Habitat for Humanity accepts a grant from Great Western Bank

An Expansion on Impactful Investments for Our Communities


A single word that brought hope and optimism back into many lives in 2020. It has been a simple motto for how we, as a collective group, will persevere through these challenging times even though we have redefined what it means to gather together. Our communities have come together in a figurative manner to support one another and we (figuratively) stood right beside them.

Our commitment to serve our communities in a meaningful and positive manner is and has been a tenet of Great Western Bank since inception. This year we took significant and immediate action to protect the welfare of our communities by donating more than $2.2M to organizations throughout our footprint along with 8,180 hours of employee volunteer services.

As part of our total contribution, we provided over $384,000 in COVID relief to non-profit organizations that work tirelessly to serve individuals directly impacted by the pandemic.

We also continued our annual Making Life Great (MLG) Grant program, with $395,000 donated to 36 non-profit organizations. The MLG Grants target innovative programs that enhance the quality of life within the communities we serve. 

YMCA Cass County received a grant to help with child care.

Here are just two of the wonderful examples:

  • In March of 2020, we awarded YMCA of Cass County (ND) a $5,000 MLG Grant to provide child care for the parents who hold emergency and medical roles. This vital service allows essential personnel to focus on the health and safety of our community while having a safe place for their children to be fed and well-cared for. Here is what the YMCA had to say about the partnership:

    • “As we continue to provide vital community services, we are grateful for support from partners like Great Western Bank! Supporting our community’s front lines, providing essential personnel child care, and feeding youth are necessary in ensuring safety/longevity in our community.”

  • In May 2020, a $10,000 MLG Grant was awarded to Habitat of Humanity of Metro Denver to help address the challenges many homeowners were facing as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. The funds were used for low-to-moderate income homeowners to ensure they will continue to have safe and affordable shelter. Many of the homeowners work in the service sector and have experienced job insecurity during the crisis and are now struggling to make their mortgage payments.

In addition, we asked the public to help us recognize local heroes who have gone above and beyond during the pandemic as part of our one-time award program called Great Gifts of Gratitude. Through an online nomination process, we received over 600 nominations and were inspired by the stories of heroism, unwavering dedication, unconditional love and self-sacrifice. The program allowed us to show over 130 winners across our footprint our appreciation with a total of over $60,000 in gifts.

Elementary teacher who found innovative ways to ensure her students thrive

Here are a few examples of the incredible individuals, but you can read the full stories for our top 10 winners at www.GreatWesternBank.com/Gratitude

  • A dedicated therapist in Nebraska offered free therapy for anyone in need and through her own efforts, started a group of 40+ therapists to offer free mental health support. Here is what she said:

    • “There are really no words that could describe how thankful I was in that moment, to be recognized and given gifts while sharing this moment with people that have been phenomenal mentors and friends. My heart was just so full that I honestly didn’t know what to say or how to express how grateful I was in that moment!”

  • A selfless neighborhood hero offered free child care to her neighbors upon school closures and while maintaining this service, also delivered loaves of bread to those in need. She even provided transportation and grocery deliveries to elderly community members.

A local distiller limited normal production to make and donate over 10,000 gallons of hand sanitizer.

“I go back to our mission and values,” said Mark Borrecco, President and CEO. “We want to empower our employees with opportunities and resources to provide trusted service and relevant contributions. More so, we want to make sure we are committed to the communities we serve now more than ever.”

Enriching our communities was a focus for us this year and will continue to be an essential component of our culture because even in the best of times, you come out stronger if you work together.

Related Posts

Great Western Bank employee helping a customer at the Drive Thru window.

A Renewed Focus on Our Employees

We assessed how we live and work. In an abundance of caution, we looked for solutions to keep everyone safe in a year unlike any other.