Community Service

Cooperative Financial Leadership in the Lone Star State

CU has helped members achieve financial success for more than 75 years.

March 15, 2012
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As a member-owned financial cooperative, Texas Trust Credit Union’s goal is providing members the means to achieve financial success.

As a member-owned financial cooperative, Texas Trust Credit Union’s goal is providing members the means to achieve financial success. Whether members need a loan to buy a home or purchase equipment for a business, or if they need access to credit for college, home repairs, or new vehicles, Texas Trust turns dreams into reality.

For more than 75 years, members’ needs have driven this cooperative.

Texas Trust takes the credit union philosophy of “people serving people” seriously. Besides donating thousands of dollars each year to area charities, its employees actively volunteer their time and resources to charitable causes.

In 2011, Texas Trust participated in 447 community events in which its employees volunteered more than 3,766 hours in philanthropic and charitable activities.

Employees drive many of the philanthropic endeavors the credit union supports. In addition to donating their time, they often use company benefits to create ways to support worthy causes.

For example, an employee health challenge designed to encourage employees to eat healthier inspired staff to organize a food drive to stock local food pantries with healthy foods. This culminated in the donation of more than 480 pounds of canned fruits and vegetables in just a few weeks.

On a larger scale, employees and the credit union leadership team created the “Together We Can Feed More” campaign to raise awareness of hunger. Texas Trust pledged to donate up to $25,000 to a local food bank, chosen by employees, for every pound of food donated during the campaign period.

More than a dozen employees, as well as President Jim Minge, also spent an afternoon at the food bank warehouse packaging frozen foods for local food pantries.

Texas Trust presented a check for $28,715—several thousand dollars more than it pledged—along with 11,417 pounds of food to the food bank. With the help of members, employees, and the community, Texas Trust’s efforts provided nearly 100,000 mealsvideo ).

Funding for public schools has forced many schools to eliminate “non-core” programs and educational tools, as well as cut extracurricular activities. Because education is vital to creating a thriving community, Texas Trust has taken local schools under its wings to provide support for various initiatives.

Texas Trust CU
Texas Trust CU
Texas Trust CU donated $28,715 and 11,417 pounds of food to a local food bank.

Through its Spirit in Action program, Texas Trust offers schools free financial literacy curricula for economics and social studies courses, financial workshops, student scholarships, and ongoing financial contributions.

The credit union’s Youth Advisory Council provides educational and leadership opportunities for high school students. Council members learn about financial cooperatives such as credit unions, as well as service leadership and marketing.

Members also participate in financial education classes and service learning projects, and volunteer at Texas Trust-sponsored community events. Students may also be employed at one of Texas Trust’s in-school branches, receiving hands-on experience in the financial services industry.

For primary grade students, Texas Trust provides financial education through its sponsorship of MarketPlace, an inventive economics program that allows students to put classroom learning into action in a hands-on, simulated business environment.

As the official financial institution of MarketPlace, Texas Trust provides every student with a temporary checking account. This introduces the students to basic money management skills, which they put to work operating businesses within MarketPlace.

While most large financial institutions across the U.S. have eliminated rewards programs for their debit and credit cards, Texas Trust bucked this trend and created a reward program designed to provide financial aid to local schools.

The Spirit Debit Reward Card (video) pays participating schools 15 cents every time active cardholders use their cards to make purchases. In just the first six months of the program, Texas Trust donated nearly $41,000 to the schools from revenue generated from card use.

Because of its cooperative nature, Texas Trust has earned a reputation as a community partner, dedicated to helping neighborhoods grow and thrive.

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Great article! Unfortunately, most employees don’t feel valued or appreciated by their supervisors or employers. In fact, research has shown that the predominant reason team members quit their jobs is because they don’t feel valued. This is in spite of the fact that employee recognition programs have proliferated in the workplace – over 90% of all organizations in the U.S. has some form of employee recognition activities in place. But most employee recognition programs are viewed with skepticism and cynicism – because they aren’t viewed as being genuine in their communication of appreciation. Getting the “employee of the month” award, receiving a certificate of recognition, or a “Way to go, team!” email just don’t get the job done. How do you communicate authentic appreciation? We have found people have different ways that they want to be shown appreciation, and if you don’t communicate in the language of appreciation important to them, you essentially “miss the mark”. Additionally, employees need to receive recognition more than once a year at their performance review. Otherwise, they view the praise as “going through the motions”. A third component of authentic appreciation is that the communication has to be about them personally – not the department, not their group, but something they did. Finally, they have to believe that you mean what you say. How you treat them has to match the words you use. If you are not sure how your team members want to be shown appreciation, the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory (www.appreciationatwork.com/assess) will identify the language of appreciation and specific actions preferred by each employee. You then can create a group profile for your team, so everyone knows how to encourage one another. Remember, employees want to know that they are valued for what they contribute to the success of the organization. And communicating authentic appreciation in the ways they desire it can make the difference between keeping your quality team members or having a negative work environment that everyone wants to leave. Paul White, Ph.D., is the co-author of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace with Dr. Gary Chapman.

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