So far this year, Michigan First has helped 55 organizations and provided more than $64,000 in financial contributions. The credit union is also helping by providing free services, sponsorships and scholarships.
"Since many individuals and companies are struggling in this economy and have been forced to reduce their charitable donations, nonprofits and other community organizations need help now more than ever," said Michael Poulos, president/CEO of Michigan First. "We are proud to be able to lend a helping hand to the many outstanding organizations and individuals."
Poulos said it is simply part of the credit union's culture and typically Michigan First annually donates more than $80,000 to charitable and community resources. In addition, the credit union opens the doors of its community room to community groups, school districts and professional organizations to use free of charge. Each year, more than 7,000 community members take advantage of the free meeting space.
Michigan First has also sponsored a number of local events, including the "Taste of Eastern Market," an educational cooking series focused on healthy eating, held within the commercial district in Detroit; expanded its MichiganFirst@School financial education program to 20 elementary, middle- and high-schools; held nearly a dozen free financial education seminars on a wide range of topics designed to help deal with today's economic issues; and supported several other community-benefiting events.
"Giving back to the communities we serve has always been a priority for Michigan First," said Poulos.
Poulos added that recognizing the financial burden that comes with a college education the credit union has been dedicated to helping local students get to college. Michigan First designed a scholarship program that awards one graduating high school senior from each eligible school within its 44 communities with a $1,000 scholarship. This year, the credit union awarded 82 graduates scholarships. In the past seven years, the credit union has awarded more than $400,000 in scholarships.