In many communities animals play an important role whether as companion or service animals. From the family pet to guide dogs to military animals to therapy horses and birds and so on, animals share their lives with humans on a daily basis. To the people whose existence is enriched (sometimes even saved) by a four-legged, furry, feathered, or finned friend these animals are best friends, and part of their family. As such, credit unions recognize and value how animals contribute to an overall happier society, and support efforts to rescue, protect, and nurture them.
Credit Unions Are “People Helping Animals”
Whether lending support to their local animal shelter, donating to rescue efforts or sponsoring adoption events, credit unions are proud to be an advocate for the countless animals who need a voice and deserve a chance.
Over the past several years, Triangle Credit Union (Nashua, NH) has focused on helping area shelters, and in 2012 they actually exceeded previous annual efforts with their Christmas in July Drive. According to Terri Connolly, Marketing Promotions Specialist, the credit union presented donations to several animal shelters, including the Humane Society for Greater Nashua and the Animal Rescue League of New Hampshire in Bedford. “Triangle CU is very community oriented and we recognize that pets and animals are a big part of our community,” said Connolly.
Triangle conducts an annual donation drive in all of their branches and online (linking to the shelter websites), with each branch working toward its own goal. All monies collected from members are then distributed to the local shelters. Each branch has a drive coordinator and conducts “Meet and Greet” times during the campaign at which time the credit union employees are sharing drive and donation information with members.
“While we have supported animal rescue efforts in the past, this is the first year Triangle expanded its giving campaign to the Animal Rescue League of New Hampshire,” said Maurice Simard, Triangle Credit Union President and CEO. “We are excited to offer support to the league and appreciate the generosity of our members to make this happen. Not only were we able to give to the Humane Society for Greater Nashua and the Animal Rescue
League of New Hampshire shelters, but we are able to extend to all shelters where we have branch locations, including the Friends of Manchester Animal Shelter.
Likewise, Genisys Credit Union (Auburn Hills, MI) supported several animal rescue efforts this year. As a result of winning the Michigan Credit Union League's (MCUL) 2012 Outstanding Credit Union of the Year, the credit union was awarded $5,000 to donate to charity. “We chose the Michigan Animal Rescue League, Macomb Community College Veterinary Technician Kitten Program and Detroit Dog Rescue 5k and Fall Fest as our recipients,” said Nicole Bowen, Marketing Representative.
Genisys also held a Friendship Frenzy campaign on Facebook for the first time, encouraging fans to share the credit union’s posts with their friends and to like their page. In return, Genisys donated $200 to the Michigan Humane Society to help out their furry friends.
At Genisys they feel supporting animal welfare aligns with the principle of 'people helping people,’ upon which credit unions were built. Since many peoples' pets are their best friends, the credit union’s donations not only help the animals, but support the people who care enough to get involved as well.
"Not only do these animal rescue organizations make a significant difference in the lives of thousands of furry friends each year, but they also make a difference in our community," said Jackie Buchanan, President/CEO.
Another animal-friendly credit union, Abri Credit Union (Romeoville, IL) also supports local rescue efforts. Since 2009 Abri CU hosts an annual Pet Adoption Day every May. In 2011 they hosted a second event in October as well. “These events are fully funded by Abri CU, include a radio broadcast, free food, raffle prizes and an inflatable for children, and most importantly, host about 4-6 local animal rescues,” explained Nicole Lunardini, External Marketing Supervisor and coordinator of these events.
At the event, Abri CU has a tent and brings pets out to adopt on site. “While most organizations do home visits before finalizing an adoption we feel events like this allow the community to meet the dogs and make a connection with them before putting in an adoption application,” said Lunardini. All of the rescue organizations have the opportunity to sell items at the tent to help fundraise. The popular event is advertised to membership and the community via radio, newspaper, e-newsletter and in the branches is run entirely by credit union staff volunteers.
“One of our core values as an organization is ‘serve and care about our communities’ and, to us, giving back to the animals is just as important as other charities out there -- many of our employees have rescue dogs and feel a strong connection to the cause,” added Lunardini.
Remember the Animals this Holiday Season
During the holidays many credit unions donate monetary gifts to a charity of choice. If you are a credit union member or employee, consider suggesting an animal-related charity as this year’s recipient to your co-workers or fellow members. Or, think about donating your time. To find out about individual and group volunteer opportunities in your area, or to learn more about adopting or fostering an animal, check out www.humanesociety.org, www.volunteermatch.org, www.aspca.org, or www.worldwildlife.org.
If your credit union actively supports animal-related causes, why not join their effort? Check with your local credit union for details. Not a credit union member but interested in becoming part of a financial institution that values the worth of our furry friends? Find a CU in your area and join today!