Monday, November 13, marked World Kindness Day. This observance was introduced in 1998 by the World Kindness Movement to help promote kindness worldwide.

While FirstBank is known for its “banking for good” mantra and philanthropic efforts, its employees carry this philosophy outside the bank and into their communities. From picking up trash, paying for groceries, shoveling snowy sidewalks, and donating to women’s shelters, see how these FirstBankers are helping spread goodness.

Meet Anna

Anna Gallegos, Vice President of AML, spends every Christmas Eve handing out “sack” lunches to unhoused residents in Denver. This three-year-long tradition has been one of Anna’s most rewarding and heartbreaking experiences.

“A tradition that started in 2020 with my roommate has progressed to include family and friends. This year, we’ll bring back the tradition by handing out nearly 100 “sack” lunches to people experiencing homelessness in Denver. It’s rewarding and heartbreaking at the same time. Especially during the holidays, it’s great to give back to someone less fortunate,” Anna said,

“Our “banking for good” philosophy encourages me to give back. I’ve always been eager to help others, but FirstBank’s various volunteer opportunities (VTO) have driven me to get out there and give back on my own. FirstBank is truly a company that molds your life.”

Meet Jake

Jake Wuest, California Market President, knows it’s the little things that count. On a cold windy night, his neighborhood was littered with trash covering the street.

“When returning home from an evening event, I noticed trash and papers littered throughout the street due to a windstorm. The wind had blown over multiple recycle and trash bins along my street. Rather than leaving it for each neighbor to deal with in the morning, my family and I walked the street to clean up the mess. Most neighbors will never know we were out there late at night cleaning up all their trash, but that’s what makes it so rewarding!” Jake said.

Meet Crystal

Crystal Wind, IT Admin. Specialist, often donates clothing and feminine products to a local women’s shelter.

“I was looking for a place to donate women’s clothing and discovered the Volunteers of America Irving Street Women’s Residence. I asked if they needed anything, and the mention of art supplies came up. I just so happened to have a lot of unused art supplies, so I donated them. The residents were super excited when I dropped them off,” Crystal said,

“FirstBank’s “banking for good” initiative has encouraged me to explore new causes and to always keep my eye out for opportunities to give back to my community. I use the VTO benefit to work with Soldier’s Angels, which offers assistance to Veterans. I also use the Employee Giving program to donate to the Seniors Resource Center, which helps seniors in need.”

Meet Melinda

Melinda Jones, Credit Risk Analyst, spends her free time giving back to local animal shelters. In fact, on Valentine’s Day she made cards and read bedtime stories to the dogs.

“I saw the opportunity on social media and thought it would be a nice way to celebrate the holiday and give some extra love to the shelter animals. It was sweet getting to spend one on one time with all the dogs to help give them a sense of normalcy along with love and compassion,” Melinda said.

While Melinda has a special tie to the Denver Animal Shelter, she enjoys giving back to her community through some of FirstBank’s VTO events, including Habitat for Humanity, Amp the Cause, The Crawl for Cancer, Brother’s Redevelopment, Food Bank of the Rockies, and more.

Meet Neal

Neal Miller, Business Intelligence Analyst, goes out of his way to help his neighbors when the weather gets rough.

“When there’s snow in the morning, I shovel the walk and front porch for my neighbors. My neighbor to the right is an elderly couple, and my neighbor to the left has MS. The clear path helps minimize the potential for slipping on any covered ice patches when they need to leave their house,” Neal said.

Meet Kamea

Kamea Cole, Northern Colorado Assistant Supervisor, took the time out of her day to help an elderly man cross the street safely.

“My boyfriend and I were heading into the grocery store when we noticed a sweet older gentleman crossing the street alone. He was moving slowly and looked nervous, so we ran over to assist him. My boyfriend hunted down one of those electric scooters, and I held the gentleman’s hand as he crossed the street. We introduced ourselves and had a quick conversation about how grateful he was. It really made our day to help him out,” Kamea said,

“FirstBank’s “banking for good” philosophy sneaks up on you in the best way. Over time, you see the change in your outlook and your mindset that bleeds into your actions. You realize how much of an impact you can make to those other than yourself, even if it’s in a subtle way, and that is what drives me to continue to give back and do good.”

Meet Tiffany

Tiffany Hixson, Learning and Development Sr. Rep., knows the importance of random acts of kindness, especially when they take you by surprise.

“My sister and I made a day of decorating bookmarks with colorful drawings and uplifting quotes. We then visited our local library and left them in random books in all different sections of the library. In total, we decorated and distributed 50 bookmarks,” Tiffany said.

Meet Heather

Heather Smith, Treasury Management Development Assistant Supervisor, is there for her friends and family when they need it the most.

“My friend posted on social media about her father’s declining health, as he suffers from polycystic kidney disease. I began a rigorous review process in August 2022 and discovered that I was a match! My recipient is a father, husband, and grandfather to five kiddos. The transplant means he may have more quality years to spend with his family,” Heather said,

“I was raised in a family that always gives back to others and our community. At FirstBank, we’re encouraged to live the “banking for good” mission, and I’ve enjoyed giving back in ways that I had not considered before.”

While World Kindness Day is celebrated once a year, our “banking for good” mantra encourages random acts of goodness year-round. Check out our Acts of Goodness page at for more inspiring stories.

Feeling inspired?

What is Colorado Gives Day? It’s an annual one-day online giving movement benefitting over 3,400 nonprofits and, as a result, all Coloradoans. FirstBank partnered with the Colorado Gives Foundation in 2010 to create Colorado Gives Day, and since then, the giving movement has raised an astounding $415 million for local nonprofits.

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