It takes a group effort to turn a city or town into a community. Local residents must be passionate about where they live and want to take care of not just their own properties but public spaces as well. Businesses that rely on local traffic to keep them going must also chip in. There are dozens of examples of this all across Bonners Ferry, from purchasing and donating food to those in need, assisting at the hospital and retirement facilities, and cleaning up the streets and rivers. One local business is dedicating an entire day to the community by helping make Bonners Ferry the beautiful place so many are proud to call home.
Mountain West Bank employees will be out and about Thursday, September 14, so they can go into the community for its annual Day of Caring. The Bonners Ferry branch participates along with all other branches across the Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Spokane areas. “We love Day of Caring because it really represents Mountain West Bank,” said Russ Porter, Mountain West Bank president and CEO. “Community service is in our culture. It’s part of what we do, and we encourage all of our employees to participate to make where we live a better place.”
This will be the eighth annual Day of Caring, and while most of the branches remain open, many of those who aren’t scheduled to work participate in the event. Others that do might take a long lunch break so they can chip in as well. In the Boise area, previous projects included sorting items at the Boise Rescue Mission, weeding flower beds and painting about 50 picnic tables in Nampa parks, and placing logs and trail enhancements in the Eagle park system. Last year in Coeur d’Alene, employees helped out the local Human Rights Education Institute by sanding and staining display cases, painting and weather stripping doors and windows, and creating a wall-hanging system for the gallery.
In Bonners Ferry, this situation is unique in that the branch will actually close its doors for the day so all employees can take part in the Day of Caring. ATMs will still be operating so you’ll still be able to do most of your everyday banking. While the specific projects for this year haven’t been finalized as of yet, there’s a good bet you’ll see the entire staff out and about on September 14.
“The Bonners Ferry Branch has done everything from working at the Food Bank, Collecting items for our Troops overseas, painting and powerwashing the high school bleachers, picking up trash on the high school grounds, and cleaning our local Shriner’s fair booth,” said Branch Manager Patti Solt.
Day of Caring is one of the many ways throughout the year that Mountain West Bank and its employees help keep the local community going strong. Outside being a group of sound and trustworthy financial advisors, they also do fundraisers for the high school and volunteer at other organizations in the community.
While big businesses like Glacier Bank Corporation and Mountain West Bank have the staff and organization to create such an event, you don’t need to be a huge business or group to make an impact in your community, as sometimes the smallest of gestures can go a long way. Maybe you’re in a book club or even just a group of people who meet for coffee once a week. Instead of your typical meeting, carve out a day or two a year in which you find something in your community to improve. This could be as simple as picking up trash along the river’s edge or weeding the sidewalks around the fairgrounds. Small businesses can set aside a portion of daily sales to benefit someone who is going through a hard time or medical issues, or maybe take the money and create a scholarship for a young person in the community to help further their education. Sure there are organizations and even employees whose job it is to maintain parks and community spaces, but by helping them out, they are able to focus their time on bigger projects within the community. Plus helping out will just plain make you feel good!
So when the bank doors are closed on a Thursday in September, while it might inconvenience you for a day, know that a business filled with Bonners Ferry community members is volunteering their time to make the community even better.