Perhaps you remember the movie “It's a Wonderful Life.” In the movie James Stewart played George Baily a banker in the town of Bedford Falls. As a banker George Baily touched many lives—sometimes with even what seemed the smallest of action he had changed the lives of the people in his community. And indeed provided the seeds for growth and development of the community.
Through the journey that takes you back in time, changes the actions of one life, then goes forward to see the outcome, the movie watcher views not only the value of one life and the importance of the contribution of the individual but how one business can have an impact that builds and binds a community.
Johnson County Kansas has its very own George Baily. It is Jon Stewart, President and CEO of Metcalf Bank. For more than 40 years the strong commitment to community has been a tradition at Metcalf Bank. The people at Metcalf Bank believe that it doesn't just work in the community they work for the community. This commitment to community can be seen in the actions of the bank.
One of the significant ways to measure the community involvement is the time, talents and skills given by the associates of Metcalf Bank. Metcalf Bank has an employee volunteer program that encourages getting active. Between 70% and 75% of the associates participate in this program.
The associates who volunteer outside of work hours earn "Met Bucks" they can use as currency at the "Met Mall" to purchase t-shirts, hats and other gifts. Each year the Metcalf bank associates spend over 5,000 hours helping the community not-for-profit, educational, civic and social organizations.
In addition to getting associates busy in the community Metcalf Bank supports many community events and initiatives. This is how we at the Volunteer Center of Johnson County have come to know and appreciate their community support. Metcalf Bank has been a supporter of our event The Volunteer of the Year for many years. When Metcalf Bank supports your event you know that they mean it.
There is one initiative of Metcalf Bank that demonstrates their commitment to education – "Saving with Mandy and Andy." This program partners with local grade schools to upgrade financial literacy. By providing this program to local schools Metcalf Bank agrees to pay the expenses of all printed materials to be used. The materials include Teacher's Guide and student Workbooks, Metcalf Bank will offer to do a classroom visit with a speaker and do bank tours at a location convenient to the school.
Metcalf Bank is also a strong supporter of Chambers of Commerce, civic clubs, the arts and many community events. They truly are the neighborhood bank. While it is difficult to articulate the many gifts of Metcalf Bank it is not difficult to find people from every walk of life who can tell you a story about how Metcalf Bank changed their lives. It is often this neighborhood bank that makes school loans to folks who believe that they would not have otherwise been able to go to college. It is often the wise decisions of Metcalf Bank that make loans for homes and for business ventures possible when others would not. This wisdom and willingness to support this community is what most resembles that savings and loan in Bedford Falls depicted in the movie. A neighborhood bank supporting the community one family at a time – moving the family, the neighborhoods and the community forward. Metcalf Bank offers us this basic truth of life that we all would like to believe—that each of us, no matter how apparently insignificant, has the power to make a difference, and that the measure of our humanity has nothing to do with fame or money, but with how we live our life and conduct business on a day to day basis. This community is what it is today because of the gifts of Metcalf Bank.