[march 17, 2021]
As part of an ongoing effort to support community recovery, STCU this month purchased $30,000 in gift cards from locally owned restaurants, donating them primarily to organizations serving women in Eastern Washington, Tri-Cities, and North Idaho.
“Restaurants and restaurant workers have been hard hit by the economic fallout from the pandemic, and women have suffered the greatest financial losses of all,” said Ezra Eckhardt, STCU president and CEO. “These cards are a small piece of a much larger effort to help sustain and strengthen communities.”
In the year since the pandemic started, STCU has provided substantial support to businesses, schools, families, and community groups. Whenever possible, those efforts have included elements of surprise and creativity. They have included doubling its dues to 16 chambers of commerce on National Support Your Local Chamber of Commerce Day; sending care packages to STCU members in the fire-ravished town of Malden; surprising 23 nonprofit groups with checks of $10,000 to $32,000; and randomly handing out gift cards to clients at Columbia Basin food banks.
The credit union also processed more than 1,700 forgivable Paycheck Protection Program loans to help businesses stay open and preserve jobs. It has helped thousands of STCU members by restructuring loans or allowing them to skip payments.
STCU’s purchase of 600 $50 restaurant gift cards coincides with the "Great Dine Out," a collaboration between the Inlander, STCU, and 13 other banks and credit unions to help restaurants in Spokane and Kootenai counties. It is one of several business-boosting media efforts that have had substantial STCU support.
The restaurant gift cards went to 22 non-profits groups, to be gifted to clients who may be in need of additional food assistance, including YWCA Spokane, Women and Children’s Free Restaurant, Transitions, Safe Passage in Coeur d’Alene, and Domestic Violence Services of Benton-Franklin County.
STCU is celebrating Women’s History Month by highlighting past, present and future female leaders. Nine women and one man signed STCU’s Articles of Incorporation in 1934. Today, women represent 72% of STCU staff and 64% of its leadership.