Community State Bank (CSB) recently presented $21,000 to Downtown Kenosha, Inc. (DKI) to assist with the rebuilding of businesses following the civil unrest earlier this year. The donation was a collaboration of Community State Bank #Gift2Giving campaign funds, employee personal donations, as well as grant dollars from the Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) of Chicago Targeted Impact Fund.
Inspiration for the community donation originated from Community State Bank’s #Gift2Giving campaign, an employee directed donation program. CSB provides each employee with $100 to donate to a non-profit organization of their choice and volunteer time to contribute to the community.
As soon as the 2020 #Gift2Giving Campaign was announced, CSB Kenosha Market President, Robert Pieroni, announced his chosen organization was Downtown Kenosha Inc., an independent, non-profit organization committed to the revitalization and growth of downtown Kenosha.
“Downtown Kenosha Inc. is already doing the things needed to keep some of these businesses afloat during this very difficult time,” said Pieroni. “I knew this would be a great fit for my #Gift2Giving donation, and so I also invited other CSB staff to join me. The response was incredible, as over a third of our employees wanted to join in on the donation.”
In total, 31 CSB employees chose to donate their #Gift2Giving contributions towards DKI and 2 other employees contributed personal monetary donations. In addition, CSB Chief Financial Officer, Peter Schumacher, was notified of a grant opportunity from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago Targeted Impact Fund.
The grant required a $5,000 contribution by the applicant. CSB contributed the remaining funds to bring the original #Gift2Giving donation to $5,000 and then applied for the grant. FHLB approved the grant application and turned CSB’s $5,000 initiative into a $21,000 donation.
“We’re ecstatic about this donation and are extremely grateful,” said Alexandria Binanti Robinson, executive director of Downtown Kenosha, Inc. “More than ever our Kenosha community needs our help, and this donation will go directly towards supporting Kenosha businesses that have been impacted by the pandemic and civil unrest.”
Donation dollars were presented to the DKI in late November. CSB team members are now in the planning process of scheduling time to assist with any rebuilding plans and clean up this coming spring.
“We all watched many of the local businesses we know and love be vandalized and burned to the ground,” said Pieroni. “We understand the time and work that went into running these community businesses and we want to help in any way that we can. This is what being a community bank is all about.”