Every pet deserves to find a home where it will be loved. That’s why Gate City Bank team members have donated nearly $30,000 and countless volunteer hours to help bring new life to a Minot animal shelter, which provides much-needed care for furry little friends, both locally and throughout North Dakota.
This unique partnership started in 2019, when local team members heard that Souris Valley Animal Shelter was seeking community partners to help out at its busy facility. The shelter has helped approximately 35,000 animals over the last 40 years.
Philanthropic giving and volunteerism are at the core of Gate City Bank’s culture, and team members are encouraged to give back to causes they’re passionate about. As it turns out, the Minot team is most definitely passionate about pets.
“We’ve always adored Souris Valley Animal Shelter,” says Mason Cool, Senior Mortgage Loan Officer, who also sits on the shelter’s board of directors. “They work hard to care for creatures in need of a second chance, and we support that cause.”
It didn’t take long for the Minot group to bond with the shelter and its tenants. Team members volunteered at the facility regularly and provided representation on the shelter’s board of directors. They even invited pets to some of their staff meetings at Gate City Bank.
“Souris Valley Animal Shelter became like family to us,” says Ellen Knutson, Retail Manager. “We wanted our partnership to grow.”
And grow it did, beginning with Giving Hearts Day 2020. Through Gate City Bank’s volunteer match program alone, team members raised $3,000 for the shelter. Additionally, the nonprofit was one of the Bank’s official Giving Hearts Day recipients, receiving $5,000. That same year, Gate City Bank was named “Corporate Sponsor of the Year” during the shelter’s annual gala, to which the Bank donated $1,000.
Gate City Bank was just getting started. For Giving Hearts Day 2021, the Bank donated nearly $12,000, plus another $1,000 toward the annual gala. Additionally, the Bank has provided financial and logistical support for a number of other events for the shelter.
2021 was also the year that Gate City Bank helped with a much-needed renovation at Souris Valley Animal Shelter. The Bank donated $5,000 toward the project, and the ribbon-cutting ceremony was held in early October.
The updated shelter includes more space for animals to exercise, as well as a revamped office area and new medical rooms. During the construction process, staffers worked in temporary quarters and animals were entrusted to foster families throughout the area.
In addition to attending the ribbon-cutting, the local Gate City Bank team celebrated the new facility by holding its March 2021 staff meeting there. Team members are excited to continue fostering their partnership with Souris Valley Animal Shelter for years to come.
“This place is definitely near and dear to Gate City Bank’s heart,” Knutson says.