First in the Community

Building Bridges out of Poverty

At First National Bank, our community vision is to have successful communities in all the places we operate.   We humbly realize we can’t achieve that vision on our own.  That’s why we partner with nonprofit organizations that are doing the actual work of breaking down the barriers to success and creating stronger communities. In many cases, we support these organizations in a more traditional way, such as by providing grants and donations for their operations, programs and initiatives.  However, we continuously strive to enhance our support by looking for opportunities that increase our partners’ capacity to achieve their missions more effectively.   That’s exactly what we did on February 10, when we partnered with Stephen Center to hold a “Bridges out of Poverty” workshop for employers, social service agencies and individuals across our community to help put an end to poverty.

Poverty is a very real and persistent issue across our banking footprint, including the Omaha area. Stephen Center has served homeless and low income individuals in Omaha since 1984 and partners with the community, families and individuals to overcome homelessness, addiction and poverty. Bridges out of Poverty is a community support program that helps employers, community organizations, social service agencies, and individuals address and reduce poverty in a comprehensive way.

Seventy attendees representing fifty Omaha-area nonprofit community organizations came together at the Bridges out of Poverty workshop to gain an understanding of the individual and systemic dynamics that create and sustain poverty as well as how we can best serve individuals in poverty. They also learned about concrete tools and strategies to prevent, reduce and alleviate poverty.   The workshop was attended at full capacity and was extremely well received by attendees.  Many commented on how useful the workshop was in helping them come up with strategies and solutions to the community projects on which they are currently working.  Some of their positive remarks are provided below.

I felt like the workshop gave me the personal insight to better work with clients. It helped me to confront and understand my own beliefs and perceptions, which is exactly what I was hoping for with this workshop. I believe it will also better help me train and place volunteers in the agency for which I work and in fact help me to recruit the right kinds of individuals to serve the clients.”

 “I enjoyed all of it so much, I have read the work book a million times already. AWESOME! Highly recommend!” “…the information was relevant, to the point, and made one really think and question one’s understanding. Fantastic presentation!”

Stay tuned as we continue to find unique ways to support our communities through events such as the Bridges out of Poverty workshop.

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