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Community Possible: U.S. Bank initiative promotes volunteerism

U.S. Bank launched Community Possible Relay, a nationwide effort to revitalize the spirit of community across America.

U.S. Bank launched Community Possible Relay, a nationwide effort to revitalize the spirit of community across America.

U.S. Bank’s Community Possible Relay, a nationwide initiative aimed to inspire 153,000-plus volunteers across the country to take part in rebuilding and revitalizing their communities came to a close with its final stop in North Minneapolis.

The three-month, 12,000 mile relay included volunteer activities centered around work, home and play, the three focus areas of the bank’s new corporate giving and volunteer program, Community Possible. The relay visited 38 communities across 25 states.

“This relay symbolizes our dedication to bringing back community volunteerism in America. By working together, we can and will make a difference,” said Richard Davis, chairman and chief executive officer of U.S. Bank. “We invite everyone to help build and support vibrant communities by volunteering and giving back.”

Davis said the relay represented U.S. Bank’s dedication, in part, to addressing the reported 25 to 50 percent decline in volunteerism that has taken place over the last four decades. The bank hopes it inspired a wave of volunteerism and community engagement with the “mobile baton” that drove across the country making stops throughout the summer, issuing a call-to-action for people to join U.S. Bank volunteers and help give back to their communities.

Two U.S. Bank team captains and philanthropic enthusiasts, Dixcy Sulistyo and Jibreel Black, joined their dedicated bus driver, John Matthews, for the cross-country road trip. Sulistyo, Black and local U.S. Bank teams issued volunteer challenges in each community, including participating in workplace education and skills training, teaching financial education, refurbishing homes and cleaning up parks and recreational spaces.

The relay started April 29 at the U.S. Bank OC Marathon, and the last stop was here in Minneapolis. Along the way the “mobile baton” made stops in Las Vegas, Phoenix, San Francisco, Portland, St. Louis, Nashville, Chicago, Cincinnati and others cities.

As part of the relay development, U.S. Bank conducted a survey of American citizens to identify the immediate challenges and areas of need. The results revealed declining levels of community involvement. According to the data, just 31 percent of Americans have been involved in local volunteer efforts since the start of 2016. The data also showed that most people don’t volunteer because they don’t want to do it alone (42 percent) or they don’t know how to get involved (39 percent). As an alternative, 29 percent are simply donating money instead of time.

U.S. Bank conducted the Community Possible Survey to learn more about the types of efforts they should support by asking Americans what volunteer efforts would most benefit their local community. More than half (52 percent) chose “home” volunteer efforts, such as building or refurbishing homes; 50 percent chose “work” volunteer efforts, such as providing residents with skills for the modern workplace; and 41 percent chose “play” volunteer efforts, such as building or cleaning up playgrounds.

“Community is built through the hundreds of little and big actions we take every day, but civic and social involvement across the United States continues to decline,” said Reba Dominski, senior vice president of Corporate Social Responsibility. “That’s why we’re providing a platform for Americans to start reversing the trend by bringing people together and building relationships between local organizations and their volunteers. Through Community Possible, we are bringing our commitment to community and service to life, and paying it forward. We pledge to invest our time, resources and passion to building and supporting communities that allow every person to work toward their possible.”

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August 9, 2016
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