Byline Bank is dedicated to answering the call to support nonprofit and community organizations, small businesses, and economic development associations in the Oak Park-River Forest area. In 2022, the community bank, which is Illinois’ leading Small Business Administration lender, donated more than $60,000 in sponsorships to over 50 local nonprofit organizations, charitable groups and youth clubs in Oak Park and River Forest. Supporting its monetary contributions, Byline employees also gave over 200 volunteer hours to local organizations.
“There are many organizations in Oak Park and River Forest that are working hard to meet the needs of our neighbors. Giving and helping allows Byline to build stronger connections, especially with the people within our community. It improves relationships, leading everyone to have a better life,” said Susie Goldschmidt, Byline Bank Oak Park-River Forest Market President. “The health, well-being and success of our neighbors, customers and the community at large is at the heart of what we do as a community bank.”
Byline’s support of local organizations includes 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. Additionally, 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 helps our communities thrive and grow.
- Caring and education for families, children, 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 the more traditional avenues of contribution, Byline also accepted the #BettyWhiteChallenge to fundraise for adoptable animals. Held in coordination with the Village of Oak Park’s Betty White Centennial Celebration at Classic Cinemas Lake Theater, the event raised money to help place adoptable animals in the loving care of their forever families.
Building thriving communities is at the heart of everything Byline Bank does on a local level. “Our mission is to help the greater Oak Park community learn, grow and prosper by working side-by-side with these critical organizations. We want to make a difference,” added Goldschmidt.