As with 2008, Community West Bank employees once again decided to skip a company holiday party and put those funds to use to help several local nonprofit organizations.

“Our employees’ philanthropy of time, money and talent should not go unnoticed by the community,” Community West Bank president and CEO Lynda Nahra said. “I continue to be amazed at their generosity of spirit.”

Employees at the bank’s five branch offices and at its corporate headquarters selected organizations within their communities by identifying the greatest need during the holiday season. While some funds were provided by the bank, many employees made personal donations of money and time assisting their communities in the following ways:

» More than 500 Christmas stockings prepared for children of The Angel Project in Roseville

» Answering phones and raising funds during the Unity Shoppe’s annual telethon

» Providing toys and essential items for families associated with Family Care Network, The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree, the Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation and St. Jude’s Catholic Church

» Donating more than 300 pounds of food and several hours of volunteer service to the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County

» Providing and wrapping hundreds of toys for the children of People’s Self-Help Housing as part of its Stuff the Bus toy drive

“This is a challenging year for everyone, but together we made a difference, raising nearly $10,000 for needy kids and our youth education program,” said Jeannette Duncan, executive director of People’s Self-Help Housing. “For many of these children, these are the only gifts they received at this time of year.”

— Lynnette Coverly is the vice president of marketing for Community West Bank.