeless and pregnant teens and young adults, and offer meaningful activities and direction for suspended students.