press release archives

United Federal Credit Union Chalk the Check Campaign Donates to Four Non-Profit Organizations

ROGERS, Arkansas –United Federal Credit Union (United) has donated $12,000 to four northwest Arkansas non-profit organizations thanks to its "Chalk the Check" campaign that ran December 10-31, 2019.

The "Chalk the Check" campaign featured 119 large street stencils that looked like a United check placed on sidewalks across northwest Arkansas, including Bentonville, Fayetteville, Lowell, Rogers, and Springdale. Residents in each community were asked to take a picture of a check, upload the image to Facebook with the hashtag #ChalkTheCheck, and mention a non-profit organization of their choice to receive one of two $5,000 donations.

"The community interaction we received from this campaign was absolutely heart-warming," said Stephanie Riffle, Market Vice President—Arkansas. "We wanted to raise awareness about charitable giving and the importance of giving back when possible. We saw tremendous engagement from residents, and the non-profit groups were thrilled to know that people support the work they do in our communities."

At the end of the campaign, 16 non-profit organizations were nominated and there were nearly 170 qualifying entries. The winners of the two $5,000 donations were selected at random, and the two organizations with the most photo uploads each received a $1,000 donation.

Check Presentation: I'll Fly Away Foundation

The I'll Fly Away Foundation received a $5,000 donation from the campaign. Founded in 2011 by husband and wife team Betsy Brumley and Kevin Bernier, the I'll Fly Away Foundation looks to secure the future of the state's musical heritage through its mission to encourage children to become the people they want to become by using music to cross over the normal boundaries and communicate.

The foundation draws its name from the world-renowned song "I'll Fly Away" written in 1932 by Albert E. Brumley, Betsy's grandfather and famously featured in the film O Brother, Where Art Thou?. Through songwriting, the I'll Fly Away Foundation's programs unlock children's creative potential and help inspire their dreams, as they teach them to believe in themselves and in the belief that song can change a life.

In January 2020, the song "I'll Fly Away" was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, and Betsy Brumley was recently asked to run for a board of governors seat for the Grammy Awards.

Check Presentation: Open Avenues

Open Avenues also received a $5,000 donation thanks to the Chalk the Check campaign.

Located in Rogers, Open Avenues strives to provide opportunity for people with disabilities by facilitating personal growth and attainment of vocational goals. The organization believes all people with disabilities are respected for their unique contributions to the community.

Open Avenues has opportunities for community employment and development opportunities through its work center. Community employment includes opportunities for real world experience in networking, walk-in visits to employers, job shadowing, and job searches in the neighborhood. The work center helps people with disabilities find employment that matches each person's interests and abilities. They receive practical, hands-on, real work experience that includes production and attendance goals while earning a paycheck.

Through the Open Avenues Foundation, people in the community can donate a personal gift of $40 to sponsor bus fare for one month to an individual in the Open Avenues program.

Two organizations, Autism Involves Me and Saving Grace, had the most overall photos submitted and were also awarded $1,000 each.

Autism Involves Me (AIM) is a non-profit organization who supports families impacted by autism in Benton and Washington counties. AIM's mission is to enhance the lives of people with autism by connecting the community through greater awareness and resources. Through its grant programs, AIM is able to help offset some of the financial burden that a family incurs, support teachers and therapists in local public schools, connect families through a variety of events and social adventures, and provide educational conferences for parents, care givers and educators covering topics around caring for an individual with autism.

Saving Grace is a transitional housing program for young women in northwest Arkansas who are lacking critical supports in their lives. The organization fosters relationships, skills, and provides resources to empower generational change for the young women who stay at the home. The team at Saving Grace is committed to bringing about lifelong change that will not only impact the life of a young woman who calls Saving Grace home, but instill in her the things she needs to create a home for her own family someday.