MORGANTOWN, W.Va – Nonprofits Pantry Plus More and United Way of Monongalia and Preston counties teamed up with Clear Mountain Bank for a service project where bank employees filled over 200 backpack kits with supplies for children.

The event was the conclusion of the first-ever Clear Mountain Bank Day said CEO Dave Thomas.

“It’s just to reinforce our community focus,” Thomas said. “We were founded here, we’re locally managed and all of our entire team knows what it means to give back to the community and for us, it was about ending on a positive note and ending on what’s most important to us, which is really giving back to the community.”

The backpacks were filled with school supplies, hygiene products, and blankets. Some went to Pantry Plus More supported schools in Preston, Harrison, and Garrett (Maryland) counties and the other kits United Way plans on donating to children in the foster care system.

Bank employees filling backpacks with supplies for children

All of Clear Mountain’s staff lined up in neat lines with backpacks in hand and filled them with supplies and then at the end of the line wrote a handwritten note to the recipients and slipped them in the bags. Thomas said the collaboration was only for a day but that it was part of the wider program called Clear Mountain Cares through which they give team members a day off to go volunteer at a service organization of their choice.

Thomas said the event with United Way and Pantry Plus More “was something extra”.

“It was just a great day,” Thomas said. “It was great to have everybody roll up their sleeves and be a part of it. I think it makes it more meaningful when you’re part of the process and we’re just blessed to be able to do it.”

Backpack kits already stocked with supplies.

Roark Sizemore, the president of Pantry Plus More, said that Clear Mountain Bank donated almost all the supplies, but that his organization threw in some extras to help giveaway as much as possible. Sizemore added that he was appreciative of the collaboration with the bank, which he said came into being only after about two months of communicating back and forth.

“Partnerships like this are the ways that charities get to keep doing the work that they’re doing and especially when you’re trying to meet more of the need, to completely meet the need,” Sizemore said. “It’s so important to have these sustainable partners that can be there year and year again that you can work with to do these kinds of projects that bring the community closer and that brings all the shareholders to really work on a problem.”

Sizemore continued by saying that both nonprofits are always open to collaborating with any companies looking to make a difference in their community.

“If you’re a company that’s looking to do a service project or team-building or looking to get more involved in your community, the United Way or Pantry Plus More would always be more than happy to work with you guys and come up with something,” he said.