If you've received an email from anyone at United Way of Thurston County (UWTC), you'll notice several logos displayed beneath our own. These organizations are UWTC's Cornerstone Partners.
Cornerstone Partners are central to our success, providing foundational support for our organization, as well as important leadership on our board and other committees, insight on community issues, thousands of volunteers who take a hands-on role in getting things done, and the financial resources to make progress on health, education, and financial stability in Thurston County.
Our Cornerstone Partners are among our most engaged supporters; they participate in the community at United Way volunteer opportunities, and they are active and engaged in helping us achieve our goals in Thurston County.
Cornerstone Partners work every day to deliver the highest service to our community. We thank them for their dedication to helping us achieve our mission of fighting for the health, education and financial stability of every person in our community.
Below is a spotlight on one of our Cornerstone Partners, Heritage Bank!
United Way of Thurston County: Please tell us about Heritage Bank for those that aren’t familiar with your organization.
Heritage Bank: Our company is defined by the combined heritage of our people. We've been in business for more than 94 years and have stayed focused on the fundamentals of banking. We remain dedicated to our customers, our employees, our shareholders and the communities we serve.
As a community bank, our mission lies in building long-term personal relationships. It’s ingrained in the way we do business. We also believe that keeping our local economies strong and vibrant starts with supporting local businesses.
Heritage Bank is a $7.3 billion Washington state-charted full-service commercial bank under the holding company Heritage Financial Corporation which is traded on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol HFWA. The bank is the 208th largest bank in the US (top 5% of banks) as reported by the FDIC.
Heritage is a unique and innovative community bank in the fact that we develop our own software solutions which is typically only accomplished by large institutions.
United Way of Thurston County: Why is Heritage Bank passionate about its commitment to United Way of Thurston County as both Cornerstone Partner and annual Workplace Giving Campaign partner?
Heritage Bank: We believe in helping build strong and vibrant communities. We believe in the possibilities for each and every person—and the power of community to improve the lives of those around us. We invest significant time and resources toward creating hope and opportunities in the areas we serve. Whether we're sponsoring philanthropic events or rallying the team to support United Way, we're always looking for ways to plug in and give back. Serving our neighbors is what we do. It's what we've done for more than 90 years. And it's as core to our company as our banking services. We know when neighbors help neighbors, the whole community benefits. And that's true prosperity.
Our Heritage Helps mission, aligns with the United Way in that we both fight for the health, education and financial stability of every person in our community. We do this by identifying critical needs within our focus areas and investing in local nonprofits doing the best work to meet those needs. We solve complicated issues by participating with community stakeholders and collaborating to develop short and long-term strategies. We as well are excellent stewards of our donation dollars and are committed to making an impact.
United Way of Thurston County: What is something interesting or surprising that most people don’t know about Heritage Bank?
Heritage Bank: We are committed to being the leading bank in the Pacific Northwest by continuously improving – customer satisfaction, employee empowerment, community investment and shareholder value.
United Way of Thurston County: Is giving back to the community part of Heritage Bank's mission?
Heritage Bank: We were the recipient of a 2021 American Bankers Association (ABA) Community Commitment Award for Affordable Housing. Heritage Bank, Seattle, Washington stepped up to help address homelessness in their community. The bank financed a $15,160,000 construction loan and provided an equity investment of over $21,000,000 to help build apartments for single adults who have stabilized after homelessness. They partnered with Plymouth Housing to build Kristin Benson Place in Seattle, Washington, which includes 91 studio apartments. This is the second of eight new buildings that Plymouth plans to build to address chronic homelessness in the community. With the help of Heritage Bank, they are well on their way to their goal of developing an additional 500 apartments within the next four years.
United Way of Thurston County: How does Heritage Bank engage employees in serving the community?
Heritage Bank: We have multiple ways to engage employees in serving the community. Two of our signature programs are designed to encourage employee engagement through 8-hours of paid volunteer time and a $100 dollar-for-dollar corporate match for every employee (matches are 2-to-1 in March). In addition, the bank holds the annual UW Pledge campaign with a goal of $40,000 to get to the bank contributed an additional $15,000.
Employees are also encouraged to participate on nonprofit boards and committees.
United Way of Thurston County: Thank you, Heritage Bank!
Learn more about Heritage Bank here: https://www.heritagebanknw.com/home/home.
For more information about the Cornerstone Partner program, contact Mike Leonard at MLeonard@unitedway-thurston.org.