The Golden 1 Credit Union donated a total of $368,400 to 21 Sacramento, Calif., area nonprofits as part of its first community grant effort, the $8.2 billion cooperative said.
The Golden 1 Credit Union Community Grant Program, implemented this fall with funding disbursements sent this month, supports literacy programs that help students develop reading skills and programs that provide assistance to young adults emancipated from the state’s foster care system, the organization said.
“We have always been committed to helping people achieve their dreams,” said Donna Bland, president/CEO. “We advocate for our members by providing the services they need to get ahead, and our grants support the underserved by providing the financial assistance nonprofits need to create a positive impact in our communities.”
For example, the REACH program, a joint project of the Society for the Blind and Junior Blind, was awarded a grant to address the high rate of Braille illiteracy among visually impaired and blind youth, the Sacramento-based credit union said.
“The Golden 1 Credit Union Community grant will help us serve the 75 children enrolled in our REACH program explore and discover the world through Braille,” said Shari Roeseler, executive director for the Society for the Blind. “We are appreciative of the credit union’s commitment to our program and we will prove it by being careful stewards of these funds.”
Another grant recipient was 916 Ink, a non-profit that helps kids become excited about reading and writing by providing free, 12-week creative writing workshops that culminate with a professionally printed and illustrated book of writing entries from the aspiring writers.
“We are so grateful for the amazing gift Golden 1 Credit Union is making to 916 Ink and the larger literacy community,” said Katie McCleary, executive director of 916 Ink. “It's local businesses, like Golden 1 Credit Union, that have an opportunity to make a tremendous difference in the life of a child. How exciting that this holiday season Golden 1 has stepped up to the plate for kids, literacy and Sacramento.”
Bland said Golden 1 implemented the grant program because the credit union’s leaders believe in investing in the future and their community.
“To move the dial in literacy skills and be able to scale up innovative approaches to learning is exactly the type of community partnerships we are looking for,” Bland said. “The Society for the Blind and 916 Ink, have solid records of performance, and are excellent examples of the 21 organizations selected to receive Golden 1 Credit Union Grants this year. We are confident they will deliver positive outcomes for the kids they serve.”
To celebrate 80 years of service this year, the co-op also introduced the Golden 1 Credit Union Scholarship program, which will provide scholarships totaling $312,000 in renewable financial assistance to 33 students attending California colleges and universities, the credit union said.
Golden 1 also donated $52,500 to local food banks this holiday season and provided thousands more in donations to the United Way and Children’s Miracle Network. In 2013, Golden 1 provided almost $750,000 in financial support to individuals and organizations in the communities it serves, the credit union said.