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It’s the credit union philosophy. People helping people. In the financial world, the credit union strives to improve the lives of our members. We in turn encourage our members to help others in the wider community. In this season of giving, I believe an easy way to do this is to support a worthy cause when we buy presents for ourselves or for loved ones. Here are some worthwhile charities that will give back to others when you purchase their products.
Give a goat through Heifer International. This organization purchases livestock in your name or the name of your gift recipient. They then pass them on to a needy family in a developing country. The recipients will use that animal to start a sustainable enterprise to help them become self-sufficient. Families must agree to pass on the animal offspring and knowledge to others in their community. Heifer International is a favorite gift in the Spence family household. With our roots in the developing world, we know that most people just need a “hand up” instead of a “handout.” For more information, visit: www.heifer.org
If you do not like handing money to homeless people on the street, consider buying a piece of jewelry that will directly benefit them. The Giving Keys helps people transitioning out of homelessness by employing them to make necklaces and other jewelry out of repurposed keys. The items are unique and are sold on their web site at www.thegivingkeys.com.
Sadly, 15,000 children in America are diagnosed with cancer every year. Love Your Melon sells beanies (knitted hats) to fight pediatric cancer in this country. Founded by two classmates at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, Love Your Melon began with the simple idea of putting a comforting hat on every child battling the disease. To date, they have given over 4.7 million dollars and over 149,000 hats to sick children. When you buy a beanie, fifty percent of profits go directly to supporting these young patients. For more information, visit: loveyourmelon.com
This company sells colorful pajamas, robes and lounge pants, all made in India by women who have escaped human trafficking. Each purchase supports job creation and skills trainings for victims. Sudara also provides the women with microloans, safe housing and equipment for the sewing centers where they can make a living. All this is done to break the cycle of poverty that leads to desperation and sexual slavery. For more information, visit: www.sudara.org
We Florida Financial was originally founded to serve municipalities and first responders. Today, our credit union is community based but many of our members still belong to our original employee groups. Purchasing a bag of beans from the Fire Department Coffee Company helps to support firefighters, veterans and military assistance programs all around the country. For more information, visit: www.firedeptcoffee.com/
In the true credit union spirit, turn your gift giving into charitable action during the holidays and all year round. Your community and the world will thank you.