Missouri Bank – Making a difference

One of the awardees at the recent Center for Spirit at Work Awards Breakfast was Missouri Bank.  I thought, “how interesting, a bank reflecting values consistent with those of the Center.”  Then I heard about what they believed in and how they brought those values to life.  The more I’ve learned about Missouri Bank, the more impressed I became.  Here is some information that may help to better understand this local, committed-to-community bank:

  • Their website, which they intentionally designed to NOT be “us saying great things about us,” serves as a reflection of what their customers say about them. The home page offers their logo:  “MO Bank…be the difference” and faces in colored bubbles that speak to you, by clicking on any of the faces, you will hear actual quotes from their customers.  Check it out here.  And while you are there, you might also be interested in the “Story” tab, and within “Story,” the “Philosophy,” “Community,” and “Mobank News” links.
  • Mobank’s Crossroads branch recently won the “Green” Project of the Year award from the Kansas City Chapter of The Associated General Contractors of America. That award came on the heels of the branch’s celebrated certification as a Gold-level LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) award-winner – only the fourth building in Kansas City to qualify for the gold-level designation. Read more about this story here.
  • The bank also focuses on the wellness of their employees, offering a program that recognizes and supports wholistic well-being.  Their “Wellness Calendar” includes such topics as:  Intentional Living: Manifest Your Desires for Well-being; Heart Health; Nutrition: Food for Thought and Energy; The Power of Movement, Creativity, Play and Humor; Focus on Family; Simple Gratitude; and Spirituality and Health.   This Wellness Program utilizes a Wellness Coach that has worked with the bank for 8 years now.

The award from the Center for Spirit at Work was for the bank’s overall commitment to and demonstration of spirituality and ethics in the workplace.   What struck me was the bank’s strong commitment to doing good without recognition – even though some recognition has come their way.  The stories from their employees who have participated in the bank’s “pay it forward” program give evidence of the “be the difference” philosophy of the organization, its leadership and its employees.

The “pay it forward” program was started in 2007. It was designed to help their employees be more aware of those around them every day who often go un-noticed. Bank leaders wanted their team to be observant and notice the “invisible” people in the community. This was accomplished by drawing names of employees to give away money to some of those people. Following is the note that was clipped to the “pay it forward” money. The note did not identify in any way the source of the money. It was important to the bank that they NOT do this for any kind of recognition or marketing purpose.

I BELIEVE IN YOU…. I work for a place that believes in people, they believe that there’s a bond that we share as human beings, a bond that comes from common experiences, from similar understandings, and from hearts that desire many of the same things in life; respect, dignity, freedom, love, trust, pride. I may not know you, but I can tell that you’re an important person, with important goals in mind. I hope this gift helps you accomplish some of those goals, and that you are inspired to believe in yourself……and believe in others.”

After participating, each employee was asked to answer the following four questions about their experience of “paying it forward”:

  • Who?
  • Why did you choose this person?
  • How do you feel this person is better off for having received this gift?
  • How did it make you feel to know that you made a difference in this person’s life?

Here are selections from a couple of their stories:


For me this was a difficult process to really search out and find someone that had a real need. We see people every day who have struggles but I wanted to give my money to someone who needed it to survive. One day during lunch I went for a walk and was really looking for someone to help. I felt God really pressing me to walk to a certain place and as I was walking along I saw a man, sitting along a fence, who looked down in his luck.

Why did you choose this person?

I came up to him and started to talk to him. He opened up to me about his life. His name was Frank and he was having a lot of trouble finding a job and had just moved in with his sister’s family. He later told me that he had 3 kids. We talked a little more and he asked if I would go to the grocery store with him and buy him some groceries and I said I might be able to do something a little better than that. I handed him the piece of paper and he started to tear up. Then I handed him the money and he gave me a big hug and had a huge smile on his face. I said good bye and walked away knowing that Missouri Bank had made a difference in Frank’s life.


Who? A young women I noticed at QT

Why did you choose this person?

I noticed her struggling carrying her young son in a car seat, which he looked to be just about ready outgrow. She was carrying him in to prepay for $10.00 in gas then struggled with him back to the car and then drove her car to the pump to fill up. Her smile and they way she cared for her young son made me decide she would be a good recipient.   I remembered how expensive babies are and how drained emotionally you can be after giving so much of yourself to another all day.

I walked over and knocked on her window; she seemed wary of me but rolled down her window. I handed her the money and the note and said “I know from experience being a mom can be hard, I hope this helps.”   She said “really…really. I can’t tell you want this means” she started to cry. I just said “I hope you and your son have a blessed holiday”….ok ok I got a little teary too.

How do you feel this person is better off for having received this gift?

Hopefully she can see that others see that she is a good mother and she will feel rewarded….I hope the money helped provide a car seat, meals, or gas for her car.

How did it make you feel to know that you made a difference in this person’s life?

Since I have received my little orange envelope of money I have been so aware of people around me, looking for an opportunity. I have been amazed at the needs that I noticed just by being more aware. I feel like all the stars aligned allowing me to help this young mother. I feel better off having been the courier of such a gift.


Who? Anna Marie

Why did you choose this person?

She is a 3 year old girl with a rare chromosome disorder. There are only about 180 cases known in the world. Anna and her family have been on my home town church prayer list. She is also the great niece of one of my high school pals.

How do you feel this person is better off for having received this gift?

When Greg, her dad, opened the envelope his first were that he had just received another bill from the physical therapy program and that they did not know where they were going to get the money for it. The bill was for $200 exactly.

How did it make you feel to know that you made a difference in this person’s life?

I love being able to help in my community but the fact that she is a link to my home town and old high school friends really increases the emotional aspect. Thank you mobank for this opportunity.

Missouri Bank is making a difference!

This article was compiled from information provided by Missouri Bank’s George Satterlee, Chief Administrative Officer, and from the bank’s website.

Editor’s Note:  The Center for Spirit at Work provides a forum for people to explore and reflect on the integration of spiritual values and work.  To learn more about The Center for Spirit at Work, visit www.centerforspiritatwork.org.


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