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Bank Puts 'Kindness First'

May 23, 2014, 5:00 PM by Brady Mallory

Bank Puts 'Kindness First'

An early end to the work day left Jon Castle feeling hungry.

"Just a turkey club. The usual," Castle said, while standing in line at Bagel Boy in Sioux Falls.

A simple lunch order got a little better as a stranger approached Castle.

"Got a surprise for you. We're going to buy your lunch today."

"Alright, awesome," Castle said.

On Friday, First National Bank employees performed a few random acts of kindness for customers at Bagel Boy. In addition to picking up the lunch bill, they gave Castle and others little cards with some important advice.

Jon: To pick up the phone and tell someone how much I care.
Brady: Who will you call?
Jon: First comes to mind would be my parents.

This is part of Kindness First. First National Bank gave its employees $50, and challenged them to find ways to give it to others.

"It had to be local and it had to be legal. Other than that, use your imagination," Chris Ekstrum, First National Bank in Sioux Falls Executive Vice President, said.

Employees have pulled off 38 other random acts of kindness, including buying gas for people, delivering fruit baskets to firefighters, and bringing loaves of bread to veterans for Military Appreciation Month. Ekstrum said going out into the community is part of the work culture at the bank, and the response to this project has been worth its weight in gold.

"A couple bucks for lunch and a big smile and a few hugs, that's something special," Ekstrum said

"Makes your day. Makes you feel better about yourself and your day. Makes you want to do it for other people, too," Stacie Holt said, after First National Bank paid for her lunch.

The end of every day may leave you feeling empty, but simply being nice to others can make everything a whole lot better.

"I think it's a good thing. Needs to refresh people and let them know this sort of thing does happen here, as well as everywhere else," Castle said.

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