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Wishes Really Do Come True

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Choice Bank is helping communities by granting wishes through their Wishing Well program, launched earlier this year. The program encouraged individuals in the community to identify a need and make a wish for Choice Bank to fulfill that need. No wish was considered too big or too small.

Wishes were accepted at local Choice Bank locations and online through November 2, 2018. A committee of Choice employees has spent the last month and a half reviewing wishes and allocating resources to fulfill submitted wishes. And, just last week, Choice Bank granted its first two wishes, in Moorhead, MN and LaMoure, ND.

In Moorhead, Ashley Kuntz submitted a wish for her sister, Kendra Block, single mother to her 8- year-old daughter, Macy. Kendra goes to school full-time working to become an LPN, and works part-time to support both her and Macy.

Kendra goes to school full-time working to become an LPN, and works part-time to support both her and Macy.

As a surprise, several Choice employees went out to buy and wrap Christmas gifts for both Kendra and Macy, and delivered them to their home. “It was so fun to have the opportunity to bring joy to an unsuspecting family as we head into the holidays,” says Choice employee Katie Thorlakson, “I’m so humbled that Choice gave us the opportunity to help others this season.”

Kendra and Macy opening their gifts.

In LaMoure, Dave Handt, a teacher at Litchville-Marion School, requested $1,200 to expand their Secret Santa program from the high school to include the elementary school this year. Two weeks ago, Choice employees Brent Thielges and Gaige Dunn decided to double the request as a surprise, and presented $2,400 in cash to the school.

“We just wanted to go above and beyond for these kids because they’re worth it.”

With each elementary school kids’ Christmas lists in hand, high school kids went shopping and wrapped gifts for the gift opening that took place on Friday, December 21.  “The reactions were priceless! Kids were hugging their new toy tractors and lego sets, and the high school kids were grinning from ear to ear,” says Brent Thielges. “We just wanted to go above and beyond for these kids because they’re worth it.”

Dave Handt, Brent Thielges, and Jen Lano with Santa

Additional wishes have been selected and will continue to be granted throughout 2019.

The idea for the Wishing Well was inspired by a team building event in which Choice employees were challenged to develop new ways the bank could build upon their core values, including how to better the places they live. “At the end of the day, our #PeopleFirst commitment means we are here for our customers, communities and fellow employees,” says Gaige Dunn who helped spearhead the project.