Concern for Community. That is the seventh core principle for our cooperative and a principle that we follow, as do our credit union clients, for the greater good of our community. It could be volunteering for local organizations, a fundraiser sponsored by the credit union, or participating in various causes that make a difference.
Why is it important? Getting your employees involved with not only your organization but the community has many benefits shown to improve mood and decrease stress. It is also a great way to build and establish your brand locally!
In order to stay true to our Seven Cooperative Principles, CU*Answers developed the CU*Out There! community service program. The program provides CU*Answers staff the opportunity to support local organizations that they are passionate about. With this initiative, CU*Answers hopes employees give back in ways that are most meaningful to them, work together to support a greater cause, and educate fellow colleagues on local community programs.
All CU*Answers employees are able to participate in one paid volunteer day per fiscal year for a local community charity of their choice. There is an approval form and process the employee must go through in order to submit their volunteer paid time off. The day of service is to be performed on a workday during traditional work hours and must be with a nonprofit (501c3) organization.
Once an employee completes their volunteer day, their submission will be posted on our Community Wall located at our 28th Street location. It is encouraged to take a photo while the employee is volunteering so it can go up on the wall. This is a great way to educate staff on opportunities and bring visibility to organizations in your community that are making a difference.
As mentioned previously, you must volunteer at a nonprofit (501c3) organization. There are so many in the Grand Rapids area but I’d like to share my experience with my CU*Out There! day.
I spent my day of service with two organizations. The first, with whom CU*Answers has had two successful pop-ups within the past couple of years, is Beer City Dog Biscuits. They have several volunteer opportunities each week even with a couple of time options. When you volunteer with BCDB, you work alongside their Brew Bakers assisting them with their tasks. I was at the Stuffing Biscuit Mold station.
After volunteering there for a few hours, I spent the rest of my afternoon volunteering at Harbor Humane Society at a spay and neuter clinic through BISSELL Pet Foundation. I am currently a member of BPF’s Junior Board.
I am grateful for the opportunity to have this day to volunteer and also to work for a company that cares about doing this for its employees! It is a new program that I hope will be utilized throughout the organization.