Around Our Communities
Volunteerism and corporate responsibility are a key part of our culture — it’s how we demonstrate our commitment to and investment in the communities we serve. Our employees and partners are making a difference in a lot of exciting ways, a few of which are highlighted below.
BMO teams up with Junior Achievement to teach kids about money
Teach kids about money in high school — and it will positively affect how they think about and manage their money in the future, according to an article in USA Today citing a newly released study of 65,000 college students.
Junior Achievement (JA) has known this for a long time, bringing financial education programs to the classroom as early as elementary school and throughout middle school and high school to help kids understand the importance of entrepreneurship, financial education and work readiness.
With a shared focus on financial education, BMO Harris recently gave Junior Achievement of Wisconsin a grant of $12,500 to support the JA Personal Finance and Work Readiness programs in Dane County, part of a total of $75,000 donated by BMO Harris to support statewide programs in 2014.
The grant from BMO Harris will enable JA to serve 25 classes and an estimated 625 students in Dane County — at high school, elementary and middle school levels.
But BMO Harris’ investment in JA goes beyond money, as one of the largest providers of employee JA volunteers in Dane County. Volunteers spend 5 – 7 hours each teaching students about important financial education concepts.
“Without volunteers like those from BMO Harris Bank, Junior Achievement wouldn’t be able to make as great of an impact on the lives of the children we reach,” commented Sean LaBorde, JA Board of Director Chairperson.
Think you’d like to teach kids about the importance of managing money? Visit the Junior Achievement website to learn more.
City Year Chicago: Keeping Kids On Track for Education Success
Did you know that students who progress to 10th grade with their peers are four times more likely to graduate than students who fall behind? City Year Chicago is using that knowledge and is working to ensure that 80 percent of the students in the schools it serves reach 10th grade on track and on time.
BMO Harris Bank is proud to support City Year Chicago, as it unites young people of all backgrounds for a year of full-time service, to keep those students in school and on track to graduation. BMO’s grant supports a City Year Chicago Corps team that will be tutoring and mentoring youth in the North Lawndale community at Collins Academy. In addition to financial support, BMO employees enthusiastically volunteer with City Year Chicago to paint and beautify indoor and outdoor murals at a local high school during the annual BMO Volunteer Day.
Think you might like to be part of City Year Chicago? Visit cityyear.org to learn more.
Steppenwolf Theatre Company: Overture! Curtain! Lights! Young Artists Get a Hands-On Start
Steppenwolf Theatre Company empowers future artists and thrills audiences by producing full-scale productions for teens. It also offers hands-on training for actors and young arts administrators, including in-class and after-school workshops, through Steppenwolf for Young Adults.
Helping to provide funding for these programs for budding thespians was Steppenwolf’s recent fifth annual Women in the Arts Luncheon, sponsored by BMO Harris Bank. Honored at the luncheon were actresses Juliette Lewis, Margo Martindale and Julianne Nicholson, all featured in the new film August: Osage County, adapted for the screen by Steppenwolf ensemble member Stacy Letts.
“Steppenwolf Theatre Company has a deep history of bringing enriching performances to Chicago, which is why we are an advocate of the valuable programs and workshops it provides to our young people,” said Susan Oleari, Premier Services Regional Manager, BMO Harris Bank, and Luncheon Host Committee member.
Find out more about the Steppenwolf Theatre when you visit Steppenwolf.org.
Safe & Sound: Working Together to Keep Milwaukee Safe, Sound and Thriving
Milwaukee’s Safe & Sound organization works to make Milwaukee a safe place to work, live and raise families. And BMO Harris Bank works right along with them.
BMO Harris has supported Safe & Sound since 2004, and has donated $13,000 during that time to help fund the organization’s mission. Safe & Sound is nationally recognized for its approach to community engagement, youth development and partnerships with law enforcement.
On Nov. 1, 2013, Safe & Sound honored BMO Harris Bank with the Corporate Leadership Award for demonstrating an outstanding commitment to making Milwaukee a better city. Dave Anderson, Senior Vice President and Managing Director of Commercial Banking, accepted the award on the bank’s behalf. “Giving back is engrained in the culture of our organization, and is crucial in helping communities thrive,” said Anderson. “As a financial institution, we have a special responsibility to help communities grow while creating a stronger, healthier and more enriching place for families to live.”
Want to know more about Safe & Sound? Visit safesound.org.
One Book, Two Cities: International Book Club Connects German and Indiana Readers
There’s nothing like a good book to start a lively conversation — even if it’s across two continents and an ocean. BMO Harris Bank is sponsoring “One Book, Two Cities,” a first-of-its-kind international reading campaign. This partnership between the Indianapolis Public Library and the public library in sister city Cologne, Germany, is designed to bring our communities together around reading and discussing the book “Vienna,” by Austrian author Eva Menasse. Local book clubs and groups provide an opportunity for discussion between friends, family and neighbors. In addition to meetings in the community, there is also an international electronic book club, fostering the exchange of ideas. During January and February 2014,
Indy Public Library will host discussions and other free events related to the book. Learn more about this unique program from the Indianapolis Public Library, and visit the Indianapolis Public Library Calendar to find events in your area.
Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee
If you ask Milwaukee Bucks basketball fans from the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee, COA Youth & Family Centers, and the Coalition for Children, Youth and Families, they’ll tell you BMO Harris scores big! The bank donates tickets, food vouchers, and bags sporting the BMO Harris and team logos — a total fan experience used to reward kids for a variety of achievements in the organizations’ programs.
BMO Harris Assists Those Affected by Yarnell Wildfire | Arizona
BMO Harris Bank made donations to two community organizations supporting those affected by the Wildfire in Yarnell, Ariz. The 100 Club of Arizona provides immediate financial assistance to families of first responders and public safety officers who are seriously injured or killed in the line of duty, while the Yavapai County Community Foundation, an affiliate of the Arizona Community Foundation, is managing a special fund to assist with long-term recovery efforts in Yarnell, including relief for displaced residents, animal welfare, environmental needs and more.
Harvesters Community Food Network | Missouri
More than 250,000 meals will be served to clients of Harvesters, a community food network near Kansas City, MO., thanks to a donation from BMO Harris Bank.
“Through this generous donation, BMO Harris Bank is contributing to the health and welfare of thousands of families and children, and investing in a stronger community for everyone,” said Harvesters President and CEO Karen Haren.