First Bank headquarters Southern Pines

The First Bank headquarters on Broad Street in Southern Pines.

First Bank, North Carolina's largest community bank, has created a new corporate social responsibility program its calling the Power of Good.

The Power of Good will launch with two initiatives: the first kicks off on March 19, in celebration of the International Day of Happiness on March 20. That Friday, every First Bank employee (including those of the larger holding company, First Bancorp) will be given $20 to perform good deeds for unsuspecting strangers at any time through the following Friday (March 26).

With every deed done, associates will leave behind a small card encouraging the recipient to continue the chain of good and to visit www.localgooddeeds.com to share what they did to pay it forward.

The second initiative of the Power of Good establishes an approach to employee donation matching. Each quarter, a nonprofit will be selected for all associates to support, and the bank will match up to $10,000 in donations. This will begin in April, and for its inaugural quarter, the bank has chosen to focus on supporting the families and communities across the Carolinas who need food assistance.

Employees are encouraged to pick a food bank that serves their area, and the bank will match:

Money donations – dollar for dollar

Food donation – dollars to pounds

Volunteer time – $10 per hour

Each charity for the remaining three quarters of the initiative will be chosen by the bank's associates across its three regions.

"At its heart, we're aiming to make a tangible, long-term difference in people's lives, to engage and energize our associates, and to further deepen the impact we have across the Carolinas as a force for doing good," said Mike Mayer, First Bank president and CEO. "The Power of Good allows us to accomplish those goals and to find creative ways to support our local communities."

First Bank has a long history of giving back to the community and has donated thousands of dollars to local nonprofit partners, to community groups, and to foster economic growth across North and South Carolina. In 2017, the bank ran the year-long "Dream It, Do It" campaign, in which the bank awarded a total of $100,000 to individuals to help make their dreams come true—with $25,000 given away every three months to winners selected by a committee of First Bank employees in partnership with local nonprofits. The participating organizations also received a $10,000 donation for their help in picking the winners.

"We're excited to announce the Power of Good and look forward to the launch of its first two initiatives," said Mayer. "As we continue to grow, it makes sense to create a formal approach to our giving as a company. This new program is a great first step to do that."

To participate in the Good Deeds week or to learn more, visit www.localgooddeeds.com.

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