Community Service

Being True to Your School Pays Off

Communities in Texas take a lot of pride in their high schools.

May 11, 2014
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Being True to Your School Pays Off

Communities in Texas take a lot of pride in their high schools.

Now, thanks to $824 million asset Texas Trust Credit Union of Mansfield, Texas, people in those communities can make a donation to their favorite school with every transaction.

Since launching the Spirit Debit Reward card in the fall of 2011, Texas Trust has donated more than $523,000 to five school districts in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.

Partnering schools receive 15 cents every time Texas Trust members use their Spirit Debit Reward card to make a purchase.

Schools receive a check each month from the credit union based on the previous month’s card usage.

The schools can spend the money as they deem appropriate.

Each of the program participants— 14 high schools, two administration offices, and one education foundation—has its own custom-designed card.

Texas Trust Spirit Debit cardholders surpassed three million purchases by the end of January 2014.

“Texas Trust has given us a tool to easily raise money to supplement our budget, which continues to be squeezed,” says Tammy Mariani, principal at Cedar Hill High School.

“The Spirit card also allows alumni, or anyone in the community, to support the high school indirectly just by using it for everyday purchases.”

Enlisting Financial Educators’ Aid

Financial investors, counselors, and legal advisers visited a Minnesota National Guard base recently to provide employees guidance on setting a solid financial course.

Hiway Federal Credit Union organized the seminars at Camp Ripley, a regional training facility for military, state, local, and civilian communities located in Little Falls, Minn., about 100 miles northwest of its St. Paul headquarters.

Many credit unions have large concentrations of military personnel in their membership. Others, such as $927 million asset Hiway Federal, simply want to provide servicemembers with solid financial education.

“We help set goals, and turn financial goals into reality, through proper budgeting and taking inventory of their personal finances,” says Sara Thingvold, Hiway Federal’s business development specialist.

Financial counselors conduct hour-long “lunch and learn” classes. They also encourage servicemembers and their families to schedule a confidential meeting to learn about investing and maximizing retirement benefits while maintaining a healthy, realistic financial lifestyle.

Attendees also learn the basics of wills and revocable trusts, which can be draft ed through their military attorney office.

“Understanding these concepts, products, and services is important, especially during the transition into the civilian lifestyle,” Thingvold says. 

Share Your Stories at uniteforgood.org

Credit unions that go above and beyond in looking out for members’ interests demonstrate the principles of the national Unite for Good campaign—removing barriers, creating awareness, and fostering service excellence. The campaign, launched by CUNA and the state leagues, is rallying credit unions to work toward the goal in which Americans choose credit unions as their best financial partner. Here are a couple stories about how credit unions demonstrate the Unite for Good objectives.

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