Freedom Bank celebrates birthdays with seniors every month

Wednesday, May 10, 2017
Doris Baxley opens and reads a birthday card from Freedom Bank of Cassville employees, personally signed and with $10 Cassville Cash voucher inside, at the Cassville Senior Center on Friday. The bank has been visiting the center for over 10 years each month to deliver birthday cards for seniors having a birthday that month, and to have lunch with them. Julia Kilmer/reporter@cassville-democrat.com

Bank sets example for giving back to community with acts of service

It’s been said that every day is someone’s birthday, and one day every single month at the Cassville Senior Center, Freedom Bank of Southern Missouri helps make birthdays special for area seniors.

Each month throughout the year, bank employees take turns visiting the center to eat lunch with seniors having a birthday that month to help them celebrate. During their visit, they bring a birthday card for each senior, along with Cassville Cash, which can be used at area merchants.

Freedom Bank of Cassville employees Kristi Wood, front left, and Beth Hudson, back right, enjoyed a special birthday lunch with seniors on Friday, to celebrate their birthdays for the month of April. Each month for over 10 years, bank employees take turns visiting the center to have lunch with seniors and make their birthdays extra special by bringing a card and a little something extra inside, like Cassville Cash vouchers. Julia Kilmer/reporter@cassville-democrat.com

“I think what they do is wonderful,” said Kristina Atwood, center administrator. “They come out and eat with them and give them cards, and our seniors really look forward to it.”

Senior Doris Baxley opened her birthday card while eating lunch to find several personalized signatures of bank employees inside, along with $10 Cassville Cash. On the back, a slew of local businesses were listed where it could be spent. She wasn’t sure where she would spend it just yet, but enjoyed getting it.

Kristi Wood, lead teller at Freedom Bank of Cassville, said the bank is very involved in its community.

Freedom Bank of Cassville employees Beth Hudson, standing, left, and Kristi Wood, right, visit with guests at the Cassville Senior Center on Friday, after enjoying a homemade lunch with area seniors to celebrate their birthdays. Each month, bank employees have visited the center to celebrate seniors’ birthdays by visiting with them for lunch, and bringing them a birthday card, making their birthdays special. Julia Kilmer/reporter@cassville-democrat.com

“We do a lot for the community, and this is something we enjoy and something all the employees can partake in through the year,” she said. “Two of us come each month to deliver the cards.”

Beth Hudson, vice president of compliance at Freedom Bank, said bank employees have carried on the tradition of bringing cards and celebrating birthdays with seniors for at least 10 years.

“It got started one year, and we just enjoyed it so much, we kept it up,” she said.

The bank is so involved in the community, that its ongoing acts of service could serve as a template for Corporate America to follow in giving back to its community.

Each year, the bank divides into teams, and each team chooses a service project to complete.

“We’ve done all kinds of things,” Hudson said. “We have a section of highway in Seligman we’ve adopted north of the bank there down to the Arkansas state line, where we’ve picked up trash for years. We had a team that helped paint a Habitat house, a team that planted flowers and landscaped an area in the city park, we’ve worked in concession stands for junior football, picked up trash and wiped down tables at Sonic, held customer appreciation lunches and gathered money for Relay for Life.”

Last year, bank employees helped out at Kids Fishing Day, helped pack OACAC backpacks for area students, gathered donations for the food pantry at United Methodist Church, held food drives for the Shell Knob Senior Center, and partnered with the Shell Knob School to collect hygiene and school items for students.

After so many years, it’s just become part of their corporate fabric and culture.

“If we find out there’s a need, a lot of times, a team will pick that up,” Hudson said. “It just part of what we do.”

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