Thursday, June 20, 2024

STCU honors exceptional staff volunteerism with grants to non- profits


STCU employees once again showed their passion for community service by documenting a record 10,000 hours of volunteerism in 12 months.

The volunteers including 18 employees who served at least 80 hours of volunteerism for a single organization. Scores of others exceeded the 16 hours of paid time off that every STCU employee receives annually for volunteer activities.

In response, STCU is providing a record number of year-end Volunteers Count grants of $25 to $1,000. Those grants go to every organization where an employee reported at least 12 hours of service – a total of 120 organizations.

One-hundred-twenty organizations and 10,000 hours are not nearly a complete record, noted Ezra Eckhardt, President and CEO of the Spokane-based credit union. Many employees are reluctant to seek recognition for their altruism.

“Our employees’ passions are diverse, and so are the organizations where they serve,” Eckhardt said “It always makes my day to hear from leaders of community non-profits who want to tell me about an STCU employee who’s an exceptional volunteer.”

Any employee with at least 12 hours of service was invited to complete an application for a $1,000 grant on behalf of the organization they serve. The 18 recipient organizations were selected based on the employee’s passion for the cause, and the organization’s benefit to the community.

STCU employees selected for the grants said they draw deep satisfaction through their

community service.

“It’s an amazing feeling to know that my help goes to something so much greater than myself and my immediate area,” said Becky O’Bryan, a Member Consultant at STCU’s South Branch. She volunteers at Project Beauty Share, which benefits women in challenging circumstances.

For Kendall Taylor, a military spouse, volunteering at Post Falls’ Newby-Ginnings is deeply personal. The organization supports local active duty, veterans and Gold Star families. Military families “have no family when we move, no idea where to get resources,” said Taylor, an STCU Community Branch Manager. “Having a place like Newby-Ginnings helps so many people feel like they are a part of something bigger.”

In Melody Somday’s hometown of Republic, Wash., a $1,000 grant to the school district is a show of support for the next generation of leaders. “I want children to see that they have not only the school but the whole community behind them,” said Somday, an STCU Community Branch Manager.

Of the 120 STCU employees who earned grants to the non-profit organization or school where they volunteer their time:

• 32 $25 grants (at least 12 hours)

• 35 $50 grants (at least 20 hours)

• 17 $100 grants (at least 40 hours)

• 18 $250 grants (at least 80 hours)

• 18 $1,000 grants

The $26,700 in Volunteers Count grants is a small but meaningful part of the surprise donations STCU makes during its Season of Giving each December and January.

In all, STCU employees reported giving their time to 307 organizations across a broad swath of the Inland Northwest. They range from the Coulee City Senior Center, to Spokane’s Vanessa Behan, to Safe Passage, which serves survivors of domestic violence in Coeur d’Alene.

Also included are at least 69 organizations where STCU employees serve in leadership

positions on boards or committees. They include the Spokane Airport Board, WSU Board of Regents, Columbia Basin College Foundation, United Way of Benton-Franklin Counties, the West Central Community Center , and the Coeur d’Alene Area Economic Development Corporation.

All STCU employees receive leadership training and development opportunities to help them on their career path.

“Those same opportunities make them high-demand candidates to serve in community

leadership positions,” said Eckhardt. “That’s good for STCU, good for our members, and good for the community. Everybody wins.”

About STCU: STCU is a not-for-profit financial cooperative with a quarter-million members, 38 branch locations, $5.4 billion in total assets, and more than 900 employees who live our brand promise: “Here for good.”


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