by Katelyn Niehaus
December 23, 2022 – Carmi, IL – This holiday season, we were given several chances to give back to our small community. We are so blessed to have the time and resources to help out our community in any way we can, so when an opportunity arises, we are excited to take it.
Firstly, we partnered with Pets at Risk and WRUL to do our second annual “Santa Paws” event on December 3rd. For this photoshoot, pets, children, and families got to pose with Santa Claus on a set designed by our team. Digital photo releases were available for purchase, with 100% of the proceeds going to Pets at Risk. Top Shelf Discounters also raffled off the tree from the photo set to raise additional funds.
“This event has to be my favorite thing we do,” said Evil Eye Creative Studio Owner and Founder, Hailey Winkleman. “Not only is it fun, but it benefits the community, too! Animals hold a special place in my heart, so I am so happy that we get to give back to a group like Pets at Risk who helps animals directly.”
“This was the best day!” said volunteering intern, Chloe Veatch. “Just seeing all the dogs was worth it.”
Another intern volunteering at the event, Jovie Wagner, agreed: “I’m so glad we did this!”
We were also able to purchase gifts for a less fortunate child through the Giving Tree program at First Bank. We were paired with a child from our community and spent a whole afternoon shopping for Christmas gifts together. We were able to buy items the child needed as well as some toys they had asked for.
“Knowing that this child now gets to wake up and have a normal Christmas morning is a very rewarding feeling,” said Katelyn Niehaus, and intern who volunteered for the shopping day.
“This program has always stood out to me as an amazing effort by outstanding individuals in our community,” said Hailey. “I would like to recognize First Bank and the team that volunteers to put this together not just for our child, but for dozens of children in our city.”
Thank you to everyone who has supported us this year. We are looking forward to another great year, and seeing what all the new year brings our way. See you all in 2023!