By Jennifer Garrett, editor, Scotsman Guide Media | bio
Each month, Helping Hands profiles a mortgage professional or group that has volunteered to lend a hand to others in need
Name Mike Ballantyne, home-loan manager, and Kate Whittaker,
assistant to the president for marketing and public relations, Family First
Federal Credit Union
Project Warm the Soles
Site Utah County, Utah
How Each year, Family First Federal Credit Union joins 30
other credit unions in donating shoes to underprivileged Utah children each
holiday season through the Utah League of Credit Unions’ (ULCU) Warm the Soles
At the beginning of each school year, Family First works
with local schools to create a list of all the shoes needed in each school --
down to childrens’ names and shoe sizes. Mervyns department store fills the
order, providing the shoes at a discount. Credit-union employees then wrap the
shoes and distribute them to the children.
There’s more: Ballantyne directs an annual golf tournament
fundraiser, which netted roughly $5,000 for Warm the Soles this past June. In
addition, Whittaker developed the Skip a Payment program, which allows
credit-union members to defer a payment for 30 days in return for a $10
donation. The credit union also accepts independent donations and sells
discount tickets to a local water park to raise more funds.
Why Family First started participating 12 years ago, when
the ULCU first sponsored the program as a collective fundraiser, Whittaker
And she notes that shoes are a basic need that often gets
“With the harsh winters that we have out here, it’s
important that you have a good shoe on your foot,” Ballantyne says.
Impact Each of Family First’s seven branches is responsible
for two schools. This year, the credit union will help students from 13 schools
with a large number of low-income students.
In the past few years, the credit union’s donation amount
has increased from 50 pairs of shoes to more than 900 pairs annually. Family
First raises about $20,000 annually for the program, Whittaker says.
In all, more than 5,000 pairs of shoes were donated from
credit unions across the state as part of Warm the Soles in 2007, ULCU
President Scott Simpson says.
Try it Contact ULCU at (800) 662-8684 or via www.ulcu.com.
Jennifer Garrett was an editor at Scotsman Guide. For questions on this article, call (800) 297-6061 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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