press release archives

United Federal Credit Union Staff ‘Pay It Forward’ to Help Local Communities with More Than $16,000 Donated

ST. JOSEPH, Mich. – United Federal Credit Union (United) donated more than $16,400 to 56 different individuals and community organizations across six states during its 12th annual Pay It Forward initiative. The 2019 contributions mark the largest ever donated by the program.

The Pay It Forward program provides $15 to every employee to give to a needy individual, family, or organization of their choice. Many times, departments and branches combine funds to create a more substantial donation.

The 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. In the first year, United raised $5,000.

United President/CEO Terry O’Rourke explains that the Pay It Forward program is part of the company’s culture and grows each year thanks to the generosity and dedication to service by employees.

“What really makes our Pay It Forward program special is that our employees step up every year and go above and beyond,” said President/CEO Terry O’Rourke. “The team at United is always looking for ways to make someone’s day a little brighter, and while Pay It Forward takes place during the holiday season, United employees give back and volunteer year-round. We believe that even small acts of kindness can lead to a big impact for individuals and our communities.”

Employees in all United’s branches, corporate buildings, and support teams raised money to benefit a variety of institutions that help children, seniors, veterans, and animals or that aid in the fight against cancer and hunger. The teams also identified individuals and families struggling with illnesses, loss of home due to fire, and other life-altering challenges and helped those people through direct contributions. In addition to the donated funds, United employees also volunteered 67 hours of service in support of Pay It Forward.

At every conclusion of Pay It Forward, United gathers its entire staff to hear more about how each department utilized the charitable funds. In 2019, that meeting occurred on December 18. United delayed service at some branches to allow employees to share how their donations would help within their community.