KALAMAZOO, Mich. -- Considering hard economic times in Michigan, the head of a Kalamazoo crisis center Monday expressed both "surprise and gratitude" to a group of area credit unions for extending a $2,500 grant to his agency that wound up administering services to CU employees after a spate of robberies.
"It's not often we receive this kind of money in this form and let me tell you even a small amount means a lot, especially right now," said Bill Pell, the executive director of Gryphon Place, a nonprofit providing trauma counseling support to individuals and business.
The $2,500 was handed over to Gryphon Place earlier this month by the Kalamazoo Chapter of the Michigan Credit Union League in a gesture of thanks since Gryphon Place has recently become "a partner to credit unions in the wake" of robberies, said John Sink, chapter chair and president/CEO of the $71 million Allegis CU of Kalamazoo.
Dozens of employees from area CUs, said Sink, have taken part in group counseling following a series of robberies, some violent at CU offices and branches.
"Although fortunately no one was hurt, MSRs and other staff from Allegis who were involved in one robbery at our credit union went together as a group and this kind of an outlet proved helpful in letting employees discuss their feelings," said Lindsay Smith, director of marketing.
The chapter's executive committee decided the $2,500 it raised in a Sept. 8 golf outing be directed to Gryphon considering the agency "lives the credit union philosophy of 'people helping people,'" said Sink.