Wells Fargo & Company marked a milestone anniversary this week. In celebrating 160 years of service to customers and communities, the financial company is making a series of donations and participating in volunteer activities across the nation.
Wells Fargo donated $160,000 to local non-profit organizations. Through voting at local Wells Fargo ATMs, eligible Wells Fargo customers in Arizona determined how the $160,000 was divided:
• The American Cancer Society: $100,000
• Association of Arizona Food Banks: $30,000
• Big Brothers Big Sisters: $30,000
The grant are part of a company-wide anniversary giving program that resulted in more than $2.5 million being donated to more than 60 nonprofit organizations across the U.S.
“The celebration of our anniversary includes ways to honor our customers, community members, and team members in Arizona and across the country,” says Pam Conboy, Wells Fargo Arizona regional president. “We’ve been working with our customers and communities to help them succeed financially since 1852, and we’ll continue to do so as we look ahead to the next 160 years of service.”
Wells Fargo will donate, build or renovate 160 homes in the communities it serves over the course of 160 days in celebration of the anniversary. The company also is organizing local volunteer activities for team members across the country. In Arizona, Wells Fargo team members are volunteering for a variety of community service projects, including the Action for Autism Radiothon to benefit Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center, Project C.U.R.E. Arizona, End Homelessness Project Connect, the WeekEND Backpack Program to help end student hunger, the Arizona Bassett Hound Rescue, serving meals at the Phoenix Rescue Mission and the Kiss Me I’m Irish Run to support prostate cancer research. Wells Fargo Arizona is also training 160 team members to deliver its Hands on Banking® financial literacy curriculum to Arizona schools and community events.
Founded as a banking and express company on March 18, 1852, in New York City, Wells Fargo opened its first western office on the waterfront of Gold Rush San Francisco on July 13, 1852, the site of the company’s current headquarters. With the merger of Wachovia, Wells Fargo once again serves customers coast to coast.
Wells Fargo first came to Arizona in 1858 when the stagecoaches of the Overland Mail Company (The Butterfield Line) began their 21-day journeys between Missouri and California. Wells Fargo helped to finance this venture and eventually ran the stage line. The route passed through the Arizona Territory until 1861 when, owing to the Civil War, it was moved north. Wells Fargo returned to Arizona in 1877 with five offices—including Phoenix and Tucson. When railroads began crossing Arizona in the 1880s, settlement, farming and Wells Fargo offices followed.
“In the 1860’s Henry Wells was asked what it takes to succeed in business,” says Conboy. ”He said, ‘There is one very powerful business rule. It is concentrated in the word courtesy.’ Today we call it ‘service.’”