Credit union gives back for holidaysPublished 10:35am Friday, November 6, 2009
By JESSICA SIEFF
Niles Daily Star
It was a little chilly outside on Thursday but that didn’t stop employees and members at the Greater Niles Community Federal Credit Union from taking part in one of the credit union’s favorite annual holiday traditions.
For the past eight years, president Dave VanStrien said the bank has given back to its members by offering up free turkeys and hams around the holidays.
“We have probably 2,800 between the turkeys and the hams,” VanStrien said, standing just a few feet away from a Martin’s semi trailer that will be parked outside the credit union today as well.
That number has increased from last year. “It’s more than last year because our membership has grown,” he said.
For two days credit union employees take turns sitting outside and marking off members by household. VanStrien is out as well, handing out hams or turkeys – something he said gives him a chance to meet with members he may not get to see very often.
“They really appreciate it,” he said.
The future holiday meal staples are provided by Martin’s Supermarket and amount to an estimated $20,000.
VanStrien said the idea came about when he and board members were trying to come up with a good way to put the profits of the credit union – which is nonprofit – to good use.
It’s become a holiday tradition.
The giveaway lasts two days and when the day is over, those left over will go to area food pantries, nonprofit organizations and churches. VanStrien said the credit union donated between 300 and 400 turkeys and hams last year.