New year, same community focus
Credit unions welcome the New Year by fulfilling their service mission.
Credit unions closed 2019 and welcomed 2020 with more good deeds within the communities they serve and honors celebrating their accomplishments.
Some creative ways credit unions serve their communities:
First Financial Federal Credit Union
In addition to the donation to the WBAL Kids Campaign, First Financial Federal Credit Union found other ways to brighten the holidays for families in its communities. For its employee give-back program, First Financial employees participated in the Angel Tree Program for the Salvation Army of Central Maryland. Through employee donations, 100 angels received presents. Plus, First Financial’s Risk and Information Technology team collected non-perishable food items for Assistance Center of Towson Churches, a local food pantry.
During the holiday season, employees of SEFCU, Albany, N.Y., distributed more than $350,000 to 44 food pantries across the state.
Nutmeg State Financial Credit Union
Nutmeg State Financial Credit Union, Rocky Hill, Conn., made great strides during 2019 in its mission to serve communities across the state, with more than 1,200 hours of staff participation at 100 public events during the year. The credit union closed out its year of charity work as the main sponsor of Alzheimer’s Association events in New Haven and Hartford, where it donated nearly $15,000 for research and to support those affected by the disease. Nutmeg staff and members contributed another $1,000 by purchasing “Forget-Me-Not” paper flowers on display at each of the credit union’s branch locations.
Ascend Federal Credit Union
Caren Gabriel, president/CEO of Ascend Federal Credit Union, Tullahoma, Tenn., was named one of WomenInc.’s 2019 Most Influential Corporate Board Directors. Gabriel, the only credit union president/CEO to make the list, and was recognized for her seat on the CUNA Mutual Group board. (Photo)
PSECU once again sponsored the annual Fill a Glass with Hope initiative, a collaboration among Feeding Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Dairymen’s Association, the American Dairy Association North East, agriculture partners, and business leaders which provides eight glasses of fresh milk to families in need for each $1 donation received. By contributing $10,000 to the cause, the Harrisburg, Pa.-based credit union will provide up to 80,000 servings of milk to those experiencing hunger in local communities. (Twitter)
American Eagle Financial Credit Union
American Eagle Financial Credit Union, East Hartford, Conn., is supporting energy assistance programs for the state’s low-income households. It donated $4,000 from its charitable fund at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving to support Operation Fuel and the Community Renewal Team. Operation Fuel partners with local government and community-based organizations at more than 100 sites throughout Connecticut to ensure families and individuals in need have access to year-round energy assistance. (Twitter Jan.3)
Pelican State Credit Union
Pelican State Credit Union, Baton Rouge, La., raised nearly $18,000 for its 2019 Charity of the Year, Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital. Pelican State held numerous fundraisers and employee events hosted by Beak Squad, the credit union’s volunteer and fundraising committee. (Photo)
Alhambra Credit Union
Alhambra Credit Union in Phoenix unveiled a unique and historically distinctive new feature to its branch in Litchfield Park, Ariz. The credit union commissioned a mural from local artist and teacher Anthony Galto, who created a piece that captures the area’s history and culture. The mural represents the credit union’s relationships and connections to the Southwest Valley, including schools, sports teams, local attractions, and landscape.
The People’s Credit Union
The People’s Credit Union, Middletown, R.I., donated $1,000 to the Bristol Warren Education Foundation, a community-based organization dedicated to promoting excellence in the Bristol Warren Regional School District. The donation will support grants to teachers and staff for innovative, high-quality programs that enhance and enrich students’ educational experiences.
Georgia’s Own Credit Union
Georgia’s Own Credit Union in Atlanta, celebrated its 85th anniversary in 2019 by creating a yearlong program featuring 85 unique initiatives to serve the public good, beginning with a free gas giveaway to 400 TSA workers during the government shutdown in January and ending with an $8,500 donation to a local nonprofit organization in December, with the winner determined by a social media contest.
Freedom Federal Credit Union
Freedom Federal Credit Union, Bel Air, Md., recognized Master Barber Anthony “Antmoe” Johnson, a volunteer at Boys & Girls Clubs of Harford & Cecil Counties, as the winner of the second-annual #FreedomToHelpChallenge. The six-week social media contest called for entrants to post photos celebrating local volunteerism for a chance to win $1,000 and other weekly prizes to benefit a local charity of choice. Each week, individual volunteers and nonprofit organizations posted pictures showcasing local volunteerism in an effort that reached all corners of the county.
Allegius Federal Credit Union
Allegius Federal Credit Union, Burns Harbor, Ind., partnered with the Porter County Toys for Tots program for the holiday season. Member donations, staff jeans day donations, and the credit union’s financial contribution raised more than $2,500 in six weeks. The donation resulted in the purchase of more than 230 toys, including two new bikes, helping more than 2,000 area children enjoy the spirit of Christmas.
SAFE Credit Union
SAFE Credit Union, Folsom, Calif., provided a $20,000 grant to Sutter Medical Center Foundation to support the Pediatric Emergency Room and Child Life Program at Sutter Medical Center in Sacramento. The funds will be used for equipment to benefit children and their families, as well as for enhancements to the Pediatric Emergency Room.
The Credit Union Foundation of the Dakotas
The Credit Union Foundation of the Dakotas will again award 20 $500 scholarships for applicants who exemplify the credit union philosophy of “people helping people” through volunteering, community service, and leadership. Ten scholarships will be awarded to North Dakota applicants and 10 to South Dakota applicants who are members in good standing of a Credit Union Association of the Dakotas-affiliated credit union.
Redwood Credit Union
Redwood Credit Union (RCU), Redwood, Calif., is celebrating 70 years of service to its members. Founded in 1950 as Sonoma County Employees Credit Union in 1982, RCU expanded its field of membership in 1997 to serve anyone living or working in the five North Bay counties. In 2000, RCU received approval to serve residents and businesses in three additional counties. The credit union now has 19 locations throughout the North Bay and San Francisco, and is the eighth largest credit union in California.
All In Credit Union
All In Credit Union, Daleville, Ala., donated $1,000 to the Fort Rucker Emergency Food Assistance Program, which provides short-term basic food assistance for service members, retirees, and family members who are experiencing unexpected financial hardship throughout the year.
Mid-Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union
Employees of Mid-Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union, Kingston, N.Y., donated $13,593 to local nonprofits in 2019 through its Jeans for Charity program. This employee-led program permits staff to wear jeans on Fridays by purchasing a jeans pass. The credit union donates funds raised from these passes to local nonprofits throughout the year.
Vermont Federal Credit Union
Suzanne Lynn, board secretary at Vermont Federal Credit Union, Burlington, Vt., received the Rotary Club of St. Alban’s Citizen of the Year award. The award recognizes “pillars in the community” for their service. Suzanne and her husband, Emerson, were honored for their ownership and management of the St. Albans Messenger, a local newspaper.
Firefly Credit Union
Firefly Credit Union, Burnsville, Minn., dedicated October 2019 to fundraise in support of The Firefly Sisterhood, an organization that fosters connections between women recently diagnosed with breast cancer and inspirational survivors. With a month’s work and employee participation, Firefly Credit Union raised nearly $3,300 for the organization.
New England Federal Credit Union
New England Federal Credit Union, Williston, Vt., collected 200 blankets during its 22nd-annual Blankets of Hope Drive. The blankets will be distributed to local community organizations.