ST. LOUIS (1/15/15)--Only 12 months in, Carol Minges, president/CEO, 1st Financial CU, Wentzville, Mo., has seen her employees take off running with the grant program the credit union launched at the start of 2014.
Through the Helping People 1st grant program, the $203 million-asset credit union aims to offer support to local nonprofit organizations in the St. Louis area that provide community assistance--especially those focusing on education, housing, financial literacy and job training (St. Louis Post-Dispatch Jan. 13).
Minges told the Post-Dispatch that she's seen nothing short of a full commitment to the program by her staff.
"We have a team of people that volunteer not because they have to serve," Minges said. "They volunteer because they have a calling to serve. Seeing their dedication to selflessly help others is another reminder for me about what it is so great to work for a credit union."
Throughout 2014, employees picked a new nonprofit to serve each month. Employees were encouraged to schedule volunteer time, which the credit union paid for, during the work day.
At the end of each month, the nonprofit received $500 from 1st Financial in addition to any further donations that came from fundraisers organized by the credit union's branches.
In total for the year, employees worked more than 462 hours of paid volunteer time, which consisted of cleaning out storerooms, sorting canned goods, cleaning up gardens and helping to build a house, according to the Post-Dispatch.
The program resulted in more than $15,600 being donated to organizations throughout the St. Louis area.
"Our focus is always on strengthening our community," said Tracy Verner, 1st Financial brand ambassador. "These personal collaborative experiences gave our employees insight and motivated them to do more--(they were) volunteering more, (holding) more fundraising events and creating more awareness for these wonderful causes."