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Casual For A Cause

January 17, 2022 By: Great Midwest Bank

After a week of dressing up for work, who doesn’t love dressing down on the weekends? We do too! And once a month, our team participates in our very own, special version of “casual Friday.” We call it “Casual for a Cause.”

Because community is at the heart of everything we do, we decided that casual Friday was going to mean something more than just getting to wear jeans and sneakers to work. While we enjoy that part too, the best part about Casual for a Cause Fridays is that it’s an opportunity to raise money and awareness for organizations that are making a positive impact on our communities in Southeast Wisconsin.

At the beginning of each year, our branch locations submit the names of organizations helping people in the Milwaukee, Brookfield, Hartland, Madison, and Chilton communities that they want to support. From that list of organizations, we create the calendar for a year, choose our favorite pairs of denim, lace up our tennis shoes, and bring our donation to add to the collection jar. If you stop by your local branch and everyone is wearing jeans, ask us what organization we’re supporting this month. We love to talk about it, and we’d love to add your donation to the jar. Every little bit helps!

Casual in 2021

In 2021, we raised $11,325 for 12 local charities including Make A Wish Wisconsin, Gilda’s Club Madison, the Wounded Warrior Project, Milwaukee Street Angels, Camp Hometown Heroes, the Women’s Center, the Ice Age Trail Alliance, Habitat for Humanity, Calumet County Salvation Army, Meta House, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin Toy Drive, and Milwaukee Empty Bowls.

2022 Charitable Organizations

This year, we are proud to support the following charities through our Casual for a Cause events:

January: Make-a-Wish Wisconsin

Our West Allis branch chose Make-a-Wish Wisconsin, a favorite organization we love to support again and again. Make-a-Wish grants wishes for children with life-changing critical illnesses. They strive to give kids strength and hope for the future as they battle through tough times. A wish granted not only lifts the spirits of the kids but has the power to unite communities.

February: YMCA of Dane County

The YMCA of Dane County strives to strengthen communities. Our Madison branch is inspired by the Y’s dedication to build “healthy, confident, connected and secure children.” Working side-by-side neighbors, building community to benefit children of all backgrounds is an idea our team can rally around.

March: Alzheimer’s Association

Alzheimer’s and dementia are two illnesses that hit close to home for many people in our communities. That’s why the team who works in our Brookfield loan building chose to support the Alzheimer’s Association, an organization leading the way to a future without these painful illnesses through research, education, and advocacy.

April: Inner Beauty Center

Our Greenfield branch chose to support the Inner Beauty Center, an organization providing resources and transitional living for those who have been exploited through abuse and human trafficking.

May: Camp Hometown Heroes

Camp Hometown Heroes is an organization our entire team has a passion for serving. Through Casual for a Cause and multiple volunteer events, we have made an effort to support this remarkable organization whenever we can. Camp Hometown Heroes provides a free week-long summer camp for kids of fallen US service members. The camp gives them and their families an opportunity to build relationships with other people who understand what they are going through and to begin to heal from their traumatic loss.

June: Best Buddies in Wisconsin

Best Buddies provides opportunities for employment, leadership development, friendship, and inclusive living for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities such as cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, autism, Fragile X, or Williams syndrome. Our Brookfield branch chose Best Buddies as their organization this year, and we can’t wait to support them through Casual for a Cause in 2022.

July: Emma Loves Dogs

Our Hartland branch has chosen to support Emma Loves Dogs this year. This organization honors Emma Mertens, an eight-year-old girl from Hartland who passed away from a brain tumor in 2019. Emma did in fact love dogs. She loved all animals, and she would often ask that for her birthday, in lieu of gifts, people make donations to local animal shelters. So, to honor Emma her family launched the Emma Loves Dog Foundation “to provide financial assistance to those in need that share the same passion for helping animals that Emma had.”

August: Habitat for Humanity

Another organization that our entire team gets involved with on a regular basis is Habitat for Humanity. One of the favorite parts of our jobs is seeing people embrace homeownership for the first time in their lives. So it is just a natural fit that Habitat for Humanity partners with people in local communities to help them build- or improve- a home that they can call their own. Habitat for Humanity is our August charity for Casual for a Cause in 2022.

September: Shop with a Cop

This year our Chilton branch has chosen the Shop with a Cop program as the September benefactor of our Casual for a Cause day. The program supports disadvantaged youth and their families during the holiday season by partnering children with a law enforcement officer as they shop for Christmas presents for their families and, of course, the kids get to pick out a present for themselves too. After shopping, the kids get to enjoy a party with Santa as they help wrap the presents they picked out for their family.

October: Franciscan Peacemakers

Our Bayside branch selected the Franciscan Peacemakers this year. The Peacemakers is another great organization in our community that is helping victims of exploitation and human trafficking. They provide food, hygiene products, and warm clothes to women still on the street, and they also offer a two-year program that provides housing, outpatient treatment, and employment. 

November: Annual Toy Drive for Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin

Every November, all of our branches participate in WSSP’s annual toy drive to benefit Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. In addition to the toy collection boxes available at all of our locations during the Toy Drive, we also ask all of our little elves to put a festive spin on their casualwear as we collect donations for the Toy Drive. It’s truly one of our favorite ways to kick off the holiday season. 

December: Rawhide Youth Services

Last, but certainly not least, our Southridge branch has chosen to support Rawhide Youth Services this year. The Rawhide team works to equip at-risk youth to lead healthy and responsible lives by providing them centered care, treatment, and education. They are inspired to act with compassion, helping teens and young adults struggling with mental health, emotional, and behavioral challenges to experience healing and hope.

Posted in  Simply Giving