Dowagiac Honor Credit Union pays it forward

DOWAGIAC — Members of Dowagiac Honor Credit Union helped pay it forward this season in a variety of ways. 

Honor Credit Union has offered the Pay it Forward Program officially for five years by providing team members with a $50 holiday cash bonus.

“It’s something that has been looked forward to over the years, and people start planning out ahead with what they think they want to do or how they want to give it back,” said Kayla Smith, a brand specialist at Honor Credit Union.

Smith said most team members are excited to know what has happened and share it with their teams.

“One lady actually had adopted an animal from the Berrien County Animal Control, and they donated 90 pounds of dog food,” Smith said. “We had people giving unexpected tips at salons and restaurants. It’s a great mix of just hearing everything and seeing the different ways people gave back.”

With each Honor team member receiving $50 as part of the Pay it Forward program, about $18,000 was donated throughout Honor’s 24 communities, according to an Honor Credit Union press release.

“We provide the team members with that cash bonus, and they are able to go about with wherever they’d like to provide that. We don’t ask for a proof of it. We just want you to be able to go out and make a difference in someone’s day.” Smith said.

Dowagiac Honor Credit Union employees had several examples of how they decided to make a difference with their $50 holiday bonus. To protect the identities of those who received the donations, employees asked to remain anonymous.

One employee, was training at the credit union when she noticed a couple experiencing car trouble. The employee dropped everything and handed the couple her $50 and wished them a “Merry Christmas.” Days later, the same employee had a flat tire and decided to use an additional $50 to give an extra tip to the tow truck employee.

A second Dowagiac Honor Credit Union employee was taking their dog to a local veterinary clinic, when she overheard women in front of her with a small animal and talking about the cost of prescriptions. The women expressed concern about being able to pay for the costs.

The Honor Credit Union employee decided to pay it forward by contributing $100 to the women’s bill at the vet.

A third Dowagiac Credit Union employee took to the streets of Chicago to pay it forward.

The day of receiving her holiday bonus, the employee spoke with her mother, who had gathered old purses filled with feminine products to hand out to those in need while they visited Chicago. The Honor Credit Union employee decided to pay it forward by dividing her bonus among the purses, which were given to women in need.

While at Millennium Park in Chicago, the credit union employee handed a purse to a woman who was overjoyed to receive the feminine products and cash.

Collectively, the Dowagiac Honor Credit Union employees said they choose to pay it forward in their own way and however it strikes them.