FirstBank, one of the nation’s largest privately held banks with a focus on “banking for good,” surprised shoppers at Fry's stores in Goodyear, Ahwatukee and Gilbert on March 25 by paying their grocery bills as part of the bank’s annual Give It Forward campaign promoting Arizona Gives Day.
In total, FirstBank, which has a branch at 1449 N. Litchfield Road in Goodyear, covered the cost of nearly $8,000 worth of grocery bills, according to a release.
When customers arrived at the three stores to pick up their online orders, FirstBank and Fry’s staff delivered their bagged groceries and notified them the bank had covered their entire bill.
In return, FirstBank asked families to consider “giving it forward,” even if it’s just $5, to a charity of their choice during this year’s Arizona Gives Day. The annual 24-hour online giving campaign organized by the Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits will be held Tuesday, April 6.
“Last year’s Arizona Gives Day came at a time when nonprofits were beginning to struggle with the ramifications of the coronavirus pandemic, and the community truly stepped up to help these organizations,” said Joel Johnson, FirstBank’s East Valley market president. “We hope this act of kindness will inspire Arizonans to once again show their support for a nonprofit they care about, no matter how big or small the donation.”
This is the fifth year FirstBank has held its Give it Forward campaign to promote Arizona Gives Day.
Last year, it surprised pet owners at a veterinary clinic by paying their vet bills. In 2019, FirstBank employees posed as restaurant servers to pay for patrons’ tabs. In 2018, the bank pumped free fuel for drivers.
Thanks in part to these efforts, Arizona Gives Day has experienced year-over-year increases in new donors and donations, the release stated.
FirstBank has been the presenting partner of Arizona Gives Day since its inception in 2013, helping the program raise more than $23 million for Arizona nonprofits.
In 2020, the Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits with FirstBank’s support, promoted and fundraised a Nonprofit Emergency Relief Fund to raise additional money for nonprofits who missed out on crucial funding. The result was a record-setting Arizona Gives Day, with $6.1 million raised for over 900 nonprofits.
For more information about Arizona Gives Day or to make a donation, visit AZGives.org.