Five local charities benefit from 210 volunteers; credit union invests more than $10M annually in community services and philanthropic efforts.
Nusenda Credit Union employees from around New Mexico devoted Monday’s federal holiday to volunteer for a total of five community organizations serving Taos, Albuquerque, and Socorro.
The effort was part of Nusenda’s inaugural Community Day, which allows employees to impact positively the communities they serve in alignment with the credit union’s core values and current Nusenda Foundation community partnerships.
In total, 210 Nusenda employees volunteered for these organizations:
- New Mexico Wilderness Alliance – dedicated to the protection, restoration, and continued enjoyment of New Mexico’s wildlands and Wilderness areas. In the Cibola National Forest, 88 employees built a retaining wall, restored a rock house, picked up 620 pounds of trash, and surveyed picnic areas for record-keeping and future maintenance.
- Roadrunner Food Bank of New Mexico – the state’s largest food bank, providing 30 million pounds of food a year to a network of hundreds of partner agencies and regional food banks. One hundred Nusenda employees sorted and prepped 27,000 pounds of food for distribution, as well as 8,000 pounds of spoiled food to use as feed at local-area farms.
- Junior Achievement of New Mexico – preparing young people for the real world by showing them how to generate and manage wealth, create jobs to improve their communities, and apply entrepreneurial thinking to the workplace. At Coronado Elementary School in Albuquerque, 11 employees taught 127 students about money - wants vs. needs, wise choices, and saving.
- Holy Cross Hospital Foundation, Taos – assisting Holy Cross Hospital and Taos Health Systems with medical equipment acquisition, as well as community educational/wellness events, and fundraising. Five Nusenda employees worked to beautify public access spaces on the hospital campus, and the main entrance and cafeteria courtyards. In all, six large bags of weeds and leaves were picked up.
- Puerto Seguro Safe Harbor, Socorro – offering a “safe place” for clients to use shower facilities, acquire clothing and food, and be connected with other service agencies that can provide help with housing, employment, education, rehabilitation, counseling, and medical needs. Six employees helped to clean the facility, and prepared and served meals.
“This innovative project was based on our employees’ increased desires to participate in more meaningful ways within the communities they serve, said Michelle Dearholt, Chief Performance Officer. “Our employees’ commitment has been instrumental in the success of this first-year project.
Giving back is in our DNA,” Dearholt added. “As a financial cooperative, we consciously work for the betterment and sustainability of our communities. Our connection with our member-owners goes beyond simply providing a product or service.”
Members of Nusenda’s Leadership Development team earlier this year volunteered for two of the five beneficiaries. While there, they gained firsthand, valuable information about how these organizations positively impact the lives of New Mexicans.
“It was an honor to help feed families just by volunteering a couple hours of my time,” said Jackie Rogers, AVP of Branch Service Delivery, who volunteered at Roadrunner Food Bank. “It made me grateful to be able to eat daily when so many others cannot.”
Stephen Bradley, Data Integrations Manager, volunteered for the Wilderness Alliance. “I loved learning about the creation of these public lands by the Civilian Conservation Corps, following the Great Depression, and then having a hand in preservation activities that will ensure these areas will be pure and unscathed for my grandchildren.”
Nusenda’s Community Day is the first of a series of initiatives geared toward employee community engagement, Dearholt said. More volunteer opportunities for employees will begin in early 2018.
Nusenda has been recognized as one of New Mexico’s Top Workplaces and Healthiest Place to Work for multiple years. It also has been voted one of the top 20 Best Credit Unions to Work For in the nation by Credit Union Journal, and named as a gold-tier, Family-Friendly Workplace by Family Friendly NM for its workplace and employment policies and benefits.
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