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An illustration of a checklist of news from STCU.
An illustration of a checklist of news from STCU.
An illustration of a checklist of news from STCU.
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Dan Hansen
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Local nonprofits, schools, and libraries share $157,000.

December has been particularly festive for STCU employees, who delivered surprise checks totaling $157,000 to 19 library branches, three animal shelters, and more than 100 other schools and community organizations.

[December 19, 2019]

Among the Season of Giving surprise donations were $110,000 in "big impact" checks to support the missions of eight non-profit organizations:

  • $20,000 to Goodwill Industries of the Inland Northwest for the Basic Food Employment Training Program, which helps struggling individuals obtain the skills for a living-wage career.
  • $20,000 to Columbia Industries, a Tri-Cities organization that helps those with disabilities and other challenges develop essential vocational and life skills.
  • $15,000 to help Boys & Girls Clubs of Spokane County build a Spokane Valley club at the former Keystone Elementary.
  • $15,000 to Boys & Girls Club of Kootenai County, which works to help young people reach their full potential as productive, caring, and responsible citizens.
  • $10,000 to Second Harvest, for the Feeding Kids First campaign. The campaign will fund a warehouse and volunteer space dedicated to child-focused programs. That includes the Bite2Go program that provides weekend meals and snacks for students in Eastern Washington and North Idaho.
  • $10,000 to Lighthouse for the Blind, which provides employment, support, and training opportunities for people who are visually impaired.
  • $10,000 to Edith Bishel Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired in Kennewick, which provides optometric examinations, aids, training, and other services to visually impaired residents throughout southeastern Washington.
  • $10,000 to Panhandle Special Needs Inc., which helps Bonner and Boundary counties residents with disabilities live more independently.

In addition, STCU staff on December 3 delivered surprise checks of $1,000 each to Benton/Franklin Humane Society in Kennewick, Kootenai Humane Society in Hayden, Idaho, and Spokanimal in Spokane.

That same day, the credit union also donated $1,000 to each of 19 neighborhood libraries. They included branch libraries within the Pend Oreille County, Spokane County, and East Bonner County library districts; and within the Spokane Public Library, Community Library Network in Idaho, Liberty Lake Library, Coeur d'Alene Library, Mid-Columbia Libraries in Tri-Cities, Richland Public Library systems.

Finally, to honor the passions of its employees, STCU wrote a total of 154 checks for a total of $25,000. The checks, ranging from $25 to $1,000 went to nonprofit organizations and schools where employees volunteered.

STCU offers its employees 16 hours of paid time each year for volunteerism. The credit union encourages further volunteer activity by providing flexible schedules, leadership training at all levels, and other support to help them make a community impact.

To Evan McCausland, giving back to the community means spending days helping maintain and build trails with the Washington Trails Association.

"It's hard to look at a few hundred yards of brand new trail after eight hours (of work) and not feel a sense of pride at what was accomplished," said McCausland, a member relationship officer at STCU's South Branch. "Or better yet, a desire to hike the new trail that you helped create."

STCU Hutton Branch manager Lindsay Funderburke honors the memory of her late father by caring for animals at Murci's Mission, a pet rescue in Mead, Wash.

He and I shared a love for animals, so this was the clear choice for me," Funderburke said. "I started small with helping screen potential adopters, and my passion grew from there."

STCU's Season of Giving started December 3, this year's date for Giving Tuesday. The day, which is set aside for encouraging generosity and good works, was established in 2012 at New York's 92nd Street Y community organization. Now an international movement, it always lands on the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving is celebrated in the United States.

About STCU

Founded by Spokane schoolteachers in 1934, STCU is a not-for-profit financial cooperative with $3.2 billion total assets and 23 locations. Our new Rathdrum and Pasco branch locations will open in early 2020. STCU provides free financial education that in 2018 reached 12,900 Inland Northwest residents, including 7,000 students.