From the heart, the hands move into action, and there’s no better time for heartwarming — or, rather, hand-warming action than Christmastime.
Northview Bank, which serves 12 locations across the state, kicked off its Hearts to Hands program this year, which director of marketing Crystal Kilichowski described as an “awareness, exposure and marketing program.”
“We are a community bank, and we want to give back to the community,” Kilichowski added.
On November 1, the Northview Banks set up white Christmas trees, which were fashioned to look like a snowman. A hat on top, a scarf around the neck, and mittens poking out from its branches, it kicked off the campaign to bring hats, mittens and scarves to the local communities respective of the 12 locations. And, considering the goal of the campaign, Kilichowski said the snowman-trees work well with the program.
Northview compiled a list for each branch of local non-profits. The staff at the branches then get to decide where to donate the collected hats, mittens and scarves. On December 19, an employee gets to bring the items over to the selected non-profit.
“The community has had a great response to the program,” Kilichowski said. At the Barnum location, which is the branch Kilichowski works from, over 200 pieces have been collected. “Our tree skirt is made up of hats, mittens and scarves.” In Hinckley, Marianne Papenfuhs donated over 30 handmade scarves.
Not only has the community shown up in big ways for the drive, employees also have an opportunity to participate by simply wearing jeans. On Fridays, employees of Northview Bank may wear denim jeans, but only if they pay five dollars. That pool of money will go towards purchasing more hats, gloves and scarves for their local non-profit.
These items are practical and a must for winter in Minnesota. Kilichowski said, “Hats and gloves are always needed amongst kids. Adults, too.” She added that when a person receives an item, they also receive a “kindness card” with it. Half a dozen different messages of kindness were printed on these cards by Northview Bank.
Because of the positive community response, Kilichowski is confident the program will continue through the years. Northview’s Heart to Hands hats, mittens and scarves drive goes until December 18. Drop-off is at any of their 12 locations, which can be found on their website, www.northviewbank.com, or on Facebook.