Editor’s note: Periodically this holiday season, we gather some of the news we’ve received of businesses lending a helping hand in the community.
America First Credit Union: Closing out 2017 on a strong note, America First Credit Union gave $100,000 during its annual check presentation event, to organizations that work tirelessly to improve the lives of others. As part of the Community Assistance Program, America First’s non-profit organization, America First Charitable Foundation, ten organizations each received $10,000 to continue efforts to help others. Those designated organizations include: Christmas Box International, The Road Home, SafeNest, The Lantern House Homeless Shelter, YCC of Northern Utah, Cathedral of the Madeline Good Shepherd Program, For the Kids, Three Square, Food & Care Coalition, and Catholic Community Services, Joyce Hansen Hall Food Bank.
The America First Credit Union Charitable Foundation supports several programs, including the Warm the Soles of Kids holiday shoe giving program, educational scholarships and the Community Assistance Program.
The mission of the Community Assistance Program is to provide funds to assist the homeless and other disadvantaged individuals in the communities America First serves. Money for the Community Assistance Program is raised through America First Credit Union member donations and distributed to organizations that provide job assistance, training, housing, food and medical attention to those in need.
David Weekley Homes: David Weekley Homes, the nation’s largest privately-held builder, hosted its third annual, companywide Giving Thanks, Giving Back Thanksgiving Drive, collecting an aggregate of more than 213,000 pounds of turkey and nonperishable items in 18 participating markets. The company’s efforts provided nearly 226,000 meals to local families.
In Salt Lake City, more than 640 pounds of turkey and nonperishable items were collected during the two-week drive, which ran from November 1 to 15.
“Utah Food Bank is such an amazing organization!” said Sarah Gass, marketing coordinator for David Weekley Homes in Salt Lake City. “It is so rewarding to be able to help support and provide food for this charity.”
Locally, the Thanksgiving Drive benefitted Utah Food Bank, a nonprofit organization which collects and distributes food to more than 140 partner agencies across 29 counties in Utah. David Weekley team members delivered the collected items to Utah Food Bank to distribute to families in time for the holiday.
“Utah Food Bank would like to express our gratitude for the support of David Weekley Homes, whose food donation will provide 535 meals, which will feed an average family of four for a month and a half,” said Ginette Bott, chief development officer for Utah Food Bank. “We consider each and every person and organization that donates their food, time or money to this important effort to be a true partner in Fighting Hunger Statewide.”
The Thanksgiving Drive is an initiative of the company’s CARE program, which joins team members with homeowners, homebuyers, community partners and local nonprofit organizations to live out its purpose of Building Dreams, Enhancing Lives in each of the communities in which it builds.
Mountain America Credit Union: WEST JORDAN, Utah, Dec. 12, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Mountain America Credit Union will present a $20,000 check to the Humane Society of Utah during the Hope for the Holidays Telethon on Sunday, December 17, 2017. As the matching sponsor of Giving Tuesday on November 28, Mountain America matched donations up to $20,000. With Mountain America’s matching donation, the Humane Society of Utah raised over $57,000 on Giving Tuesday.
The 2017 Hope for the Holidays telethon will broadcast live on Fox 13 on Sunday, December 17 from 2:30p.m. to 5:30p.m. To make a donation, text “HSUHOPE” to 41444 or visit utahhumane.org.
“Mountain America is proud to support the Humane Society of Utah with their mission of saving animals through our Giving Tuesday match,” says Mountain America Chief Marketing Officer, Sharon Cook. “Mountain America is also pleased to support Pet of the Week and HERO Camp programs which allows animals to find their forever homes and teaches children the financial responsibility of owning a pet.”
“We couldn’t save as many animals as we do each year without support from our community and charitable sponsors like Mountain America Credit Union,” said Jenny Castro-Conde, Humane Society of Utah corporate sponsorship manager. “On behalf of the thousands of animals we help each year, we thank Mountain America for their valuable partnership with HSU and generous contribution to our Giving Tuesday fundraiser.”
Weber State Credit Union: For the past fourteen years, Weber State Credit Union has joined in the giving of the season by providing shoes to kindergarteners at Lincoln and Roy Elementary Schools. This year, the credit union has expanded the Warm the Soles tradition to include Wasatch Elementary (Clearfield) and Lake View Elementary (Brigham City).
Donations for the shoes come from WSCU members who participate in the Skip-a-Payment promotion, as well as community donations through the WSCU Foundation. This event is the highlight of the year, and a favorite for all employees who volunteer their time to make this tradition a magical experience for the children.
Each year, teachers read the story of “The Elves and the Shoemaker” to their students, igniting their imaginations with holiday magic. As the story ends, the students go hunting for the elves and are surprised with brand new shoes. Credit union employees happily help the students try on their shoes, marveling at the look of wonder and gratitude in their eyes.
Mark Johnson, the principal at Lake View Elementary, spoke about his excitement to bring this great tradition to his school for the first time this year: “I am very excited about the upcoming Warm the Soles event. I can already imagine the reactions of our little kindergarten students when they discover their gift. Our kindergartners are precious and it will be real blessing for them to receive the gift of a new pair of quality shoes. We have many students here who are facing challenges and any act of love and kindness makes a difference to them. I am very grateful that Lake View was chosen to be the recipient of this charitable act. What a way to celebrate Christmas!”
Sara Garff is the mother to one of the children who received shoes for the first time this year at Wasatch Elementary. She shared this sentiment: “This gift was so kind, generous and unexpected. It made such an impact on my son that I truly believe he will still be telling his grandkids about the elves that snuck in his school 70 years from now.”
For those wishing to contribute to this magical tradition, tax-deductible donations can be made at any WSCU Branch or online at www.weberstatecu.com.