United Federal Credit Union staff ‘Pay It Forward’ to help charities, families across Midwest

Published 9:43 am Wednesday, January 5, 2022

ST. JOSEPH — United Federal Credit Union donated more than $13,400 to local families and organizations in Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio as part of its 2021 Pay It Forward initiative.

As part of Pay It Forward, United provided $20 to every employee to give to a needy individual, family, or organization of their choice. Many departments and branches combined funds and even added their own financial contributions to create a more substantial donation, further demonstrating the passion Team United has for its members and communities.

Organizations supported by United employees in southwest Michigan, Marion, Ohio, and northern Indiana in 2021 include: Feed Western Michigan – Benton Harbor, Hope Resources, Sylvia’s Place, Michigan Parkinson’s Association, Toys for Tots, CASA Children, Cultivate Food Rescue, Ronald McDonald House, Veterans Center, Pheasant’s Forever, God’s Hands for Kids, Operation Christmas, Humane Society of Southwestern Michigan, Berrien County Animal Control, Children’s Advocacy’s Center of SWMI, Paws of Hope, Hidden Acres Safe Haven, Shop with a Cop, Helping Hands Pantry, Benton Harbor Water Crisis, White Pigeon Community Schools – Fresh Food Initiative, Operation Christmas, K9’s For Warriors, as well as several families.

Collectively, United employees donated more than $19,300 to 54 different families, individuals and community organizations across the six states where branches are located.

The Pay It Forward program began in 2008 with a request from employees that they use the money otherwise spent on internal holiday celebrations to help people in the community.

United President/CEO Terry O’Rourke credited the company’s culture and the dedication to service by employees for the Pay It Forward program’s continued growth and success.

“The thought and consideration each individual and department puts into thinking how these dollars can offer extra help during the holiday season for a family, an organization, or other members of the community is remarkable,” O’Rourke said. “This was another year filled with challenges for our friends and family across the country, but when Team United saw a need, they found a way to offer a helping hand.”

For the second year, United employees participated in a virtual meeting to hear more about how each department utilized the charitable funds. Employees used technology to share their stories and promote the spirit of giving during the holiday season.

“Every year I am amazed by our employees’ enthusiasm for Pay It Forward. They show their caring nature and go above and beyond to help our communities,” O’Rourke said. “This year was another challenging year and we would not have made it through without our team’s dedication to United’s mission. We are proud to be able to support and improve the lives of our members and our communities.”