Part of our credit union’s Vision is to help our communities thrive, and in a normal year we do this by asking each employee to participate in at least one 3-hour volunteer opportunity that we schedule throughout the year. Unfortunately with the uncertainty and social distancing restrictions of the pandemic, we were not about to reach our lofty goals to beat our 2019 numbers. BUT our team adapted and rallied in some truly fantastic ways that we’d like to recap now:
Committed to Our Community
What does volunteering and committing to our community look like in a world wide pandemic? Let’s go over the numbers:
- Denim for Dollars, employees donated $4,000
- We provided over $41,000 in donation and sponsorships
- $11,000 in scholarships
- 12 financial education seminar/webinars
- 3 school presentations on financial literacy
- Ended with 381 volunteers hours
- 641 hours of financial counseling, training or presentations to students and adults
- 381 hours spent networking with chambers and or business groups
Denim for Dollars is a program created by our employees to raise money for local charities and credit union advocacy by donating $1 to wear jeans on Fridays. Since the launch in 2016, our staff has raised nearly $18,000 in donations! Some of the organizations that received donations included the St Louis Food Bank, Credit Union Advocacy PAC, the Foster & Adoptive Care Coalition, and the Food Bank for Central & Northeast Missouri.
Donated per Goal
Our partnership with the St Louis Football Club promised $100 for every goal scored in the 2020 season. Unfortunately, their season was shortened due to Covid restrictions, but we were still able to donate $2,400 to the St Louligans charity of choice and one of our community partner, H.E.R.O.E.S. Care.
Evolving our goals to help during the pandemic
COVID-19 forced us to think creatively about how to support our communities during a pandemic. Our staff was eager to help and reached out with ideas, suggestions and we were able to encourage safe commitment to our community in the following ways:
Thanking Frontline Workers
As a thank you for their dedication, we wanted to help feed healthcare workers and support our local restaurants. For every essential worker tagged in the comments, or share of our Facebook post, you helped us donate $1,000 to St Charles All Together(STAT), St. Louis Meals for Meds, and Columbia Meals for Medical Heroes and spread the word about the amazing things they are doing in our communities.
STAT pulled together 4,500 meals from 45 different local St. Charles county restaurants in only THREE WEEKS to feed our healthcare workers at SSM St Joseph in St Charles & Lake St Louis, BJC St Peters, Progress West Hospital, and Mercy Troy.
Feeding the Community
Because of the economic impact of Covid-19, more people than ever are turning to food banks to feed their families. When we weren’t able to volunteer in person because of stay-at-home orders or being short-staffed, we helped our community partners by making other contributions.
MLS4THELOU partnered with our friends at the St. Louis Area Foodbank to ensure our most vulnerable neighbors have access to nutritious food. We had 35 members of our staff participate in the making of our contribution below. They were able to reach well over their intended goal of 240,000 meals!
Throughout the month of May, West Community employees were invited to volunteer by donating 19 items to one of our charitable partners; APA, Saint Louis Food Bank, or the Fort Zumwalt, Francis Howell, Hazelwood, and Kirkwood School Districts.
We donated our company van to a member in Maplewood who operates a grab-and-go food pantry from her house. We’ve gotten to know Shana the last couple of months,” said Jason Peach, president and CEO of West Community Credit Union. “Her story just really connected us to just this whole world we’re in the last six months. She lost close to eight family members and friends since March. She’s new to St. Louis and on her way to overcome this, her therapy is to help others keep moving forward.”
Jones runs the non-profit group Keep Pushing, Inc. which helps the unhoused transition back into homes in the community. For five and a half months during this pandemic, she has given away food to more than 300 families a week. Her values definitely spoke to our mission.
Employee Holiday Drive
Each of our branches selected a local organization to kind of adopt and support over holiday season. The staff then brought in items from those charities’ wishlists. We were able to help spread joy to Keep Pushing, inc, Cosmopolitan Diabetes Foundation, Coyote Hill, The Women’s Safehouse, and H.E.R.O.E.S. Care with an additional $5,000 donation from the credit union.
“We are just so proud of our staff for rolling with the hand we were dealt this year and adapting with the uncertain to still make some of our goals happen,” said Lori Hudson, Community Outreach Specialist. “There was so much more we wanted to do for our community during these trying times, and it feels good to have the staff step up to do what they can to help our communities thrive.”
We’re always looking for ways to help our community and we can’t wait to see what 2021 has in store. We’ll keep you updated throughout the year on our progress on our website and social media. Make sure to follow along with the hours ticker on the bottom of our homepage too!