Celebration and service are two treasured values at Employment Technologies. So you can imagine our delight when we realized the proximity of International Credit Union Day (October 20) to National Make A Difference Day.

Credit Unions are key part of our client base to which we are fully committed, and so, when our friends celebrate, we want to be there to cheer, too. Since the late 1940’s, International Credit Union Day offers these historic financial institutions a day to highlight their heritage and operational principles, two of which are: service to community and social responsibility.

Service to one’s community has been a vibrant thread woven into the life of Employment Technologies since our founding in 1995. Currently, we support an area workforce training program, and are funding summer camp experiences for inner city youth that is supported through a year-long mentoring program.  You can understand why Make A Difference Day caught our attention as well. This national day of service was started during a leap year in the 90’s and is now a national event held annually on the fourth Saturday every October.

To highlight both occasions, we spoke with a sampling of our credit union clients who are serving their communities through intentional acts of kindness and generosity. Everyone shared stories with genuine enthusiasm and an appropriate amount of pride about the dedication of their co-workers.  After reading these short profiles, we think you’ll understand.

On the upper east coast of the United States, Ocean Communities Federal Credit Union is committed to supporting York County Shelter Programs, a local organization in Southern Maine that takes an integrated approach to fighting homelessness and hunger.  From cooking and cleaning dishes at the “Mama Mia Pasta and Pizza Dinner” fundraiser for ten years running, to general volunteering at an annual apple festival, Ocean Communities is honored to serve throughout the year.

In Houston, Texas, the team at First Community Credit Union partners with the NFL’s Houston Texans to encourage teachers in the area public schools through their “Stars In The Classroom” program. Nancy Trennel, Senior Vice President of Marketing shared, “We are involved in many worthwhile activities, but since we were started by a school district, education and children have our heart.”  First Community recently raised funds to build an athletics field through their YMCA’s Miracle League that accommodate students using wheelchairs and other special needs.  A popular internal fundraiser is Casual for a Cause, which gives employees the chance to “dress down” at work in exchange for a donation to a deserving organization.

The Hawaiian islands are made even brighter thanks to the dedicated staff of Hawaii USA Federal Credit Union. In addition to recognizing superior achievements in local schools under their trademark “Life Matters” banner, Hawaii FCU fully supports the state’s “Making Strikes Against Breast Cancer” initiative every October. Related activities include creating a Pink Store to sell a variety of themed merchandise and participating in the “Making Strides Walk.”

Global Credit Union, operating in the Pacific Northwest, is very active in the communities they serve, according to Janet Durnford, Communications Specialist. Team Global participates in area walks to benefit organizations such as the March of Dimes and the National MS Society. In September, Team Global said ‘yes’ to their area’s JDRF One Walk.  In additional to raising funds, they also supported efforts to educate the public on Type-One Diabetes.

 DuPage Credit Union, in the Chicago suburbs of Downers Grove, Naperville and Wheaton, mean it when they say to local school children, “We’ve got your back!” Last year, the credit union was responsible for providing 1,116 backpacks, stuffed with school supplies, for high school and elementary students. Now in their third year, DuPage CU has raised more than $40,000 for their area’s board of education to help local students start the academic year with these much-needed tools.  Fundraising efforts for this initiative are on-going throughout the year. DuPage also supports a variety of other causes, including the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.

 For more than 70 years, PenFinancial Credit Union has been serving the Niagara Region of Ontario, Canada, with donations, event sponsorships, volunteering and fundraising. To provide a framework for their activities, they have four “investment pillars” in which proposals are received and reviewed. They are: Education, Social Wellness, Economic Vitality and Active Communities. Examples of their programs include financial literacy classes for spenders-and-savers of all ages and leadership of the Skates for Kids Program.  Since its inception, Skates for Kids has collected, cleaned, sharpened and delivered over 3,000 pairs of gently used skates and over 1,200 new helmets to schools in the Niagara Region. PenFinancial has also organized free skate days for all sponsored schools including complimentary bussing, refreshments and volunteers to help deserving children hit the ice!

Inspiring stores, right?  Dedicated, caring people using their hearts, hands, and dollars to make a difference in their communities.  May their collective commitment to service inspire us all to do what we can to improve the quality of life for our neighbors.

Happy International Credit Union Day! It’s our privilege to celebrate you.