Banks lend help to communities amid pandemic

As the coronavirus continues to affect the economy and community members, community banks are supporting their local food banks, first responders, veterans, businesses and nonprofits.

WaterStone Bank, Wauwatosa, Wis., donated $20,000 to local organizations, including the Hunger Task Force, Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin, Lift for the 22, Inc. and the Wisconsin Veterans Chamber of Commerce, and the Milwaukee county sheriff’s office. Each organization will receive a $5,000 donation.

“WaterStone Bank has always strongly believed in giving back to the local community. During these challenging times, we feel even more compelled to help,” said president and CEO Doug Gordon.

Also in Wisconsin, Bank First  initiatives to assist families and businesses impacted

by COVID-19, including offering fee waivers and loan payment deferrals for up to six months.

The Manitowoc-based bank also purchased $100,000 in gift cards from over 140 restaurants within its footprint. It plans to donate the gift cards to local families, non-profit organizations, and businesses through various programs once Wisconsin’s Safer At Home restrictions are lifted.

CUSB Bank, Cresco, Iowa, bought more than $9,000 in local restaurant gift cards to spend after the pandemic passes.

Iowa’s Heartland Financial and its 11 subsidiary banks have donated a collective $1.2 million to support nonprofits. The money will go to organizations in 12 states that are leading the response to challenges created by COVID-19.

“We are honored to provide support to the organizations that serve our communities,” said Bruce K. Lee, president and CEO of the $13.5 billion Heartland Financial. “I am grateful for these groups and their work to address the challenges so many are experiencing in the wake of COVID-19.”

The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City also has launched a program that encourages companies and other organizations to ornate used devices to nonprofits, schools and refurbishers.

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