The giving season really gets under way with the arrival of Thanksgiving, and credit unions are stepping up.
For instance, the $1.2 billion, 105,800-member Pen Air FCU in Pensacola, Fla., has donated 75 turkeys to the Naval Air Station Pensacola USO for its annual Thanksgiving feast for those in uniform who cannot make it home for the holiday.
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And the $757 million, 65,400-member Charter Oak Federal Credit Union has donated $3,000 worth of turkeys to the Gemma E. Moran United Way Labor Food Center to help make sure fitting Thanksgiving meals are available in its home community of Groton, Conn.
Pen Air has supported the annual effort at the USO office in Pensacola since it began five years ago. This year organizers said they expect to feed between 1,500 and 2,000 troops and their families, up from 1,200 last year.
“Without Pen Air Federal Credit Union’s donation, there is no way we could pull off the Thanksgiving meal,” said local USO Director Heidi Blair.
“The men and women who serve our country deserve a huge token of gratitude. Pen Air Federal Credit Union is proud to help in this small way,” said the credit union’s president/CEO, Stewart Ramsey.
Up in Connecticut, the Thanksgiving effort for the local food center began four years to honor Charter Oak’s former CEO, Larry Hertell. Members help out by buying paper turkeys for a buck each, with all the proceeds going to the food center, the credit union said.
The credit union also holds its in-house Fixin’ Food Wars, a challenge that invites all departments to donate non-perishable food items which can be paired with a traditional Thanksgiving meal.
This year, Charter Oak employees donated 1,478 non-perishable food items, to go along with the more than 3,900 pounds of turkey to go to the center, the credit union said.
“Our employees really stepped up to the challenge this year, and I couldn’t be more proud of them,” said Laurie Cormier, Charter Oak’s senior vice president and chief human resources and marketing officer.