Debbie started KeyBank’s partnership with the Mission 15 years ago. She commits her work to focusing on the needs of people and communities in low to moderate income neighborhoods as the Vice President and Regional Corporate Responsibility Officer for the Rocky Mountain Region.
What does KeyBank’s partnership with Denver Rescue Mission look like?
When I stepped into the community relations role, I decided to make an investment in the Mission. [Ever since then], we’ve been trying to think outside the box of how we can make an impact and how to get my employees at KeyBank more involved. In partnership with the Colorado Avalanche in the month of March, we donated $100 to the Mission for every Avalanche assist. We see the faces on the streets, but there’s so many faces that we don’t see, so this was a great way for us to make an impact for those we don’t see.
Why do you think it’s important to support both those we see on the streets and the people we don’t always see?
I have realized that you just never know when something devastating is going to happen. I think people don’t really want a handout, they just want a hand up, and to me, that’s what the Mission does. It is up to us as community to not turn our backs on the homeless. I’m just so proud that KeyBank has made the decision to partner with the Mission because I believe when you help one person, you’re helping several others within that family. Whether it’s a mom who worries about her son or someone who’s on the streets, you’re helping multiple people.
What has your volunteer experience been like at the Mission?
I’ve been aware of the Mission since I was a little girl, and it always stayed within my heart— the impact you make on community. [People] can give donations, but I think it’s so much more impactful when you get a group of volunteers to stand side-by-side. KeyBank loves to come alongside and partner and sometimes that looks like doing what we call Neighbors Make a Difference Day, where we close our branches and headquarters across the country and go out and volunteer for half a day. The Mission is very nice to take a group of our employees and it gets filled right away because people want to get involved with what you stand for.
What would you say to encourage others to get involved with the Mission?
Going and serving the food, the [guests] tell you thank you for doing what you’re doing and it’s just so impactful. You walk out of Denver Rescue Mission different than how you walked in and that to me is rewarding. Taking a few hours of your time will transform you, change your life and make you look at life a little differently.