While many people were suffering during the pandemic, credit unions stepped up in a very big way. In 2020, credit unions across the country donated more than $91.7 million in donations to charitable causes, community organizations, essential workers, and hospitals. In addition, more than 53,000 hours of volunteer hours were documented.
Here in the northern plains, North Dakota credit unions documented over $180,000 in direct community impact, while South Dakota logged over $181,000 in community impact. The CU Social Good Award recognizes one credit union in each asset category that has positively affected the community and the Dakota credit union movement. This year’s winners are:
East River Federal Credit Union, Madison, SD – $26M to $125M in assets. East River FCU embraced the “people helping people” philosophy even while the past year presented many challenges. They collected donations for the local food pantry, created an online game to help people stay connected with loved ones, and developed creative ways to help parents teach kids about finances. They made multiple donations including to the local housing and utility assistance fund, offered free financial counseling, and provided school supplies for area students. Photo above: Trasi Smith, VP of Operations from East River FCU accepts the CU Social Good Award from Jeff Olson, DakCU President/CEO.
North Star Community Credit Union, Maddock, ND – Over $126M in Assets. North Star found many ways to support their community in 2020. They initiated a “pay it forward” cash bonus to each employee and encouraged them to share with someone in need. They provided $50,000 in gift cards to local businesses to first responders, healthcare workers, and teachers. Staff delivered “goodie bags” to local nursing homes and volunteered at local food pantries. Even after a very difficult year, this credit union paid out a $1M bonus dividend to members to help them through a financially difficult time. Photo below: Bob Herrington, CEO of North Star CCU accepts the CU Social Good Award from Jeff Olson, alongside staff and board of director members.
Credit unions truly are “built for times like these.” Congratulations and thank you for your dedication to the credit union philosophy of “people helping people.”
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