Following the success of its first project benefitting a veteran, First Service Bank will be expanding its Operation Red, White and Brave initiative to help more vets, active military and their families.
Rebecca Grumbles Barnard has been tapped to lead the ORWB Foundation and help expand its mission. She is a teacher in the Greenbrier School District and shares her family’s strong sense of patriotism. Her parents are Rita and Tom Grumbles, chief executive officer and board chairman at First Service Bank. Rebecca’s two siblings, Robin Hackett and Andy Grumbles, also work at the bank. Robin is the chief operations officer/chief mortgage officer and Andy is chief financial officer.
Rebecca has four children. Ryan, 20, attends the University of Central Arkansas and works in the care center at First Service Bank. Matthew, 17, and Jackson, 15, attend Greenbrier High School. Grace, 10, is a fourth-grader at Greenbrier Westside Elementary School.
“Our focus is a community with a strong sense of patriotism,” Rebecca said. “First Service Bank is known as the big flag bank. We want to be more than just the bank with the big flag; we want to celebrate, recognize and support the military, veterans and their families. We hope to help through physical assistance and financial support in a variety of ways.”
According to Robin, Operation Red, White and Brave was created and designed to support the bank’s vision as well as one of its core values – patriotism. In 2021, First Service partnered with Habitat for Humanity and communities across the state to raise $80,000 to build a house in Little Rock for a veteran. “We believe America is the greatest country on earth and we value the freedom that has been won for us,” Robin said. “What better way to honor our patriots than to build a new, safe and secure home for a veteran?”
First Service Bank matches dollar for dollar every donation that is made to ORWB.
“Last year, we focused on building a home for a veteran. We were successful in our goal and raised $80,000 to build a new home in Little Rock,” said Rebecca. “We were actively involved in the actual build as well, which was very rewarding. Though we may not build another whole house, we do look forward to working on home improvement projects/enhancements for veterans and military families.”
Rebecca said the ORWB projects being discussed “will be a great way for us to raise the awareness and support to touch many veterans, active military personnel and their families.”
Organizers have identified Wreaths Across America as one of the program’s new projects. Each December on National Wreaths Across America Day, wreath-laying ceremonies honoring veterans are held at Arlington National Cemetery, as well as at more than 2,500 additional locations in all 50 U.S. states, at sea and abroad. The wreaths are purchased by individuals, businesses and other groups.
A portion of each wreath purchased through First Service Bank will be donated back to the ORWB program. “We have a link on our website to sponsor a wreath,” said Rebecca. “Our goal is to raise $10,000 through these efforts.”
Organizers are also looking at ways to honor Gold Star Families, immediate family member(s) of a fallen service member who died while serving in a time of conflict.
ORWB fundraising activities being discussed include a 5K held in conjunction with Veterans Day and an annual gala around Flag Day each year. “All benefits from these events will go back into ORWB,” said Rebecca. “First Service Bank matches dollar for dollar what is donated or raised. The more money and awareness we can raise, the more lives we will be able to positively impact.”
In addition to monetary donations to support ORWB projects, volunteers are needed to contribute their time and talents to ensure success. “The program will require not only monetary contributions, but also volunteer time and commitment from myself but also those within our FSB family and the communities in which we serve,” Rebecca said. “People and businesses can participate in our fundraising events as well as donate their time and resources to help support our foundation.”
Rebecca is excited about her role as the Foundation chairman of the board and ORWB’s potential to impact lives. “Patriotism is and has always been a core value of First Service Bank. Our military and their families sacrifice more than we will ever even know just so that you and I can live freely,” she said. “We recognize this sacrifice of those in our communities, in our customer base, in our employees and their families.
“As a teacher, I see the struggles every day that some of our veteran and military families face. I want to be a part of giving back to them in whatever way they need. ORWB is an opportunity and outlet for us to do just that.”
In addition to Robin, Foundation board members include Jon Patrom, Linda Beene and Sonja Keith.
Rebecca is encouraging First Service bankers and the community to help spread the word about ORWB. “If you know of veterans, military personnel or their families in need or if they have a wish, please send them to us. We would love the opportunity to help them.”
For more information on Operation Red, White and Brave or to support the program, visit firstservicebank.com/orwb.