Ulster Savings Bank (USB), headquartered in upstate New York, has been a fixture in the Hudson Valley since 1851. To commemorate their 170th anniversary on April 12, the institution launched an initiative to celebrate with ‘170 Acts of Kindness’. Since the effort began, the community outreach team at Ulster Savings has donated toys and puzzles to a local homeless shelter, as well as stuffed animals to an area child abuse prevention facility.
They’ve also picked up the tab for everything from garbage collection, haircuts, pizza, groceries, restaurant meals, flowers, and coffee—to the fees for New York State auto inspections at local garages—all to ease the worries of local citizens who’ve been financially impacted by COVID-19.
The bank’s CEO and President Bill Calderara explained on the company website “Celebrating our 170th anniversary with just as many random acts of kindness is our way of spreading kindness and supporting our community following a challenging year. Especially in times of crisis, being responsive to the community’s critical needs is paramount.” Beginning in March 2020, USB proactively dispersed $64,500 to immediately support local efforts in providing food and other essential services during the COVID-19 crisis.
The community-centric bank had a well-earned reputation for its philanthropy long before the pandemic. Twenty years ago, in honor of the bank’s 150th anniversary, Ulster Savings created its in-house charitable foundation, the Ulster Savings Charitable Foundation, to “assist the community in the areas of education, housing, and health/human services.” The bank already donates a good portion of their annual profits to give back to the communities they serve.
In 2020, through their community donation program, they donated over $599,000 to support a wide variety of needs. So far in 2021, they’ve approved over $44,000 to benefit 25 non-profit organizations. Their committee meets monthly to consider new requests. “We were founded for our customers and for the benefit of the community at large. That’s part of our DNA. The also encourage employees to volunteer locally. “Our goal is that 100% of employees volunteer every year.”