MANSFIELD, Texas (5/9/14)--Buy a pack of gum, fill up your tank with gas, spring for dinner--make sure to pay with your credit union-issued debit card--and raise a whole bunch of cash for local schools.
A student designed a Texas Trust CU Spirit card for Cedar Hill (Texas) Independent School District, one of the participating schools.
That's exactly what residents from Grand Prairie, Mansfield, Cedar Hill, DeSoto and Athens school districts in Texas have been doing for the last few years, and it's raised more than a half-a-million dollars for areas schools so far.
Every time a member of Texas Trust CU, Mansfield, with $824 million in assets, made a purchase with their Spirit debit reward card, the credit union donated 15 cents to one of the schools.
From August 2011, when the credit union kick-started the effort, until March of this year, the program raised $520,213, with more than $25,000 raised every month this year for area schools.
"Texas Trust continually supports the students and faculty of our schools," said Susan Hull, Grand Prairie independent school district superintendent. "The Spirit card is an easy way for parents, teachers and the community to support the school of their choice without having to do anything other than use a Spirit card to pay for gas, groceries, movies, or anything else they purchase."
Cardholders are able to track online how much money they raise for each of the participating schools.
Each school has had a custom-designed debit card made for it. There are 14 high schools, two administration offices and one education program participating in the program.
In 2013, Cedar Hill High School received over $50,000; Grand Prairie High School took in more than $27,000; and Mansfield High School just over $20,000. Each school in the program receives a check every month based on card usage from the previous month. The schools can use the money however they see fit.
The rewards program is part of Texas Trust's "Spirit in Action" campaign, which awards schools when members open new checking accounts, or take auto loans, personal loans or mortgages.