As a people helping people organization, giving is in Ascentra's DNA. We encourage our staff be the hands and feet of service to our communities and to those in need. During this season of giving, Ascentra gives each staff member $50 to go out and bless an individual, family, an organization, or a mission or service in need. We call it our "Be the Light" program and it has been such a joy to watch as our staff work collaboratively utilizing these funds to make a positive impact on others. Many times, the smallest gesture can make a huge difference in someone's life.
The Salvation Army has been serving others since 1865 and has a reach that is far and wide. They serve in 131 countries around the globe and assist approximately 25 million Americans annually. Their mission is to meet human needs without discrimination. Ascentra is partnering once again this year with the Salvation Army to raise funds for our local Salvation Army Service areas covering the Iowa Quad Cities, Moline, Muscatine, and Clinton communities. Ascentra members, this is where you can help! Get your new or used auto loan with Ascentra and we will give you $50 as well as give $50 to the Salvation Army. Working together, we can make a big difference to support and care for individuals in need.
Food insecurity continues to be an issue in our region and we are very thankful for the good work being done by the River Bend Food Bank to safely store and distribute food to a network of food pantries in our communities. Their service area spans 23 counties in Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois and they partner with over 400 hunger relief organizations to fulfill their mission to end hunger. The River Bend Food Bank is a large operation and they do it very, very well. At Ascentra, we decided to do a mini version of food collection to provide Thanksgiving meal baskets to approximately 50 families in central Davenport. Our staff and members were encouraged to donate all of the side dishes for the meal and Ascentra provided the turkey, ham, milk, butter and rolls. A team of Ascentra staff packaged up the meals at the Lincoln Center just before Thanksgiving, and with the help of staff at the Lincoln Center, the meals were distributed to families needing a little extra help this season. A big thank you to our Ascentra staff and members helping with the food collection!
2022 is the 75th anniversary of Toys for Tots, and Ascentra's branch locations have been a collection site for as long as I can remember. The mission of the U.S. Marine Corps Quad Cities Toys for Tots Program is to collect and distribute new unwrapped toys as Christmas gifts to those children less fortunate in our local communities. In 2021, over 22,790 toys were distributed to 6,246 children in Scott, Muscatine, and Clinton counties in Iowa and Rock Island, Mercer, and Henry counties in Illinois. In Clinton, toys are collected for the Scott for Tots and are distributed through the Holiday Network in mid-December. Our Ascentra team wanted to do more and hosted bake sales in our branches during November to raise a few extra dollars to help fill those toy boxes! Thank you for helping us fill the boxes and being a partner with us to make a child's Christmas a little brighter.
At Ascentra, we first and foremost want to provide our members with quality financial products and excellent member service, but we also strive to be a good corporate citizen in the communities we serve. We are so thankful for your membership and together we can make an impact by improving the lives of others through service and giving of our time and talents. During this season of giving, I encourage you to Be the Light for others in everything you do!