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Making Life Great Grants December 2019

Coming Together to Create Stronger Communities

Great Western Bank is committed to Making Life Great in the communities we serve. By partnering with local non-profit organizations we help find solutions to the many unique challenges facing our communities. We recently awarded another round of Making Life Great Grants to worthy non-profit organizations within our nine-state footprint. We are proud to support organizations that are important to our communities and that align with our values. Read what our recent recipients had to say:


Food Bank of Siouxland - Sioux City, IA

The funds received from the Making Life Great Grant will benefit the Food Bank of Siouxland’s BackPack Program: Food for Kids.

Launched in 2006, The Food Bank of Siouxland's BackPack Program: Food for Kids provides food to children as they leave school at the end of the week to ensure they have food to last them over the weekend. The Food Bank of Siouxland procures the food for the weekly deliveries to 10 Sioux City and South Sioux City schools and coordinates the assembly of the food sacks by volunteers. School district vehicles deliver the sacks to the school buildings and on the last day of the school week, the food sacks are placed in the students’ backpacks to take home for the weekend.

“The BackPack Program is so critically important for the students we serve, but an expensive program as well. Anytime the community steps up to help us with this vital work, we are extremely grateful!” said Executive Director Linda Scheid.

By working together we are able give those in need some hope and a hand up by ensuring they have food for today … and food for tomorrow.


CenterPointe - Nebraska

CenterPointe’s mission is to help the people we serve get better, sooner, for longer. Last year, CenterPointe provided services to more than 3,300 individuals in our communities who are experiencing co-occurring diagnoses in mental health and substance use and who are experiencing homelessness or are at risk of being homeless; we’re here to support some of the most vulnerable people in the community. For recovery to truly take place, basic needs have to be met – and self-care and housing is an essential component. Our goal is to eliminate the fear of not being able to meet basic needs, so people can focus on their health, emotional well-being and recovery first.

What are basic needs? For some, it’s several rolls of toilet paper and a bar of soap to make it through to the end of the month. It’s the ability to access deodorant, shampoo, shaving cream and razors – things many people grab off the shelf and don’t give a second thought about. In residential programs, it can be towels and bedding. For the Street Outreach team, it’s hand sanitizer, baby wipes, granola bars and new socks, underwear and t-shirts and even sleeping bags; through their activities, the outreach team develops relationships with individuals who may someday choose to access services through CenterPointe.

Across CenterPointe’s 37 programs – from residential treatment to supported housing to individuals accessing Outpatient Services – meeting basic needs can also include helping an individual as they transition into independent or supportive housing. Christy, a care manager at CenterPointe, recently shared the needs of one individual:

“[They] are very excited about moving into [their] first ever apartment. However, with a limited income, [they] are having difficulties buying essential items. We have found a full-size bed and frame and are looking for used furniture. We’ll also need to find basic household goods such as: blankets, pillows, tables, chairs, dishes, utensils, cups, bowls, couch, microwave, pots and pans, silverware, towels, cleaning supplies, and a laundry basket.”

Great Western Bank’s grant, in support of basic hygiene and street outreach supplies, will give individuals access to items that can meet their everyday needs: things like soap, washcloths, cleaning supplies, laundry soap and bedding. CenterPointe is grateful for Great Western Bank’s commitment to the community and your support of the dignity of all people!


Project Hunger Inc. - Grand Island, NE

The mission of Project Hunger is to provide food to the hungry, as well as raise awareness of the hunger issues in our community. The funding from the Making Life Great Grant will allow Project Hunger to continue to bless families in our community with food throughout the year through several outlets provided by our organization and through a number of different organizations in Grand Island. It costs approximately $150 to feed a family of four for 7 to 10 days. Food costs have gone up and the needs at our local food pantry have increased dramatically. This funding means more than before with the increase in food costs our organization has experienced.


Decatur County Development Corp. - Leon, IA

With funds from the Making Life Great Grant Program, we will continue our efforts to solve workforce issues in Decatur County. The funds we received will be used to enhance existing and create new workforce development programming for K-12 students and adults who are looking to re-enter the workforce, and assist adults who are currently underemployed. We plan to provide additional training for individuals or groups who are interested in starting businesses in Decatur County. We currently provide one-on-one support for entrepreneurs, but with these funds, we will increase our impact by hosting workshops to reach a larger number of entrepreneurs at one time. Funds will also be used to assist with marketing efforts to tell the story of Decatur County, and recruit new and expanding businesses to our area to increase the amount of available jobs.


Junior Achievement of Arizona

Thank you so much to Great Western Bank for awarding Junior Achievement of Arizona with a grant of $2,500. This funding will be used to support, 74 low-income students in Maricopa County with our K-12 Financial Literacy and Workforce Readiness In-Classroom program. This program will teach students how to save for the future, balance a bank account, invest in the Stock Market, and differentiate between needs and wants.


The Hope Crisis Center - Nebraska

The funds will go towards the renovation of two apartments nearing completion which will provide shelter to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in Gage, Fillmore, Jefferson, Saline, Seward, Thayer and York Counties in Nebraska.


The Friendship Center - Des Moines, IA

The funds will be used to provide 40 local low-income families in Des Moines, IA with financial and budgeting education as well as additional needed items to help their current living situations. We can’t thank Great Western Bank enough for the Making Life Great Grant especially during this holiday season!


People against Child Hunger - Watertown, SD

The People against Child Hunger (PACH) organization of Watertown South and surrounding area is incredibly honored to have been select as a beneficiary of the Great Western Bank Making Life Great grant in the amount of $3000. The PACH program provides healthy food to students in the Watertown area operating on the premise that good nutrition is a key component to a child’s ability to learn and focus in school, which in turn pays it forward so that a child can then improve his own and others quality of life. Picture from L to R is Curt Trego, Market President of Great Western Bank of Watertown, Marci Lewno, board member, Rob Haddad, board member and Sue Luken PACH President.

High Hope Employment Services - Milan, MO

Great Western Bank in Milan, Missouri awarded High Hope Employment Services Inc. the Making Life Great Grant in the amount of $7,500.00 which will be utilized to assist services offered at the Homeless Shelter in Milan. Pictured left to right Andrea Rowland High Hope’s Executive Director. Greg Hedges Business Banker at Great Western Bank, Jennifer Ballinger, Milan Great Western Bank Branch Manager, Jackie Roberts Great Western Bank Retail Manager and Paige Cannon High Hope’s Fiscal Director/Human Resource Director.

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