In planning the U.S. Bank Community Possible Relay earlier this year, we went through many iterations of what the "mobile baton" would look like. It was inspired by the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile, started as a RV, turned into a van with a trailer and, finally, a coach bus.
I remember being in San Diego to help the team kick off the relay, wondering what this bus would actually look like. As my daughter and I were waiting to meet the team, I was pre-occupied with my phone when she said, "Uh, mom – I think that is your bus." I will never forget what I saw when I looked up… this huge coach bus beautifully wrapped in our brand colors with a large U.S. Bank logo and a list of the cities we would visit covering the sides. It was my first glimpse of our mobile baton which quickly became known as "Big Blue."
That moment feels like yesterday and yet just this past week, we crossed the finish line of our 12,000-mile, 38-city, 25-state journey. A highlight of my career and one of the craziest, most memorable things I have ever been a part of.
With the leadership of our two relay team captains Dixcy and Jibreel, we were able to surpass our goal of inspiring 153,000 volunteers – representing 1,000 volunteers for each year U.S. Bank has been a company. I could not be more proud of our relay team and all the U.S. Bank employees and community members who engaged with us over the past three months.
We have made significant impact in our Community Possible pillars of Work, Home and Play across our U.S. Bank footprint. This journey has truly taught us that we are more alike than we are different and that the spirit of unity can be very powerful. With all of the challenges facing our country today, it was an inspiring reminder of how Americans are at our best when come together to serve the common good.
Our relay finished in our headquarters market of Minneapolis. I was in awe as I watched nearly 100 kids from the YMCA participate in a financial education relay led by our employee volunteers. It was in that moment when the kids were dancing and singing alongside our volunteers, that the real impact of this relay the difference we are making in our communities hit me.
While we will miss tracking the bus as it moves across the country, seeing the awesome images of Dixcy, Jibreel, our U.S. Bank volunteers and the faces of the community members we served… our relay isn’t truly finished. We will continue to invest our time, resources and passion in economic development by supporting efforts to create stable jobs, better homes and vibrant communities. We will power possibility for those we serve getting better every day. And together, we will continue to make Community Possible.
Reba Dominski is senior vice president of corporate social responsibility at U.S. Bank.