FirstBank has announced that for the second consecutive year it will partner with global reforestation nonprofit One Tree Planted to plant five trees for every FirstBank Bloom Package — which includes Bloom checking, Bloom savings, online banking, estatements and a FirstBank Visa debit card — opened between Jun. 1 and Aug. 31.
The financial institution, which has four locations in the Coachella Valley, operates with a focus on “banking for good,” which California Market President Jake Wuest says "is truly just about doing what's right and what's best for our community, our employees and our customers. And if our decisions are led by those three things, then it's always going to generally be the right decision."
One of those decisions was to plant trees in areas that needed them.
“The tree population we have in California is vital to our diverse ecosystem, and we are thrilled to support our employees’ passion for green causes while also empowering our customers to make a positive impact on the environment,” Wuest says. “We look forward to the longstanding impacts of this campaign as we work to replenish the health and vitality of our neighborhoods and our planet.”
Wuest says the tree planting initiative was suggested by a FirstBank employee. And joining forces with One Tree Planted worked on a number of levels. "(The organization) operates in the three regions we have locations: Colorado, Arizona and California. And each of those areas is no stranger to drought conditions, wildfires and all the negative effects they have on our health of our forests. And so, it just is a great partnership and aligned very well."
Last year, 50,000 trees were successfully reforested as a result of the campaign. This year, FirstBank is hoping to plant 50,000 more. The native trees will be planted throughout California, Colorado and Arizona in an effort to improve air quality, filter and conserve water, support wildlife and more.
Planting trees is just one of the ways FirstBank gives back to the community. Through its partnership with Colorado Gives Day and Arizona Gives Day, the company has helped raise more than $392 million for nonprofit organizations. The bank also provides all employees two days of paid volunteer time off (VTO) to support causes they’re passionate about.
Here in the Coachella Valley, the bank has pledged money for donations and scholarships to a number or organizations, including Family YMCA of the Desert, Coachella Valley Rescue Mission, Habitat for Humanity and the Coachella Valley Housing Coalition.
For more information about the program, visit efirstbank.com.
As the philanthropy and special sections editor at The Desert Sun, Winston Gieseke writes about nonprofits, fundraising and locals who give back. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article originally appeared on Palm Springs Desert Sun: FirstBank aims to plant 50,000 trees for second consecutive year