Anniversaries are typically celebrated with cake, balloons and presents. Virginia Commerce Bank had other ideas.
Rather than throw a party for their 20th anniversary this May, Virginia Commerce Bank decided to give back to the community that has helped them throughout the years. All 26 Northern Virginia branches chose charitable organizations to work with, ranging from the Ronald McDonald House to the Alexandria Animal Welfare League.
“We figured the celebration is really how much the community has helped us as a company grow,” Robin Coracci, senior vice president of Retail Administration and Marketing for VCB, said. “We really felt we owed the community for their continued support over the years. It was just our way of truly giving back.”
Dan Marks, branch manager for VCB on King Street in Alexandria, said it was a great opportunity to help local residents in need.
“It was really good to take time out and volunteer to help the less fortunate,” Marks said. “We wanted to remind everyone what a community bank is all about.”
SINCE VCB originally opened on May 16, 1988, the company decided to devote the entire month of May towards community outreach. Some branches joined together for a particular cause. Most of the Alexandria banks partnered with the non-profit “Rebuilding Together Alexandria,” an organization that provides free repairs to homes in need of assistance.
A group of employee volunteers worked on the home of a 76 year-old widow who raised five children in a three-bedroom townhouse in Alexandria. The workers helped fix a leaky roof, the interior handrail to the stairs and the front walkway among other repairs.
“There were safety issues but it was also the ability to have her to live in place—not to have to have her feel she had to go to a retirement home,” Bob McCoy, a senior vice president and regional manager, said. “We were able to give her the ability to at least extend those years in her house more safely and comfortably. That is a good feeling.”
Katharine Medina, Executive Director of “Rebuilding Together Alexandria,” said the organization would not be able to achieve what they set out to do without the help of volunteer groups such as VCB.
“For many years Virginia Commerce Bank has financially supported us,” Medina said. “But this year they sent volunteers to help work on a house. Without volunteer teams like Virginia Commerce Bank we would not be able to give the services we provide to homeowners that allow them to stay in their homes.”
Employees from the Alexandria, Arlington and Newington branches worked with “Christmas in May,” in which they helped a single mom with four children move and settle into a new apartment. As the workers were about to leave at the end of the day, the six year-old boy said, “I have been having a really rough time lately and I cannot begin to thank you for all of these wonderful blessings.”
Other services provided by VCB include work with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the Loudon Abused Women’s Services and the Fair Oaks Manor Care.
Steve Reeder, executive vice president of retail management, said it was important to give back to a community that has supported them all these years.
“It is very fulfilling and worthwhile for our employees to support different organizations,” Reeder said. “The stronger our communities are the better place it is to live and to do business. The satisfaction that you make from helping other people who are less fortunate is like no other.”