U.S. Bank Foundation strengthens communities with $10 million in grants 

December 20, 2023
Women holding colorful birdhouses
U.S. Bank community affairs manager Marcia Romero (right) works with organizations such as Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver to create access to safe, affordable housing.

U.S. Bank community affairs team reflects on the impact of giving back

Photo of Marcia Romero
Marcia Romero

’Tis the season for giving, and the U.S. Bank Foundation recently provided more than $10 million in funding to nonprofits nationwide, bringing total 2023 Community Possible giving to more than $34 million. The more than 400 grants will help support valuable community programs aligned with the foundation’s Community Possible focus areas of work, home and play. 

U.S. Bank community affairs managers see the power of investing in local communities every day as they work hand in hand with nonprofits to create opportunities for people in need of quality jobs; safe, affordable housing; and arts, cultural and recreational experiences.

As the year comes to a close, four of them share their thoughts on the impact U.S. Bank has all over the country – and how everyone can make a difference in their communities, both this season and year-round.

What is most meaningful about the work you do?

Marcia Romero, community affairs manager for Colorado and New Mexico: I am very proud of the community impact work I do every day because I know that I’m making a difference for children and families.

As a first-generation Latina college graduate, my lived experience is relevant in how I execute in my role representing U.S. Bank in the community. I get to be a change-maker! 

Wendy Chau, community affairs manager for Orange, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties in California: It means the most when I think about who is being served by the work I do.

A lot of the time we focus on the why, but for me, I hold on to the who. My work allows a child to experience the museum or the zoo who may have never had the opportunity. My work gives an individual the in-between time and resources to get back into their own home or back on their feet. My work gives hope.

Photo of Wendy Chau
Wendy Chau

How do you see the impact of the bank’s community investments in action?

Terry Dickey, community affairs manager for Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas: I see our community investments as being meaningful in the lives who benefit it. We meet families where they are to give them a hand up, not a handout, so they remain accountable for their actions and own their success.

One example that comes to mind is our work with a nonprofit agency that provides affordable housing in one of my markets in the Midwest. We are supporting a single-family housing project to help a family move into their first home, and we learned that the teenage daughter of the new homeowner was shot more than seven times and has been confined to a wheelchair.

Through our work with the local agency, we were able to provide necessary grant funding to complete a new house for the family. We also volunteered alongside the family, who ultimately will invest 300 hours of “sweat equity” in the construction of the house. Through this level of engagement, we witnessed the life-changing impact this project has had on the family by giving them a glimmer of hope and dignity as they embark on a new journey. 

Photo of Terry Dickey
Terry Dickey

Alicia Townsend, community affairs regional manager, Eastern U.S.: It’s that mother who is now a homeowner because she attended a class given by a local housing organization that U.S. Bank supported with a charitable grant.

It’s support of the arts and knowing that U.S. Bank support has helped introduce thousands of school-age children to the theatre or the symphony.

It’s the affordable senior housing apartments above the YMCA. It’s the re-developed civic space that transformed a neighborhood park, so now children from the neighborhood and all around the city run through the water spouts all summer long.

It’s seeing your community as a safe place to live, work and play.

It’s the season of giving. How can individuals best support their communities when there are so many options for giving?

Marcia: Explore opportunities that are personally gratifying and meaningful to you and your family. There may be cultural and familial connections that pull on your heart, but I always say – how are you called to serve?

Any donation of time, talent and treasure is a gift to the organization and to the community.

Photo of Alicia Townsend
Alicia Townsend

Alicia: Do what you can. Don’t think how big or how small. Give your time if you can’t afford to give money. Serve a meal or donate a food item. Sign up to volunteer to help a senior clean up their yard.

You don’t have to go far to find someone in need – you do have to say yes.

Terry: I enjoy sharing a volunteer experience with my kids. This teaches them empathy and compassion while introducing the next generation to the importance of giving back. 

So, as you think about all of the fun venues your family experiences during the holidays, explore if any of them have volunteer opportunities so you can continue the fun while doing good. 

Wendy: The best advice I give myself: I can’t help everyone or fix everything, but where I do decide to take action, it may mean everything for the person on the other side.

More stories

Learn how $12 million in U.S. Bank Foundation grants will support communities

Meet three organizations benefiting from the foundation’s Community Possible program

U.S. Bank Foundation invests $11 million in nonprofits nationwide

Grants focus on closing the gaps between people and possibility

Access Home Loan helps mother of four become homeowner

Milwaukee resident Melody Jones recently purchased the home she has rented for 15 years

Media center

Press contact information, latest news and more

Learn more

Company facts, history, leadership and more

Work for U.S. Bank

Explore job opportunities based on your skills and location