SECU's company-wide Day of Kindness at SECU Stadium in Towson, Md. SECU’s company-wide Day of Kindness at SECU Stadium in Towson, Md. (Photo: SECU)

In October 2020, in order to encourage acts of kindness amid the loneliness and lack of connection being felt in communities during COVID-19, the $5.2 billion, Linthicum, Md.-based SECU turned a day it had set aside for employee volunteering into a month-long campaign called Kindness Connects. The credit union distributed Kindness Kits to employees, members, partners and the community – which included items that could be used to spread kindness, such as postcards, flower seeds and sidewalk chalk – and made donations to charities for every Kindness Kit requested. Participants entered a raffle while logging their acts of kindness online, and in addition, SECU hosted a company-wide day of kindness and accepted in-branch donations.

It’s safe to say the kindness has been infectious, because the campaign has not only continued, but grown exponentially, according to an announcement from the credit union. As part of its third annual Kindness Connects campaign in October 2022, SECU beat its goal of 250,000 acts of kindness (one for every SECU member) with more than 280,000 completed acts. This represented more than triple the 70,000 acts of kindness completed in 2021 and a 4,000% increase from the number completed in the campaign’s first year.

Natasha Chilingerian

Natasha Chilingerian has worked in the credit union space for over a decade. She joined CU Times as managing editor in 2015 and was promoted to executive editor in 2019. Before that, she served as a communications specialist for Xceed Financial Credit Union (now Kinecta Federal Credit Union) in Los Angeles from 2013-2015, and as a CU Times freelancer from 2011-2013. She has been a professional writer and editor for more than 17 years, specializing in news and lifestyle journalism as well as marketing copywriting for companies in the finance and technology space.

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