New ways of giving, same commitment to the community
The act of giving looks a little different now. It may be occurring in an unfamiliar place, using a different method or even by supporting a new cause. But for AgFirst Farm Credit Bank and its employees, the commitment to lifting up others in need has never wavered.
Since the pandemic began, AgFirst and its employees have extended the commitment to making the Columbia, S.C., region and beyond better places to live, work and grow by donating $290,675 to the American Red Cross and the United Way of the Midlands (UWM).
This year AgFirst has donated $100,000 to the Red Cross, with $50,000 allocated for blood donation testing and disaster relief for those recovering from Hurricane Laura in Louisiana and Texas, as well as Hurricane Sally in Louisiana, Alabama and Florida. In addition, during the Bank’s annual United Way workplace campaign, Bank employees generously pledged more than $113,675 to help confront the challenges of societal problems ranging from hunger to homelessness. The Bank added $52,000 as well as an additional $25,000 to the UWMs COVID-19 relief efforts.
“Our employees are some of the most generous in South Carolina, and I am proud of their efforts to continue supporting the United Way and its partner organizations during this challenging time,” AgFirst President and CEO Tim Amerson said. “Many of them have been directly affected by the pandemic. Putting the needs of others over their own truly speaks to their character.”
Because most Bank employees are still working remotely, AgFirst’s 2020 United Way campaign did not include the usual games, tournaments and other fund raising events as in previous years. However, AgFirst employees still contributed because they believe in the core mission of the United Way, which connects community services with the disadvantaged, the disabled and individuals and families unable to meet their most basic needs. These contributions will enable United Way partner organizations to feed the hungry, assist with healthcare needs, meet rent and mortgage obligations and keep utilities on for many of the Midlands’ most vulnerable citizens.
The Bank’s Red Cross donation comes at a critical time because collecting blood and plasma has become more expensive due to additional safety precautions and COVID-19 antibody blood, platelet and plasma testing. AgFirst’s response is also intended to help the many Association member-borrowers who were directly impacted by the recent hurricanes.
“We are no stranger to the damage that can done by hurricanes in our state,” Amerson said. “We have seen firsthand the critical assistance that the Red Cross provides to communities during times of crisis. We will always lend a hand to our neighbors throughout the region as they navigate the hardships caused by these storms and the pandemic.”