Peoples State Bank employees set a new volunteer record in 2019, spending 8,677 hours in volunteer activities in their communities. This is an all-time high for the bank’s 170 employees. It’s nearly 50 hours of volunteer work per employee, with every employee participating in one or more volunteer activities during and outside the workday.

“Peoples’ employees have big hearts,” said Scott Cattanach, president and CEO of Peoples State Bank. “It’s heart-warming to see them volunteer at schools, churches, civic organizations, and non-profits—giving back to the communities where they work and live.”

Mortgage lender Amber Gober volunteers her time and talent throughout the greater Wausau community, including serving as the vice-chair of the United Way’s Women United Leadership Council. “Peoples’ commitment to support the community means a lot to me,” said Gober. “Volunteering is important to non-profits and civic groups. Peoples’ decision to offer volunteer time off this year means I can support these agencies during the work-day.” Amber was not the only volunteer to assist with a United Way project. More than 50 employees volunteered more than 467 hours to the United Way of their community, or to a bank-related fundraiser for a United Way campaign.

Peoples offered each employee 20 hours of paid volunteer time off (VTO) in 2019 and will offer it again in 2020. “VTO allows employees an opportunity to help in their community during the workday when some agencies and non-profits really need the help,” said Donna Staples, Peoples senior vice president of Human Resources. “Some employees have a hard time volunteering after work or on weekends because of family obligations.”

This is especially true for school-related activities like Junior Achievement, the non-profit group that helps educate students about real-life finances. Kaci Sessions is branch manager for Peoples’ Marathon location who donates her time to Junior Achievement. “It’s so important for young children to learn about money, saving, and spending,” said Sessions. “I love having the opportunity to work with Marathon School students in this important aspect.”

“It’s important to give back to the community,” said Brandon Karaba, Peoples assistant vice president/mortgage lender in Rhinelander. “I was blessed to have great volunteer coaches and mentors throughout my youth, and that’s part of the reason I serve as a volunteer now.”

Karaba volunteered more than 250 hours as a coach and board member for Rhinelander area teams and organizations in 2019.

Among the volunteer hours, employees spent more than 2,560 hours working at non-profit organizations, and more than 1,370 hours in health or medical organizations. School-related activities took more than 840 hours of employee volunteer time, with more than 750 hours related to sporting events and teams. The remainder of the hours were split among civic groups, religious, professional affiliations, and other community outreach efforts.

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