CUs Lend a Helping Hand During the Holidays

A look back at some of the holiday memories created by the CU movement this season.

January 11, 2013

The holidays have come and gone, but credit unions across the country provided holiday cheer that continues well beyond.

Through bake sales, fundraisers, and volunteering, credit unions showcased the credit union difference this year—no doubt enough for Santa to proclaim the movement "nice."

Here's a sampling of the memories the credit union movement created during the holiday season.

Global CU

Toys for Tots

Global Credit Union, a $353 million asset institution in Spokane, Wash., collected $169.80 and more than 850 toys for the Marine Corps’ Toys for Tots program.

The staff of Global Credit Union also encouraged donations from members and employees by participating in an internal contest to see which department and branch could generate the most toy donations.

After collecting the total toy count, the winning departments were lending services and special credits.

NEXT: Ventura County CU donates food trees


 Ventura County CU donates food trees VCCU Christmas Tree

Ventura (Calif.) County Credit Union (VCCU) donated canned food for the holidays.

The credit union participated in an event at a shopping center that challenged various businesses to build holiday trees out of donated cans of food.

VCCU, a $625 million asset size credit union, sponsored and built six trees with cans donated by members, staff, and vendors. VCCU collected more than 6,000 cans in order to build those trees.

“We are thrilled with the tremendous response from our members and colleagues,” says Joe Schroeder, VCCU president/CEO and FOOD Share board member. “We had a great time helping out the community, and we’re already planning for next year’s build.”

Following the event the cans of food were distributed to pantries in Ventura County.

NEXT: Michigan CU fills the stockings of the needy

American 1 CU

Michigan CU fills the stockings of the needy

American 1 Credit Union held a bake sale prior to Christmas to benefit a local shelter.

The bake sale raised more than $350 to fill 64 Christmas stockings--including 34 for children and 30 for mothers--at the shelter.

The funds filled stockings with piggy banks, lotion, candy, nail polish, and more. Additionally, the bake sale paid for the donation of bath and kitchen towels for general use at the shelter.

The credit union's Brooklyn branch also made and delivered baked goods to the Brooklyn Police and Fire Station on Christmas Eve.

American 1 is a $252 million asset credit union in Jackson, Mich.

NEXT: Genisys CU lights up the community

Genisys Credit Union

Genisys CU lights up the community

Genisys Credit Union, a $1.4 billion asset institution in Auburn Hills, Mich., sponsored a local holiday tree lighting ceremony in December at a local township office.

The festive event included Christmas caroling, holiday food and drinks, and Santa’s arrival by fire truck.

More than 300 people attended the annual tree lighting event to see the Township Supervisor present Santa with the key to the Township and to participate in the community sing-a-long.

“The Tree Lighting Ceremony is one of the many wonderful events that Genisys sponsors in Chesterfield Township throughout the year,” says Jackie Buchanan, president/CEO. “It’s a great way for families to celebrate all that the season has to offer.”

The credit union also participated in Lighthouse of Oakland County's Adopt-A-Family program this year.

The Lighthouse Adopt-a-Family program is a long-standing tradition that helps many local low-income families who struggle to afford food and have little to no money to provide the basics such as coats, gloves, blankets or toys.

It also enables Lighthouse to match donors with local families and seniors to fill this void.

Auburn Hills, MI

NEXT:  American Eagle FCU gives to the United Way

American Eagle FCU gives to the United Way

American Eagle FCUAmerican Eagle Federal Credit Union donated $39,403 to the United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut’s 2012 annual campaign.

As part of American Eagle’s annual giving campaign, 16 credit union employees spent 121 hours painting, landscaping, and installing floor tile at a local shelter during the United Way’s Day of Caring.

The shelter is an emergency homeless shelter for single adult men and women in Middlesex County. Located on the grounds of Connecticut Valley Hospital in Middletown, this shelter can house 30 adults.

American Eagle Federal, located in East Hartford, Conn., has $1.3 billion in assets.

NEXT: North Carolina CUs give to sick children


North Carolina CUs give to sick children
The Triad Chapter of CUaware held a toy drive for Brenner Children's Hospital in Winston-Salem, which admits more than 4,500 children and sees more than 21,000 pediatric outpatients a year.
Toys were collected in November and December by credit unions in the Piedmont Triad region, and delivered to the hospital prior to Christmas.
CUaware's donations were distributed through the hospital's Child Life Department, which gives Christmas gift bags to patients during the holidays. Donations were also handed out at special holiday events or used at the patients' bedsides for activities that help children cope while receiving treatments at the hospital.
Among the toys collected were teddy bears, puzzles, and Play-Doh sets. The hope is they will help distract young patients from the pain and stress that can be experienced during a hospital stay.
CUaware is a council with the North Carolina Credit Union League.
NEXT: Associated CU Foundation delivers gift wishes

Associated CU Foundation delivers gift wishes
The Associated Credit Union Foundation donated hundreds of presents to the Quinn House, Operation HomeFront Georgia, and Norcross Co-op Ministry, fulfilling the gift wishes of more than 600 children through its Fifth Annual Making Caring Count for Christmas Program.
The children’s gift wishes were displayed on paper ornaments in 25 Associated Credit Union Metro Atlanta offices. Credit union members and employees purchased the presents and, in many cases, bought two or three extra gifts for each child to open on Christmas morning.
The Associated Credit Union Foundation, formed in 2009, is a 501(c)3 organization that strives to promote social and economic well-being for the community and the employees of companies served by Associated Credit Union, a $1.3 billion asset institution located in Norcross, Ga.
NEXT: CU aids victims of domestic abuse

SAFE Place
CU aids victims of domestic abuse
OMNI Community Credit Union awarded a “Give Back” grant to a local shelter organization, S.A.F.E Place, which helps thousands of domestic abuse victims and their children.
The $5,000 grant helps the shelter provide services to victims at no cost.
“S.A.F.E. Place is an organization that is invaluable,” says Ted Parsons, CEO of OMNI Community Credit Union, Battle Creek, Mich. “Helping domestic violence victims by giving them the peace of mind that they are safe and don’t have to worry about money at such a difficult time is vital. We are proud to be given the opportunity to help these families.”