LAKEWOOD, Wash. (1/14/15)--A "Pay it Forward" campaign gave each of Harborstone CU 27 departments an opportunity to help its local community this holiday season.
|The Harborstone CU sales and service department won the 12 Days of Pay it Forward Competition with their holiday support of the Crystal Judson Family Justice Center. From left, Teri Matison, home loan manager; Julie Thibodeaux, administrative assistant, and Michele Floyd, retail sales and service manager. (Harborstone CU Photo)|
The idea for the campaign came from the Northwest Credit Union Association's Anthem Convention, where the association unveiled its Pay it Forward campaign for International Credit Union Day (Anthem Jan. 13).
The campaign was simple: Give away $114, the same amount that Northwest credit unions saved an average member household, and let the recipient know about the value of credit unions.
Phil Jones, president/CEO of the $1 billion-asset Lakewood, Wash.-based credit union challenged each of Harborstone's 27 departments and branches to come up with a way to serve their communities with $114, and then Harborstone CU would fund those ideas.
Michele Floyd, Harborstone's branch support manager, had an idea where her department could pay its funds forward--and that idea was tied to a personal experience. Two years ago Floyd's family lost two members to domestic violence.
In wake of their tragic loss, Floyd and her husband discovered the Crystal Judson Family Justice Center (FJC) in Tacoma, which offers comprehensive support to victims of domestic violence. They began annual toy and hygiene products drives for the FJC, not only to offer practical help to people who needed it, but to raise awareness about domestic violence.
"No one wants to talk about it," said Floyd. "But this is a big issue in our community. That center helps a lot of people out of some icky situations."
Floyd and her teammates in the Harborstone sales and service department decided to use their $114 to support the FJC. "Originally we wanted to donate hygiene items," she said, but then she called Craig Roberts, the FJC's assistant director. "He told me that they have so many kids that come into the center this time of year who may not get a Christmas present."
Roberts suggested the Harborstone team create stockings filled with gifts for the kids who came into the center over the holidays, and they took on the challenge.
The Harborstone sales and service department won the 12 Days of Pay it Forward Competition with its holiday support of the Crystal Judson Family Justice Center.
The credit union's projects were a tour-de-force of community engagement--from warm clothes for homeless people to food for hungry families and beyond, the Harborstone teams put their $114 to tremendous use. And when the votes were counted, Floyd and the sales and service department came out on top, earning the FJC a $500 donation.
As a special prize, the Harborstone board also awarded the sales and service department a $114 gift that they could use to celebrate. But just as they finished handing over the check to the FJC, Floyd and her colleagues decided to donate that $114 as well.