MADISON, Wis. (12/11/15)--While credit unions always have the welfare of the communities they serve in mind, that doesn’t stop them from getting into the holiday spirit this time of year.
Nationwide, credit unions have initiated coat, shoe and food drives, stepped up to serve the homeless, and lent helping hands to servicemembers and veterans to ensure that as many people as possible receive a little holiday cheer.
Salt Lake City-based Utah First CU, for instance, has partnered with The Community Volunteers of Utah to deliver 800 pairs of shoes to underprivileged children this holiday season.
The credit union has participated in the “Warm the Soles” program for more than 20 years. Every pair of shoes is picked based on the child’s gender, age, and shoe size, and is then wrapped and tagged for the recipients. The credit union held a wrapping party for the shoes, called shoe parties, last week, and more than 100 members of both organizations joined to package the shoes.
“Our generous members and employees (allow) Utah First to truly be significant in the lives of these children and families,” said Darin B. Moody, Utah First president/CEO.
Keeping with the warming theme, employees at KALSEE CU, Kalamazoo, Mich., joined youth leaders from a local high school to purchase coats for the CIS Kids’ Closet program (MLive.com Dec. 9). Working with a $3,000 budget in addition to a 10% discount, the credit union bought 55 new coats for students of Kalamazoo public schools.
Credit unions also are working this year to bring the holidays to military members, veterans and their families.
1st Financial FCU, Wentzville, Mo., for example, has donated $500 as part of its Community 1st Grant program to H.E.R.O.E.S. CARE, an organization that supports military members before, during and after deployment. They do so by connecting the military community with specially trained caregivers who can provide mental health care services to those in need.
“Every day we receive requests from families struggling with financial issues resulting from the effects of military service,” said Dave Wolley (St. Louis Today Dec. 8), adding that the grant from 1st Financial will help make it possible for the organization to meet the needs of these families.
Additional holiday season efforts from credit unions: