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FSCB presents Community Impact Initiative award

First State Community Bank recently awarded a local business with a Community Impact Initiative award. Each year they select one recipient for the award as a way of giving back to the community.

Sharon Clifford and Ruth Adams with First State Community Bank are pictured with this year's FSCB Community Impact Initiative project.

Sharon Clifford and Ruth Adams with First State Community Bank are pictured with this year’s FSCB Community Impact Initiative project.

First State Community Bank Market Loan Specialist II Ruth Adams said it is something they recently started and that all of the First State Community Banks take a portion of allotted funds and each branch gets to pick a project within their community.

“It goes by branches and this was a particular project that the Bonne Terre, Terre Du Lac and Desloge office all did as one project,” Adams explained. “This is our third year doing this and we have helped the SEMO Violence Council and the Parkland Foster Adopt in the past.”

Adams said they chose to help A-1 Adult Daycare with an outdoor facility for the participants and this was their first impact project where they were able to go onsite and interact and meet the participants of the program they were helping.

“This was an eye-opening, humbling experience when we met those people,” Adams said. “We felt very proud to be able to help such a great group. The need for what Amy (Keller, owner of A-1 Homecare and Adult Daycare,) does in our area really opened our eyes to the work she does down there.”

Members of the First State Community Bank Community Impact Imitative group gather at the location of their chosen project, which was a new play area for the A-1 Adult Daycare participants.

Members of the First State Community Bank Community Impact Imitative group gather at the location of their chosen project, which was a new play area for the A-1 Adult Daycare participants.

Adams said they have been taught at First State Community Bank to be mindful of their surroundings and of the community and its needs. She said there has always been an open door policy where if they saw a need First State Community Bank Bonne Terre Branch President Kevin Cook wanted to know about it.

“He has always been very huge in supporting our area and he asked me if I wanted to spearhead this particular project for this year,” Adams said. “He asked what ideas I would have for that and it took about five minutes for it to pop in my head.”

Adams recalled one day when she was coming back from lunch and she saw a group of people in the parking lot playing kickball. She said it dawned on her that must be where they have their outside activity for a lack of anywhere else to go.

“That’s when I realized what A-1 Daycare facility was. In my mind I thought that maybe it was for elderly people,” Adams said. “When you think of home healthcare you think of the elderly, but that is not what her project is all about over at the daycare.”

Adams said more than anything it is young adults who need a little bit of help and can’t be on their own. They go there for socialization, interaction and learning life skills, along with having a safe place to spend time.

“I really didn’t realize that was what Amy was doing at that particular location,” Adams said. “I just automatically thought of home healthcare, so when I saw that group outside playing it was automatic when (Cook) asked what kind project we could do to better our community, I immediately thought of her facility.”

Adams said when they met with Keller to tell her what they were planning on doing, Adams found out that Keller had been planning on doing something like this for a very long time, but had been saving money before she could do the project.

A-1 Adult Daycare now has an outdoor area for the participants that FSCB Impact Initiative helped fund.

A-1 Adult Daycare now has an outdoor area for the participants that FSCB Impact Initiative helped fund.

“It all kind of worked out and went perfect,” Adams said. “We were pretty proud of how it turned out and excited to be able to go by and see them using the outside activity area. It’s a neat project and it makes you feel really good about what you did.”

Adams said they helped them with the fenced in area, helped them put a basketball goal together that Keller had previously purchased and poured the concrete pad for the basketball goal area and the patio/picnic area.

“We built them a flower and vegetable garden area and put seed down for grass,” Adams said. “We also helped them assemble a swing set she had purchased. It’s a really nice area and Keller had mentioned to me there was one participant who couldn’t go on field trips because of her condition.”

Adams said with having an area right outside of the building now she is actually able to participate in some outside activity with them now, while before she couldn’t.

Keller was honored to be considered for the community award.

The new outdoor area features a large garden box, patio, swings and a basketball hoop.

The new outdoor area features a large garden box, patio, swings and a basketball hoop.

“It does depend on income of the participants and if they meet eligibility,” Keller said. “There was a questionnaire they had us fill out to see if we met the qualifications for this and we did meet all levels. So we were awarded it.”

Keller explained it she was awarded this because Adams drove by one day and saw all of the adult daycare participants playing on the parking lot.

“She immediately thought of us for the Community Impact Initiative so the daycare kids can play in a safer environment with more things to do,” Keller said. “When they called us to set up a meeting and I went to talk to them, it was all very ironic and I believe it was God’s blessing because we had planned on building a playground anyway. We were weeks away from actually beginning the project on our own and then the bank actually awarded us this project. It was just perfect timing and it all just fell into place.”

Keller said the bank actually paid for a portion of the playground and A-1 paid for the remaining balance. She stressed that this gives these kids an outside play area that is safe and fun and a way to get them outside to let off energy.

“We planned on doing this anyway, but when they approached us I couldn’t believe it,” Keller said. “We started it earlier than we expected and it is already complete. We are trying to grow some grass in there, but the kids were so excited about it that they have been out there already.”

Keller said the thing they like the best about it is the garden box. She explained they are very big on their participants being active in the community and giving back to others.

“That is what we try to teach them on a daily basis,” Keller said. “We have a lot of homecare clients who don’t have a lot of food and we want to give them food. That is one thing we are trying to teach the adult daycare participants, giving back to others and giving back to the community.”

Keller said now that they have the big garden box they are growing just about everything it: watermelon, tomatoes and more. When that food is available they are going to teach the participants about giving to others.

“It was hard to even contain them inside the building until it was 100 percent done,” Keller said. “I think we may even have an issue with growing the grass because they couldn’t wait to get out there. They love it and it’s exciting for them. They like to get out there and play basketball. We are happy to get out there with them and see the joy and happiness on their faces. It’s just unbelievable.”

Keller said she wanted to thank the bank. She doesn’t think they would have been able to half the things they actually did out there if it wasn’t for them reaching out into the community and assisting.

Renee Bronaugh is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3617 or rbronaugh@dailyjournalonline.com

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