Credit union celebrates 60 years by paying it forward
WSECU employees have been up to some good
OLYMPIA, WA (September 22, 2017) — Some say the traditional gift for a 60th anniversary is the diamond. This year, WSECU employees have been celebrating six decades as a credit union in $60 increments. The credit union’s Up to Some Good initiative allows employees to “pay it forward” by giving them a budget of $60 to spread some good in the community.
The guidelines are simple and let employees respond in the moment to an opportunity they see to spread goodwill. They first spend their own money and then get reimbursement from the credit union for up to $60. Employees have used the funds for a range of activities from charitable donations, to picking up a dinner tab, to purchasing items for the needy to paying down school lunch debt.
“We wanted a special way to involve employees throughout the year in celebrating our 60th anniversary and to give back to our neighbors,” said Ann Flannigan, Vice President of Public Relations. “It’s been a lot of fun and quite moving to see all the ways our employees have run with the concept.”
Flannigan added that the staff members have enjoyed being able to be WSECU brand ambassadors in such a direct, tangible way.
Employee Melissa Ruiz, Consumer Loan Servicing Team Leader, was in a Les Schwab tire shop waiting for her car when she overheard a customer talking with the clerk. The customer said she needed a new tire because she ran over a razor but didn’t have more than $20 to spend. The clerk found a used tire at that price that would work short-term but really didn’t properly fit. Ruiz stepped forward to offer assistance.
“I felt compelled to do something,” said Ruiz. “I approached the counter and shared that I work for WSECU and as an employee I am encouraged to give back to the community. I told them that WSECU would like to pay for a new tire for her car.”
Both the tire customer and the clerk teared up with surprise. When the customer said she was not a WSECU member, Melissa assured her that was not a problem. The credit union just wanted to help.
Ruiz concludes, “I feel blessed to work for an organization that cares so deeply and passionately for their members, employees and communities it serves.”
Another example of getting Up to Some Good is West Olympia Branch employee Glory Stewart. She volunteered in a Garfield Elementary classroom and decided it was time to use her $60 to help outfit the classroom. With the teacher’s guidance, Stewart purchased a rug, a pillow, folders, Playdoh and pens for student use.
“The instructor was so thankful to WSECU and our continued support of the community,” Stewart said.
Flannigan said that a true pay-it-forward outcome has happened several times where recipients of WSECU employee goodwill have stated that they will, in turn, do something good for someone else.
“That’s the best feeling of all, knowing that we’ve been a little link in a chain of good that might continue,” Flannigan said.
WSECU’s Up to Some Good activities will continue through the rest of 2017. The credit union will then evaluate and consider if it will continue beyond the 60th anniversary celebration.
Founded by a small group of state employees in 1957 seeking fairer financial services, WSECU has grown to 270,000 members, 21 branches, 700 employees and more than $3 billion in assets. The credit union combines outstanding member service with innovation to support members’ financial well-being. Membership is open to all residents of the state of Washington.