Even small gifts change lives

Bell Employees Become Santa’s Helpers for Families in Need

For several years, Lisa Wasson and Ashley Jaszczak have helped provide Christmas gifts to those in need through the Family Pathways Adopt-A-Family program. Once they both joined Bell Bank, their Pay It Forward dollars helped them take their donations to a whole new level.

“It's just so encouraging to know that I'm in a position to be able to help somebody and to rally other people.” – Ashley Jaszczak, Bell Bank lead teller


Bell Employees

Lisa Wasson, VP/Branch Manager

Ashley Jaszczak, Lead Teller

Forest Lake, Minn.



Family Pathways

Forest Lake, Minn.

The Need

For more than 40 years, Family Pathways has worked to enhance lives through essential services and champion positive social change. The organization does this by providing access to healthy food, domestic and sexual violence prevention and victim services, supervised visitation, and services for older adults and caregivers.

Headquartered in North Branch, Minn., Family Pathways serves the city of Forest Lake as well as Carlton, Chisago, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, and Pine counties in Minnesota and Polk County in Wisconsin.

Lisa Wasson, branch manager, and Ashley Jaszczak, lead teller, both in Bell’s Forest Lake location, often participate in Family Pathways’ Adopt-A-Family program, which helps provide Christmas gifts for children.

“We took on 25 families in 2015, and throughout the years we've continued to grow that number,” Lisa explains. “We decided to share the information with our branch and with those who have been involved in the program before to see where we could bring it.”


The Impact

Within 6 hours of sending the email, Lisa had enough support to provide gifts for 60 children. Employees started shopping at the beginning of November and were able to buy 3 to 5 gifts per child.

“What’s so great about this program is you get to add that personal touch of selecting them,” says Ashley Jaszczak Bell’s lead teller in Forest Lake. “It's just so encouraging to know that I'm in a position to be able to help somebody and to rally other people.”

“We got more gifts from Bell Bank than we have from most other organizations,” notes Kilian Donovan, community advocacy assistant manager for Family Pathways. “We needed 4 vehicles, and we packed them all the way to the ceiling with gifts.”

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