The $11 billion Suncoast Credit Union said it is making a $1 million donation to provide relief to local community residents, first responders, health care workers, small business owners and education providers affected by COVID-19.
Last month, the Tampa, Fla.-based credit union also contributed 500,000 meals to the Feeding Tampa Bay food bank. That donation was matched by the Rays Baseball Foundation and Rowdies Soccer Fund, for a total of one million meals for those affected by the coronavirus crisis.
Suncoast executives decided to focus on three primary areas of need to distribute the new funds that correlate to the history and core values of the credit union. These key areas – healthcare, hunger and education – have been seriously affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the credit union said in a statement.
In health care, for example, Lee Memorial Hospital in Ft. Myers, Fla., Tampa General Hospital and the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay will each receive $100,000 to provide aid for first responders, mental health support for patients and employees, in-house child care for hospital workers and other mental health services.
Another $100,000 will be earmarked for Feeding Florida, the state’s network of food banks, which have seen a 40% increase in food requests from local residents who are struggling through the health and economic crisis. An additional $200,000 will be channeled for other organizations such as Meals on Wheels, the United Way and community food banks, which are delivering meals and food products to those in need.
The City of Tampa will receive $100,000 from the Suncoast donation to provide relief for small businesses and local residents who need assistance in making their rent, mortgage and utility payments.
About $250,000 will support local colleges, education foundations and an early childhood education center.
“While we are focused on supporting our members financially, we feel a moral obligation to support other basic needs during this very challenging time. We admire and are inspired by other charitable organizations providing relief through private donations like ours,” Suncoast Credit Union President/CEO Kevin Johnson said. “People are struggling through no fault of their own and because of the support of our board of directors, Suncoast is committed to doing what we can to address these serious needs.”
While Suncoast is an active member of the communities it serves both as a community partner and through the funding of the Suncoast Credit Union Foundation, the $1 million donation is the first of its size in the credit union’s 86-year history.