Not long after starting her job at a credit union, Tiffany Halfon realized that the “people helping people” mentality aligned with her personal beliefs.
As an employee of Smart Financial Credit Union in Houston, Halfon jumped at the opportunity do to more.
“Credit unions do so much to help their communities, and Smart Financial is no exception. That got us thinking, maybe we can make it something official,” says Halfon. “We’re unique in that our foundation has a dedicated staff member from the credit union working on it every day. We felt that was important as a way to make sure the foundation’s vision mirrored that of the credit union.”
The $657 million asset credit union launched the Smart Financial Foundation in 2013 with Halfon serving as its director.
As a credit union that serves a broad field of membership, it found a number of opportunities.
Through relationships with the local theater, chamber of commerce, hospitals, and Easter Seals (a nonprofit that serves disabled children), the foundation has 25 approved charities it currently supports through donations.
One memory, a visit to Easter Seals, cemented in Halfon’s mind the good the foundation and the credit union is able to accomplish.
“We took a tour of its facility, and saw a disabled child there. He was working on a puzzle on his iPad. It was a simple puzzle, but this was a child who otherwise couldn’t hold puzzle pieces or work on anything like that, just able to play using his fingers,” Halfon says. “The look of pure joy and happiness on his face when the puzzle was completed is something I’ll never forget.
“Knowing that the foundation and Smart Financial see how important things like that are really makes it an honor and a privilege to do my job every day,” she says.