Even small gifts change lives

Donations Pour Forth During Blistering Heat

As a record-breaking heatwave hit Phoenix in June 2021 – pushing temperatures over 115 degrees for six straight days – Bell Bank employees rallied around an organization working to keep the homeless population hydrated.

“The money’s important, but it’s the attitude – I am blessed to be around so many great people.”– Doug Hawes, Bell Bank SVP/Commercial Banker

Bell Employees

Doug Hawes, Senior Vice President/Commercial Banker

Camelback – Phoenix



Society of St. Vincent de Paul



The Need

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul – a worldwide organization dedicated to serving the poor – gives out 2,500 bottles of water a day to the Phoenix metro homeless population in the summer.

“Water is precious,” says Jess Roman, Society of St. Vincent de Paul senior development officer. “Without it, our bodies would not sustain life.”

Seven days a week, the organization’s water truck delivers water, food and hygiene kits throughout the area.

“It’s a survival thing,” Jess notes. “These folks don’t have the resources, so it’s certainly a lifeline.”


The Impact

Doug Hawes, a commercial banker in Bell’s Camelback office in Phoenix, met Jess, a former banker, years ago when they worked together. He’s been helping with the cause for a while, and in the beginning, when Bell only had a few employees working in the area, Doug was able to solicit a few donations.

This year’s donations blew everything else out of the water.

“I sent out 1 email,” Doug explains. “It was 118 degrees that week, so people understood the need. I got money stuffed under my keyboard when I was out of the office, I got checks, I got Venmo, of course Pay It Forward money. “

Nearly 50 employees made some type of contribution.

“Half the money came from Pay It Forward, but the other half came from employees’ pockets,” Doug notes. “The money’s important, but it’s the attitude – I am blessed to be around so many great people.”

Bell employees ended up donating more than $4,000 – and 125 cases of water. Many employees brought their kids, and they delivered the water on a summer afternoon – so they could feel what it’s like to be outside loading water on a blisteringly hot day and truly understand the impact of their donation.

“It’s my belief that everybody wants to do something, but you often don’t know how to,” Jess remarks. “For Bell Bank to facilitate some real comradery and give back in that way is really special.”

Through the Pay It Forward program, Bell gives employees money each year to donate to people and causes they care about.