Even small gifts change lives

Pay It Forward

Adopt a Need Helps Families in Crisis

Bell Bank started the Adopt a Family Program with the Rape and Abuse Crisis Center (RACC) of Fargo in 2001. Over the years, our team's generosity has brought a merrier Christmas to many families in crisis situations due to domestic violence or sexual assault. In doing so, we've shown these families that their community cares. In 2015, RACC developed a new program, Adopt a Need, designed to meet the needs of many more victims throughout the entire year. Through the years, Deb Loos, a receptionist at our north Fargo branch, has organized and been the main contact for Bell with RACC.

In the 2016 holiday season, Bell Bank gave a whopping $12,075 to support victims of domestic and sexual violence through Adopt a Need. What an impact! Kara Odegaard, RACC director of development, wrote, "Bell Bank is a rock star, and this total is so amazing! We just can't thank you enough. Special thanks to Deb, for all she does to make this happen!"

RACC staff members (a hard-working group who served the needs of more than 3,000 clients last year) were overjoyed when various Bell teams delivered piles of gifts: boxes and boxes of diapers and pull-ups, gas and grocery gift cards, journals and markers, and more.

Karla Winandy, a customer service trainer at Bell, may have best summed up our experience helping with this project.

"Every year, I am overwhelmed with the generous hearts of my co-workers," says Karla. "When there is a requested item that isn't quite so popular or easy to find, someone always steps up and takes on the challenge. This year, we collected over $500 worth of gifts and supplies. I understand the need for anonymity with our donations to the RACC but I really wish that everyone could come with when I drop off the gifts. The gratitude from the staff is palpable, and I usually have to spend a few minutes in my vehicle, composing myself before I come back to work."