Get Involved

January 16, 2018


SMBers out in the community

Community bankers are the heart and soul of our communities. They're our friends, neighbors, next to you in the aisle at the grocery store, and cheering on your kids at ball games. There are many people advocating and working to better our neighborhoods, schools, and communities as a whole. Here are some tips and ideas from our bankers who have spent a lot of time volunteering in our communities.

It's never too early to start

One of our bankers says, "Volunteerism starts at a young age. I was 15 when my mom told me I was going to volunteer at the nature museum for the summer. I worked in the gift shop and I helped with odd jobs. I learned a little bit about customer service and retail, and I learned to be dependable. I did the work and I realized it felt good to give back." Many bankers bring their children and grandchildren to events like the Walk to End Alzheimer's and the Memorial Run, giving them a taste of working together for a great cause and paving the way for better futures for our children and our communities. If you didn't grow up volunteering it's never too late to start. There are opportunities everywhere and you can make a difference.

SMB volunteers at the Walk to end Alzheimer's
Walk to End Alzheimer's

Just say yes

When somebody asks you to help with a project Just Say Yes! You could find that you learn something new, make new friends, and build a solid networking base. Another banker says, "A lot of great things have happened to me all because I've said yes. I've made meaningful connections and had new experiences by volunteering and getting to know people in the community. I've made lasting friendships, helped people I would have never met, and found a passion in helping others. It also helps me on a professional level because I'm not comfortable in networking situations. Put me in a big room with a bunch of people and I'm uncomfortable. But if I'm on a committee and we have a purpose it's easy to work, brainstorm, and establish those lasting network connections when working together." There's power in the feeling of being part of a team and working together towards a goal. So when your boss turns to you and says, "Erin, would you represent us and help this organization? Would you like to take on this important work and get a group together to do the research?" – Always say YES! Even if you're nervous, feel unprepared, or don't think you know how to do it perfectly, say yes anyway. You'll learn, gain experience, and get better every time.

Call the school

Schools are a great place to get involved and work with children and families in the community. Contributing to kids' education is priceless. If you have children in school, you might consider helping at volunteer activities, joining committees, the PTA, and even the school board. If you do not have children in school, you could look into being a lunch buddy at a local elementary school, help with fundraisers, ball games, etc.

Help local food banks and charities

We have many local organizations like Watered Gardens, Lafayette House, Circles, and Crosslines Ministries that help the people of our communities. These are non-profit organizations that rely on volunteers and always appreciate the help. There are many needs including serving food, stocking food bank shelves, and sorting donated clothes. Marcia, who works at our Duquesne location, and her family have volunteered at Watered Gardens and have cooked breakfast once a month for five years. Below is a picture of a group of bankers serving dinner at Circles.

SMB volunteers at the Cirlces dinner
Circles

As you can see, the opportunities are boundless. Find something that fits your passion and your schedule, and go out and make your community better!

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