Choice Bank employees gathered after hours on Thursday, September 10 to make wheelchair ponchos for Maple Manor Care Center residents.
“We had 10 employees participate on-site,” said Choice Bank employee Hillary Girodat. “Even employee’s working from home were able to come in.”
The event is part of the Ignite Program, started in 2015, where Choice Bank employees have the opportunity to volunteer in community service activities. All Choice Bank locations took part in making the wheelchair ponchos as part of the event. The focus on senior citizens came from a discussion group that tried to identify people most impacted, in part, by the pandemic.
“The wheelchair ponchos kind of developed after talking to a few facilities who identified the need for something easier and faster to cover residents with during the winter months as it was difficult in many situations to get coats on them and keep them warm enough,” said Choice Bank President Todd Borchardt.
“The blanket poncho was such an awesome idea. It’s great to know that we can do something as a team to help the residents of Maple Manor during this time,” said Choice Bank employee Morgan Zeis. “I know so many of them are lonely and are missing their families, so hopefully this brings them a little bit of comfort.”
Choice Bank has also initiated an employee pen pal program with their local nursing homes or assisted living facilities.
“We hoped this would be a good way to connect with folks who may be experiencing loneliness and bring a bright spot to their day,” said Borchardt. “I’m really looking forward to the pen pal program specifically. I’ve always enjoyed visiting with and learning from elders. Their stories and information from years gone by are important to listen to and give us all a look at a really tough generation of people. Our history is extremely important, and allowing the generation before us to share their stories and memories is a great way to retain it. So for me, it’s very enjoyable, and if I can help brighten someone’s day by giving them a piece of mail to look forward to receiving - it’s even better yet.”
Sixteen wheelchair ponchos and a care package will be delivered to Maple Manor within the next 1-2 weeks.
“We are very excited because the residents will love them,” said Maple Manor Activities Director Justina Klindt, “and we thank Choice for doing this.”