The Pay it Ohnward campaign and Grilling for Charity initiative were designed to give individuals within our organization the opportunity to use their time, talent and influence to generate change. These initiatives not only showcase our Ohnward culture and values but in turn encourage others to give back as well. Our goal is for the cycle to repeat and the impact it has on our local communities, to multiply! The process was simple. The impact was substantial.
“Pay It Ohnward” is a pay it forward program with the company fronting the money for employees to use in the manner they see the most need. Ohnward granted each employee $100 to share their hearts, time, and compassion with individuals and organizations within the communities served and around the world. The money given is important, but inspiring others to do the same is what really fuels the Pay It Ohnward concept. From 2014 to 2019, Pay It Ohnward gifts totaled over $125,000 over the six years since its inception. Ohnward has directly impacted over 200 individuals, families, and organizations each year.
Bank partners also host Grilling for Charity events throughout the summer months. The Ohnward organization provides all of the food and volunteers and a nonprofit group is selected for each event. The selected group then benefits from these efforts. Donations from individuals and area businesses can range from $2 - $1,000. Grilling for Charity events in 2019 brought the Grilling for Charity total for the past seven years to over $225,000!
Kendra Fagerland-Beck, Chief Operating Officer of Ohnward Bancshares, Inc. states, “Our organization has always had a tradition of giving back. Our banks focus on the needs of local families, businesses, and farmers which has an overwhelming impact on the communities we serve. However, not only do our bank's and ancillaries support area businesses but we also contribute to our school districts, youth programs, benefits, and fundraisers. Our employees follow that lead by generously donating money and volunteer hours to good causes. We intend to continue to give back within our local communities and look forward to many more years of growth and community impact to come.”
Examples of the gifts given by First Central State Bank employees include gifts to Glow Walk-Suicide Prevention, YWCA Shelter for Domestic Abuse and Sexual Assault, and projects to support kids’ growth and learning. Organizations such as the Clinton YWCA, Humane Society, MS Support Group, Clinton County Autism coalition, Central DeWitt Special Olympics, local charities, King's Harvest Pet Rescue, and Northeast Athletics were welcome recipients of donations raised by Grilling for Charity.
“One good deed often times turns into something good for someone else, then the cycle of generosity and kindness sparks a change and a difference in our communities and within ourselves”, says Brigham L. Tubbs, First Central State Bank President and CEO. “Our commitment to the community is integral to our mission. We actively contribute to the overall well-being of our region and those who reside in it. It has been proven that acts of kindness build exponentially in a community. We hope these stories will inspire others to act when they see an opportunity.”
Maquoketa State Bank employees made their contributions to the Maquoketa Ag Learning Center, Sacred Heart School, City of Preston playground, Maquoketa High School Hall of Fame, Jackson County Veteran’s Memorial Fund, Relay for Life, Jackson County Senior Center, Friends of the Caves and the Stuff the Bus Program.
Abram Tubbs, Chairman, and CEO of Ohnward Bank & Trust shared “We are so proud of the creativity and compassion of our team. Their personal generosity matched with our organization’s contributions have made a real impact to many within our Ohnward footprint.”
Ohnward Bank & Trust employees presented monetary gifts to The Monticello Band Boosters, Van Buren Elementary School Library, Monticello Downtown Pocket Park, Monticello Food Pantry, Cascade Library, Cascade Booster Club, AMVETS, Onslow Chamberlain Park, Central City Backpack Program and the Baldwin Fire Department.
Alan Tubbs, Chairman and CEO of Ohnward Bancshares, Inc., has long been an advocate for paying it forward in his personal and professional life. By some estimates, he’s been doing so since he started at Ohnward Bancshares and First Central State Bank in 1972. “I commend each and every Ohnward employee for their community support through this initiative. I have long been an advocate for paying it forward. One individual can make a difference. When our over 260 Ohnward team members give back within our communities, we create positive change that reaches even further,” says Tubbs. “We are blessed to live in such amazing communities where so much kind-heartedness happens every day. Our goal is for this initiative to encourage thoughtfulness and generosity which, in turn, make our communities better places to live, work and play.”