Do you remember the last time someone genuinely thanked you? Went out of their way to recognize your contributions and express their gratitude? Chances are that heartfelt phone call from your BFF, warm email from a coworker, or plate of cookies from your neighbor was a welcome surprise that put a smile on your face for the rest of the day.
Now, can you imagine if that heartfelt token of thanks came from your bank?
It’s rare that companies take the time to thank their customers these days. In fact, it’s become the norm for customers to feel unappreciated — waiting in line or holding on the phone to conduct transactions and feeling nickel-and-dimed by hidden fees. It just doesn’t seem right.
That’s why Ally Bank created Banksgiving — a time of year when we strive to say “thank you” in a big way, by personally recognizing some of our amazing customers and surprising them with gifts that support their families and the causes they are passionate about this holiday season.
This Banksgiving, Ally representatives surprised unsuspecting customers who called in to our service center, asking how we could help them beyond their banking needs. Then we fulfilled their special requests.
We granted wishes big and small — from a set of baseball tickets to a new car — all to help customers who help others.
Angel Fitchett lives in Houston, TX and is an army veteran and a single mom with an adopted 12-year old daughter. She volunteers for the Abundant Harvest Food Truck, providing meals to the homeless, senior citizens, those affected by natural disasters, and others in her community.
Volunteering has been a part of Angel’s life since she was a child, and she believes that giving back is an opportunity to teach her daughter how to help make the world a better place.
By talking with Angel, we learned that Abundant Harvest had just moved to a new facility, so our Banksgiving surprise included delivering brand new appliances to the organization to support their mission of feeding people in need. We also learned that Angel had recently sold her house, and she and her daughter had been living in a hotel during the transition, so we gifted her one year’s rent to help bring the family home for the holidays and give them a fresh start for the new year.
Ryan Galle is a care coordinator at Central City Concern, a Portland, Oregon based center that helps recovering addicts get healthy and transition back into society. As a care coordinator, Ryan makes sure that patients at the center are connected with a group of doctors and mental health professionals that can help to improve their well-being as they recover. He lost his dad to addiction and thus feels a strong sense of purpose in helping others overcome addiction.
For his dedication to this important cause, Ally’s Banksgiving gift to Ryan included a donation to help ten people complete treatment at Central City Concern. Outside of his work at the center, Ryan is an avid baseball fan and he runs a local softball league. So, as an added treat, we surprised Ryan and his wife with a VIP trip to see a Red Sox vs. Yankee game in Boston.
Vince Horiuchi is a dance educator who brings the art of break dancing to underserved communities and students in Los Angeles. When funding was cut to one school where he was working, Vince began a YouTube channel to continue to reach his students. He says that when children learn to express themselves through movement, they build a strong sense of self-worth and confidence that influences their daily lives and leads to improved classroom behavior.
Ally learned that Vince struggled to travel from school to school with his equipment in an older car. So, for Banksgiving, we gifted Vince a new car to make it easier for him to connect with students. We also donated the funds needed to bring back visual and performing arts programs to the El Monte school district for the 2020 school year.
This Banksgiving, Ally wants to thank all of our customers — especially those who are helping to make their communities a better place.
See last year’s Banksgiving surprises.
Check out more details about Banksgiving.