Funding supports building blocks of vibrant communities – work, home and play – nationwide

The U.S. Bank Foundation* recently invested $11.75 million in funding to nonprofit organizations focused on strengthening communities across the country.

More than 350 grants will help nonprofits provide access to affordable housing options, cultural enrichment and recreation opportunities, and workforce and economic development. The grants are part of the U.S. Bank Community Possible unified giving and engagement strategy, which strives to create positive, lasting change in the communities the bank serves.

The Community Possible program focuses on three areas – work, home and play – to make the most meaningful impact. Many nonprofits receiving grants also benefit from U.S. Bank employees volunteering their time to serve on boards and committees or participate in community activities.

Two organizations – the Girl Scouts of Colorado and Armed Services YMCA of the USA – have been able to offer programs focused on financial literacy and workforce development to their communities with support from the U.S. Bank Foundation – and some dedicated volunteers.

Encouraging emerging entrepreneurs

Engaging students in financial literacy and business development programs can help reinforce money management – and money-making – skills well before they enter the workforce. The Girl Scouts of Colorado recognized the value such a program could bring to their scouts and launched a bilingual patch program with support from a U.S. Bank Foundation Community Possible grant and U.S. Bank employees.

Girl Scouts in Colorado who participated in a recent financial literacy session received this patch, designed by a Colorado artist.

Girl Scouts in Colorado who participated in a recent financial literacy session received this patch, designed by a Colorado artist.

Girl Scouts in Denver and Colorado Springs spent a Saturday earlier this year attending workshops to boost their entrepreneurial and financial acumen.

Alongside U.S. Bank volunteers, who provided expertise in English and Spanish, more than 150 Girl Scouts brainstormed ideas to turn hobbies into income opportunities, picked up market research skills and learned how to plan and budget for a money-making event.

All attendees received a patch designed by Colorado artist Xencs Jiménez, as well as a piggy bank to decorate during the workshop.

“Opportunities likes this help set young Girl Scouts and other community members on the path to mastering their money-making skills at an early age, and we’re excited to work with U.S. Bank and the U.S. Bank Foundation to offer this patch program in Spanish and English,” Girl Scouts of Colorado CEO Leanna Clark said.

“Through its very platform of empowering women and girls, this bilingual financial education patch program has supported a small business by highlighting an outstanding Colorado Latina artist who was compensated for her original work of art,” said Marcia Romero, the U.S. Bank community affairs manager in Colorado. “In partnership with Girl Scouts of Colorado, there’s now a robust, unique bilingual financial education program that can be used across the state and potentially in other U.S. Bank markets.”

The Girl Scouts of Colorado plans to bring the workshop to more scouts throughout 2024, thanks to additional support from the U.S. Bank Foundation.

The Armed Services YMCA of the USA helps military families access affordable child care options.
The Armed Services YMCA of the USA helps military families access affordable child care options.

Serving those who serve the country

The Armed Services YMCA of the USA branch in San Diego supports junior enlisted military services members and their families, serving nearly 16,000 individuals in 2023. For many families, long deployments, rapid schedule changes and other parts of the military lifestyle pose barriers to being a dual-income household, including reliable child care.

A U.S. Bank Foundation Community Possible multiyear grant helps fund programs such as the After-School Achievement Academy and Camp Hero, which provide access to affordable, high-quality child care. The programs make it easier for military spouses to secure and maintain jobs while offering academic and social support to military youth.

“At the Armed Services YMCA San Diego, our mission is to support the brave men and women who serve our country by providing essential services and resources that strengthen the military family unit,” said Frank Martin, executive director of Armed Services YMCA San Diego.

“Thanks to the U.S. Bank Foundation’s Community Possible grant, we can continue to provide vital programs like Camp Hero and After-School Achievement Academy,” Martin said. “This extended-day childcare supports dual-military and single parent households and promotes economic self-sufficiency while fostering social, emotional and academic well-being for military children. We’re proud to make a positive impact in our community and grateful for our collaboration with U.S. Bank and the U.S. Bank Foundation in doing so.”

Families also can participate in a semi-monthly food distribution program and annual military spouse symposium, which help address food security challenges and deliver financial literacy, education and career resources to enhance workforce readiness. U.S. Bank employees will host the financial literacy workshop for this year’s symposium.

Amanda Gregory, who works on the U.S. Bank alliances team and has a spouse serving in the U.S. Navy, said she knows how valuable these resources can be for military families. She serves on the Armed Services YMCA San Diego’s board, where she lends her expertise to the finance committee.

“It’s amazing to see the meaningful impact that the support and thoughtful collaboration the Armed Services YMCA San Diego provides to our local military families. I love being a part of this work,” Gregory said. “I understand the unique challenges that come with raising a family in the military. Between deployments, moving to a new city and the constant unknowns, anything we can do to provide a source of consistency and support to this community is huge.”

The U.S. Bank Foundation will continue to provide Community Possible grants throughout 2024. Last year, U.S. Bank donated $96.4 million in total corporate contributions and U.S. Bank Foundation giving.

*U.S. Bank Foundation is a tax-exempt private foundation described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The Foundation is funded primarily through contributions from U.S. Bank National Association and its affiliates and subsidiaries. The Foundation’s mission is to close the gaps between people and possibility in the areas of work, home, and play.

SOURCE US Bank