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90 Choice Bank employees volunteered to help Golden Drive assemble 500 bags at our Ignite Leadership Retreat in August.

Building Birthday Bags for Homeless Youth

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Bettering the places we live remains an integral value to all of us at Choice. To us, this means building a community that is supportive of everyone, especially those who are disadvantaged. So we partnered with Golden Drive Homeless Kids to build birthday bags for homeless youth.

Golden Drive Homeless Kids is a nonprofit based in Fargo, North Dakota, with a core mission to raise awareness of the homeless crisis that the children in the community are experiencing. Golden Drive connects members of the community to the kids in need. Every year, Golden Drive hosts a birthday bag build event, during which totes are filled with cupcake decorating items, napkins, plates, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and handwritten notes of encouragement for local homeless children ranging from five to 12 years old. The birthday bags give homeless youth a little hope and something to celebrate.

This year, 90 Choice Bank employees volunteered to help Golden Drive assemble 500 bags at our Ignite Leadership Retreat in August to help bring joy to kids experiencing homelessness on their birthdays. The bags were then delivered to local homeless shelters and support services.

“Words can’t describe the impact that this makes on our community and our homeless kids. It gives them hope, people care. It’s beautiful,” said Sue Baron, founder of Golden Drive. “It’s just another way that our homeless kids are overlooked. You know, they don’t get to enjoy that one day — that special day. It gives them hope.”

Golden Drive hosts many fundraisers and events all in hopes to end childhood homelessness within the Fargo-Moorhead community.

“We certainly hope that someone sees this and hears that there’s a large homeless under age 18 issue here in Fargo and maybe that will spark them to think of an idea that they can help,” said Eddie Sheeley, Choice Bank market president.


Creating Ripples

It is important to us to not only support the communities where there is a Choice location, but to also support the communities where our virtual team members live. The Birthday Bags made at our Ignite were distributed around the Fargo-Moorhead area and additional birthday bags were shared with our virtual team members to distribute in their own communities. These bags landed in Detroit Lakes, Bismarck, Walhalla, and even San Antonio.

mother and daughter
Choice employee Sarah Grahn donated 50 birthday bags to her home community, Detroit Lakes, MN.

Choice employee Sarah Grahn brought 50 birthday bags home with her to Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, to deliver to Mary’s Place, a shelter for women and their children who have been victims of domestic violence or sexual assault.

“They were so happy to receive this donation, and it was a great learning experience for my daughter. I was able to explain to her that not everyone has a home, and some kids don’t get birthday parties because the parents can’t afford it,” Sarah said. “Choice values all employees’ locations and the communities we live in, even for the virtual employees.”


Teachers in San Antonio, Texas, distributed birthday bags made by Choice employee Honey Bueno.

Choice employee Honey Bueno brought some bags home with her to San Antonio, Texas, and with the help of some teachers gifted the bags to homeless students in a local school district.

Choice Home Loans and Insurance team members assemble birthday bags at a retreat.

Also, at an insurance and mortgage retreat in Fargo, Choice team members came together to assemble even more birthday bags for homeless youth in the community.

It’s about more than banking for Choice. We invest in the communities we serve through volunteering with local organizations like Golden Drive because as a community bank we are committed to serving our neighbors.

Bettering the places we live is one of our core values. We’re dedicated to enhancing the quality of life and economic viability of families and businesses in our communities. Learn about our People First history here.