28 Years of Making an Impact on Affordable Housing & Neighborhood Stability
FNBO has made a vast impact with Habitat for Humanity of Omaha in our community. The banking company has helped move forward our mission of building strength, stability and self-reliance through shelter in several ways.
The company then-known as First National Bank officially began partnering with Habitat Omaha in 1994. This 28-year partnership has impacted thousands of lives in the metro.
FNBO has sponsored five houses locally in the history of the partnership. This year, a total of 234 employees spent 1,141 hours building a four-bedroom home for Ma Thu Sa, San Aung and their four children. “[Employees] have that insight of ‘I helped build this home for this family,’ and that’s really comforting, that’s valuable and something our employees take home with them,” FNBO Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility, Spencer Danner said of this experience.
FNBO has also partnered with Habitat Omaha through our Global Village Program. These volunteer teams build decent, affordable shelters in worldwide destinations alongside members of the host community. Each trip itinerary is balanced with work, rest and cultural experiences. The company was prompted to get involved with this program following the 7.0 earthquake that shook Haiti in 2010.
Several places in the world have benefited from FNBO’s generosity, as the company has since participated in six Global Village Trips and sponsored two. These trips allowed participants to team-build and spread Habitat Omaha’s mission abroad. “I was blessed to participate in two Global (Village) trips in 2012 and 2016. As I reflect on my Global Habitat trips to Romania and Bulgaria, one word describes the lessons I learned — perspective. Each trip (included) volunteers of various backgrounds and beliefs, all coming together for one cause. We learned not only about Habitat and its mission, ut about each other and that no matter what your ethnicity, religion or past prejudices are, we all care about the betterment of humanity and the greater good of helping others in need,” said Carrie Zoucha, FNBO Vice President, Commercial Card Corporate Banking.
FNBO employees have also been heavily involved in our Friends board. Habitat Omaha Friends board is a volunteer group dedicated to the advancement and growth of Habitat Omaha through fundraising, volunteering and friend-raising efforts. They host events such as a Habitat Omaha Staff Appreciation Luncheon and a Home Goods Giveaway. They also sponsor toolboxes for homeowners, distribute them at dedications and attend unique engagement opportunities to learn more about Habitat Omaha’s mission.
Currently, eight FNBO employees serve on the Friends board. No other corporate partner has such a strong employee connection to our volunteer groups. Kary Cameron, Friends board president and FNBO Senior Analyst, is grateful for her company’s involvement. “Supporting Habitat is fundamentally adopted and encouraged by the bank. I was lucky enough to find out about the Friends board — where I have been for six years now, and (I) am honored to serve them as their president. FNBO employees make up the largest corporate group on the Friends board, and it has been that way for years — this could easily be attributed to the community-like-mind that the bank instills in its employees; I feel confident telling you there are not many employees at FNBO that don’t know about or who haven’t served or donated to Habitat and its mission in some capacity. A prospering community is not just good for mankind,
economics and our corporate soul — it cultivates the very lives of the people we serve as a bank. This is our community — Habitat and FNBO alike,” Cameron said.
FNBO is a key supporter in the education portion of our Almost Home program. As future homeowners enter our program, they are required to complete 25 hours in the classroom as part of their 275 hours of sweat equity. Our education classes cover homebuyer education, money management, post-purchase and home maintenance. FNBO’s commitment to our education program has allowed us to add additional courses, such as those on home maintenance, and helps keeps these courses fresh and innovative.
Corporate Build Partners like FNBO allow Habitat Omaha to increase access to safe, affordable, quality housing and move our mission forward.