International Credit Union Day is in the books … literally.
Celebrated globally on Thursday, the Newfoundland and Labrador Credit Union (NLCU) and its 12 branches provincewide encouraged staff and its members to be part of a book drive in support of libraries and schools as one of the 12 acts of kindness carried out by NLCU staff.
All books collected throughout the week will be donated to various schools and libraries around the province.
Initially created to celebrate its 60 years of service, Acts of Kindness was a credit union-wide initiative whereby teams – located in various areas provincewide – were to complete 60 Acts of Kindness in their communities in 2017. They surpassed the initial goal and completed 64 acts.
“It’s a big ask, 60 acts of kindness. The staff is busy, they have families and life outside of here. That makes for a tough balance, but they always find a way to help give back to the community. It is part of our culture here,” Allison Chaytor-Loveys, Chief Executive Officer NLCU said.
“Education is one of our values — we started as a teacher’s credit union — so that component is there,’’ she said making the book drive a great way to help out. Libraries have been in the news the past few years and were to be closed in the last budget. They are actively used in all our communities so to support those … and the schools who cry out for books … there is a lot of value in doing this event,” she added.
NLCU’s 12 branches performed 12 acts of kindness in their communities – ranging from food drives, community clean-ups to hosting a self-defence class for a female youth group.
As well, the NLCU Charitable Foundation is also participating in the festivities by donating $12,000 to provincial charities through a Facebook contest. Each charity selected receives $1,000, voted on by the public in each community that houses one of the 12 branch locations.
“The more we have of this, the better we are as a community,” Chaytor-Loveys said
“As a society, if we do our little part, it will be seen not as a hand out, but as putting our hands up to help,’’ she added.
“The more we have of this, the better we are as a community. As a society, if we do our little part, it will be seen not as a hand out, but as putting our hands up to help.’’
Allison Chaytor-Loveys, Chief Executive Officer NLCU
As NLCU’s core values are inspired by a commitment to the people and their communities, NLCU wanted to use this celebration as a way to give back in the areas where we live and work.
And recognizing the value of giving was channelled in comments made by one of NLCU’s employees stemming from two events, but one in particular.
Call centre supervisor Gale Joy, who deals with literally every NLCU employee at one time or another, said one of the more moving events she was involved in came from baking cookies for a fundraiser at Ronald McDonald House in St. John’s.
“I was surprised when we got there, a CU member from Labrador City was staying there,’’ Joy said noting that person’s child was sick,” Joy said.
“I was proud. He said, ‘hey, I’m one of you. I work at the Credit Union, too.’ He said for us to give up our personal time to make the stay bearable for his little girl was special,” she added.
But it doesn’t end there. Aware of her surroundings coming to work each day, she knew there was another issue to be tackled.
“Working downtown, we see a lot of homeless people on our way in here every day,’’ she said.
“We see they are not dressed properly so we decided as a group to put boxes together, with hats, mittens, scarves. We scurried around downtown and left them in strategic spots with notes on them for people to take,” she added.
Joy said it is great to work for an employer who sees the value in volunteering to assist others who need help. Not only are they able to do it, they are awarded time off from work to do so … and are encouraged to be part of the greater good of all the communities they work in.
In addition, NLCU branches provincewide celebrated with coffee, tea and treats in each branch on Thursday.
International Credit Union Day is celebrated globally, in more than 100 countries.
In its 70th year, this international event affords the opportunity to remember credit unions’ proud history and promote awareness of and support for the credit union difference.
The ultimate goal of Credit Union Day is to raise awareness about the great work credit unions are doing around the world and to give members the opportunity to get more involved.
“Social responsibility is one of those values. It’s a value that has always been a big part of who we are, both as individual employees and as an NLCU team,” Chaytor-Loveys said.
“We work where we live.”
Acts of Kindness
The following are examples of activities carried out by NLCU staff through this past week:
• Food drive for Autism Society
• Donating Tim Hortons to Labrador City Fire Department
• Donation to local soup kitchen
• Hosting Girl’s jiu-jitsu seminar and pizza party at Y-2C for Empowering Girls program; girls in Grades 5-6
• Donating Tim Hortons to local organization
• Donating clothing to Diabetes Canada
• Donate Tim’s Cards to Wiseman Centre
• Basket for a local women's shelter, delivered on Oct 17.
• Neighbourhood cleanup w/Clean St. John’s at Mundy Pond walking trail
• Cleanup of Old Gander Town Site
• Participating in Carbonear Academy “Walk for Breakfast” fundraiser
• Donations for CBS Food Bank
• NLCU book drive
Who gets the loot
The following is a list of $1,000 donations from NLCU:
• Canadian Mental Health Association
• Grand Falls-Windsor Community Food Bank
• Faith Haven’s Animal Shelter
• Trinity Conception Placentia Autism Society
• School Lunch Association
• Gander & Area SPCA
• Healthcare Foundation “Music and Memory” Program
• The Gathering Place
• Clarenville SPCA
• Bay St George Kids Foundation
• Bridges to Hope
The NLCU prides itself on supporting community initiatives. Some of them include:
• Mount Pearl’s Focus on Youth Awards
• NLCU Fresh Fish Award for Emerging Writers (the Fresh Fish Award is one of the most generous prizes given to Canada to an emerging writer who has not yet published a book).
• NLOWE Gala
• Red Cross Humanitarian Dinner
• Various Rotary Clubs throughout the province
• NLCU Scholarship Program: awarding two $3,000 scholarships to recently graduated NLCU members