Deeply rooted in the credit union philosophy of “people helping people,” SchoolsFirst FCU believes it is important to give back to communities served by our credit union and the credit union movement. While we give back in many ways all year, once a year our entire team celebrates this philosophy with a large-scale effort. The day fosters team collaboration and engagement in the credit union’s mission and purpose, which creates a direct and positive impact on our Members and the team.
Social responsibility is one of the founding principles of the credit union movement, and supporting and celebrating the communities we serve is important to building stronger futures for all of us. We partner with local, national and global educational and credit union charities to give back in significant ways. Last year, we made more than $2.5 million in charitable donations, including donations to local schools and colleges, credit union related charities and organizations as well as Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
In addition, SchoolsFirst FCU provided Financial Education to more than 20,000 students in 2019. Our teammembers participated in Bite of Reality interactive workshops, helping more than 4,000 students learn how to make smart financial decisions. We gave grants to local teachers to implement innovative learning programs for their students. We can all be proud of our efforts to give back and strengthen the communities we serve.
But on one day each year, we amplify this philosophy in a big way through a large-scale give-back event, with all of our teammembers working together to focus on a common objective – “people helping people.” This event is hands-on and collaborative, and our teammembers enjoy the sense of pride, accomplishment and philanthropy in their service, which helps credit union Members and communities thrive.
In 2019, our teammembers supported five organizations representing worthwhile causes, including donations ranging from water filtration systems in support of a clean water initiative in Kenya, to prosthetic hands designated for landmine victims in Cambodia, to honey bee hive boxes for schools in California with environmental education courses.
The prior year, we created a similar impact by assembling 170 bicycles, 430 school supply kits, 215 blankets and 215 stuffed bears designated for local charities serving schools, children’s organizations and community centers.
This year, 2,400 SchoolsFirst FCU teammembers, along with board and supervisory committee members, participated in our annual give-back event in support of two charitable causes: the Jessie Rees Foundation, which supports children cancer patients; and Community HeART, a program that creates stimulating artwork to brighten the experiences of children in schools, communities and hospitals.
Working side-by-side, our teammembers and volunteers assembled 750 school-supply backpacks with personal messages of encouragement for the Community HeART program, which will be delivered to underserved schools by our teammembers. We also created 4,000 “Joy Jars” for the Jessie Rees Foundation, destined for kids under the age of 18 who are actively fighting cancer that will be distributed to children’s hospitals in the areas we serve.
I was honored to witness the collaboration and engagement of our teammembers during this day of service. We are able to reinforce our sense of purpose in what we come to do together every day. Most importantly, we see the direct and positive impact on our communities. And, it’s just the right thing to do.
Our give-back instils a deep sense of gratitude, pride and humility in the fact that our team gives of themselves to honor our commitment to Members, communities, and the credit union movement – a commitment that we are building a brighter future for so many.