Giving Back is the Only Way
Georgia United CU staff take part in landscaping at Rock Chapel Elementary School.

‘School Crashers’ program shows passion for community service

Georgia United CU’s effort reflects the heart of people-helping-people philosophy.

January 3, 2019

Georgia United Credit Union doesn’t believe being an active and responsible member of the community is the right way to go.

“It’s the only way,” says Debbie Smith, president/CEO of the $1.3 billion asset credit union in Duluth. “As a business partner in education, we want students to have the best environment possible to learn and play.”

Through its "School Crashers" program, Georgia United provides makeovers to elementary, middle, and high-school facilities throughout the state.


It created the initiative as limited school budgets and other funding constraints prohibited many schools from updating or repairing school grounds and facilities. Schools apply for makeovers, and the credit union provides funding to those selected based on their needs, requests, and scope of work involved.

In 2018, the credit union selected eight schools to receive facility upgrades over the summer. All of this year’s winners are Title 1 schools with compelling needs that are not typically met through the school system.

Over the past five years, Georgia United has “crashed” 33 schools with grants and in-kind donations totaling nearly $1.1 million.