SAFE Credit Union employees volunteered nearly 1,000 hours – equating to up to $32,000 in donated time – to Sacramento, Contra Costa, El Dorado, Placer, and Yolo County communities and nonprofits recently.
The combined effort sprang from the credit union’s Building CommYOUnity Month – now in its second year. The campaign, which started four years ago as a weeklong initiative, encourages employees to make a difference by volunteering throughout the month of September.
“SAFE employees made one amazing impact on Greater Sacramento communities this year,” says SAFE Credit Union Community Impact Specialist Brit Kelleher. “We were so overwhelmed with the amount of commitment from employees at SAFE branches and across departments within the organization.”
Surpassing last year’s 26 Building CommYOUnity Month projects, nearly 200 SAFE employees, including teams from three of the credit union’s Employee Resource Groups, volunteered on a record 44 projects this year.
SAFE employees also raised $1,235 to buy MP3 players and other supplies for the Children’s Receiving Home of Sacramento. The music devices provide a tool for emotional support to the nonprofit’s young residents. And employees – many from SAFE’s contact center – collected and donated 111 pounds of food to the River City Food Bank.
Overall, employees donated their time completing a variety of volunteer activities and in-person assistance.
For example, this year volunteers created holiday kits for young cancer patients, distributed food at area food banks, helped Blue Star Moms assemble care packages for service men and women, painted transitional housing units and facilities, participated in fundraising events like the Placer SPCA’s BarktoberFestand the Ronald McDonald House Charities Red Shoe Crawl in Folsom, prepared and served food to women and children, supported veterans, threw birthday parties for children living in transitional housing shelters, and worked on several area nature cleanup projects.
Volunteers included branch and back office employees and executives from across the credit union ranging from its financial planning and analysis and change management and engagement teams to those from human resources and retail operations.
“I think that when you have the capacity to give back to the community, it’s your responsibility to do so,” says SAFE Digital Systems Analyst Kristin Wilson who volunteered with the information technology team at Soil Born Farms. “Especially,” she adds, “if you have the time and the means to share with others.”
The farm in Rancho Cordova promotes sustainability while supporting veterans and communities through education and employment services.
Senior Application ManagerCua Vang volunteered with Wilson. “I like doing things that get you out of your comfort zone,” says Vang, who encouraged others to volunteer and to try new experiences.
Teams supported 26 area nonprofits also including the Elk Grove Food Bank, Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano, The Gathering Inn, Girls Love Mail, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Sacramento Restore, Rancho Cordova Food Locker, Roseville-based Keaton’s Childcare Alliance, Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services, Saint John’s Program for Real Change, Single Mom Strongin Citrus Heights, Volunteers of America California and Nevada, Wellspring Women’s Center in Oak Park and the Yolo County Children’s Alliance.
Volunteerism is a part of the award-winning culture at SAFE – the Sacramento Business Journal this year named SAFE as the Best Place to Work, Very Large Employer.
SAFE employees each receive 16 hours of paid time off every year to volunteer on their own or with their co-workers as a team building exercise.
SAFE Credit Union has made members an integral part of its vision since 1940. Over the years the credit union has kept the focus on what really matters, putting members first, a formula that has seen SAFE grow into a leading financial institution in Northern California with $4.7 billion in assets and about 236,000 members. SAFE crafts every cutting-edge product and sterling service with members’ needs foremost in mind. In addition to banking services conveniently available through online, chat, mobile, or phone options, SAFE offers in-person services for members and small businesses at service centers across the Greater Sacramento region. SAFE is a not-for-profit, state-chartered credit union with membership open to businesses and individuals living or working in Sacramento, Placer, Yolo, El Dorado, Sutter, Butte, Nevada, Solano, San Joaquin, Contra Costa, Yuba, Amador, and Alameda counties. Insured by NCUA. www.safecu.org