Southern Community Bank and Trust: Setting A New Gold Standard for the CF Cause
Employees at Southern Community Bank and Trust take their corporate philosophy to heart, so when they learned about the fight to find a cure for cystic fibrosis, they followed their motto, “small enough to care,” with passion, gusto and a little fun.
After discovering that a colleague had a family member with cystic fibrosis, Kim Phillips, vice president of customer service relations, knew that her team had to get involved.
Five years ago, Phillips’ team decided raising funds for a cure was the best way - thanks to the huge impact the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation was making in the medical community through its venture philanthropy business model.
Kim Phillips (far right) with her daughter Jessica and co-worker at Southern Community Bank Suzie Dixon take part in Great Strides.
Building Pathways Toward a Cure
Southern Community worked together with Kay James, executive director at the Raleigh CF Chapter in North Carolina, to formulate a game plan to raise funds to find a cure. In 2012, the goal was to raise $80,000 for the Great Strides Walk in Winston-Salem.
The bank relied on employees to spread the word by asking customers, vendors, friends and families to donate $250 or $500 to purchase a pathway sign that was placed along the walking path at Tanglewood Park just outside Winston-Salem. Signs in blue and gold included the name of the donor with words of encouragement.
“Purchasing a pathway sign meant recognition during the walk along the route and adding tomorrows to the lives of patients with cystic fibrosis,” James said. “It was a win-win opportunity for everyone who wanted to help find a cure.”
When at one point, Southern Community was short of its goal by $18,000, Phillips’ team got creative and motivated. The Winston Salem based bank, its branches and 300+ employees held a customer appreciation day and phone-a-thon. The bank invited every employee to participate by calling friends, family and businesses to ask for their support in purchasing a pathway sign.
When customers walked into the bank, they saw employees decked out in sunglasses and goofy attire. The day was filled with games, food and employee incentives and prizes, including free vacation days, gift cards and a ticket to be entered into a drawing for each pathway sign sold.
In one day, they drummed up $20,000, surpassing their goal and raising $93,504 – that’s about $20,000 more than what they rallied in 2011.
Raising the Bar
In the past five years, Southern Community has raised $333,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and is the chapter’s top performing corporate Great Strides team.
“Southern Community Bank has set a gold standard for teamwork, organization, creating excitement and great corporate citizenship that has received not only statewide, but national attention for their employee leadership and support from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation,” James said.
The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation awarded Southern Community Bank a corporate award for its outstanding contribution.
The best part? “This team knows that they are and have been making a difference in the lives of every CF patient,” James said.
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