BY KEVIN STEHL
Credit unions embrace the guiding principle to give back to the communities we serve. As member-owned organizations, this idea is part of our history and heritage. Charitable activities and causes vary by credit union, and usually reflect community needs.
We are also seeing a rise in charitable Foundations started by credit unions. A recent search on www.guidestar.org showed 141 Foundations associated with credit unions, the largest of which is the National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF). Foundations are a great way to increase donations to better support charitable activities. They also open the door to additional membership opportunities.
Credit unions do more than just give money to charitable organizations though. We also encourage our employees to donate their time to volunteer. This is yet another reflection of our history. Credit unions were started with volunteer Board of Directors. The culture of volunteerism in the credit union community remains top-down, with our Board members leading by example, and our credit union employees being given opportunities to volunteer their time to support worthy causes.
SECU – Maryland’s largest credit union with more than 240,000 members – has found a way to marry these two sides of charitable giving while simultaneously honoring a long-standing member of it’s Board of Directors through it’s Foundation. The SECU MD Foundationhas introduced the Donald Tynes, Sr. Scholarship, named for Board member Donald Tynes, Sr., who has served on SECU’s board since 1975. Mr. Tynes has also served as the Chairman of the Credit Union Foundation for the State of Maryland and the District of Columbia, and was named the 2017 Volunteer of the Year for the Maryland/District of Columbia Credit Union Association.
The Donald Tynes Sr. Scholarship is offered to students enrolled at Morgan State University in Maryland, which is Mr. Tynes’s alma mater. Eligible students must be enrolled in Morgan State’s Graves School of Business. Applicants are asked to submit an essay or video in which they discuss someone who embodies the values and commitment shown by Mr. Tynes through his own volunteerism. The essay or video also explains how that person has been influential in the applicant’s life. Five winners will be chosen, with each receiving a scholarship for $2,000 for the 2018-2019 academic year.