In 2021 Byline Bank answered the call for support from nonprofit and community organizations, small businesses, and economic development associations in the Oak Park-River Forest area. The community bank, which is Illinois’ leading Small Business Administration lender, donated more than $50,000 in sponsorships to over 25 local nonprofit organizations, charitable groups and youth clubs in Oak Park and River Forest. Bolstering its monetary contributions, Byline employees also gave over 200 volunteer hours to local organizations.
“We believe supporting our community means not only giving money, but being generous with our time and resources. Our employees are as rooted in the neighborhood as the local businesses and organizations we work with,” said Susie Goldschmidt, Byline Bank Oak Park River Forest Market President. “Byline Bank is honored to stand by organizations across diverse areas of service, all of which do vital work and make Oak Park a more connected, vibrant and equitable community.”
Byline Bank supported local organizations include those working in the fields of food insecurity, educational resources, schools and learning centers, arts, animal welfare, at-risk children and infants, gender equality, health care, and communities in crisis. Some of the specific initiatives include:
Reducing food insecurity: Byline is actively involved with Beyond Hunger, a nonprofit organization that provides hunger-relief programming and services, providing Community Development grants for operations needs and sponsorship of the annual fall benefit concerts. Goldschmidt also sits on the Beyond Hunger Board of Directors. In addition, Byline is a sponsor of the Suburban Unity Alliance Community Fridge located at the Euclid Avenue United Methodist Church.
Promoting equality: Support for organizations such as Women’s Global Education Project and Oak Park Area Lesbian and Gay Association Awards help our communities thrive and grow.
Caring and education for families, children and infants, and adults with special needs: Organizations such as Opportunity Knocks, Age Options, Infant Welfare, Sarah’s Inn, Hephzibah, Oak Leyden, A Place to Belong, The Learning Center, A House in Austin and many more local organizations have partnered with Byline Bank to serve the community.
Outside of these more traditional avenues of contribution, Byline also gives back by featuring local businesses and organizations on local advertising via the Lake Theater Marquee, in local publications, and on social media and its website – extending their reach to new potential patrons.
Building thriving communities is at the heart of everything Byline Bank does for the community. “Our mission is to help the greater Oak Park community learn, grow and prosper by working shoulder-by-shoulder with these critical organizations. We want to make a difference,” added Goldschmidt.