When a tornado struck its community in January, Texas First Bank in Pasadena, Texas, acted fast. 

“It was obvious that there was quite a bit of destruction … It was difficult to look at, to be honest,” said Robin McDougald, chief retail and product officer of the $2.1 billion-asset community bank. “When we got to work that morning, we wanted to do something.” 

Joining forces with a local Jersey Mike’s and Orangetheory Fitness, Texas First Bank employees spent the morning handing out free lunches to people affected by the tornado. Many community members were left without power and were grateful for not only the food but also the friendly faces. 

According to McDougald, some people just wanted to talk. They stopped by to express their appreciation and share their stories. “We were thrilled at the turnout and just the ability to be able to provide some kind of support to the community,” she said.

To organize this act of goodwill, Texas First called on its connections in the community. Jersey Mike’s is a client, and McDougald’s daughter manages the Orangetheory Fitness location. To provide further aid, the bank created a program that offers low-interest-rate loans to people waiting for insurance payments.

Serving others is a core part of Texas First Bank’s identity. “Our tagline is ‘Helping Texans build Texas,’” said McDougald. “That’s absolutely who the bank is. That's why I love it. That's why I've been here for as long as I've been here, which is now going on 14 years.” —Beatrice Ogeh