Whether funding support services, enrichment, and development activities, mentoring and education programs, medical research, providing scholarships, volunteering in the community, or sponsoring local events, here are just some of things that DCU is doing in the community.
DCU Team Members Spread Holiday Cheer
Once again during the month of December, team members throughout the credit union were involved in a variety of initiatives to help brighten the holidays for local families in need. Local residents, members, and DCU team members dropped off new, unwrapped toys to spread cheer to less fortunate children this holiday season with the help of Toys for Tots and the United States Marine Corps. Reserves. Additionally, departments adopted families of local veterans and area Boys & Girls Clubs. Team members were responsible for anonymously shopping and wrapping the items on their family’s wish-list.
Giving Tuesday -- the DCU Way
DCU along with millions of others around the world participated in Giving Tuesday on December 3rd, a day dedicated to utilizing the generosity of people to encourage them to give back to causes and issues that matter most to them, be it through volunteerism, small acts of kindness, or donating money or items to individuals in need. This year, DCU team members were asked to share how and why they give back in a video that was shared with members on dcu.org and through our social media network. This year, #GivingTuesday raised an estimated $502 million for deserving causes worldwide.
DCU Supports Net of Compassion’s Bread of Life Benefit
On November 12th, at the Manor Restaurant Lounge & Banquet Facility in West Boylston, MA, DCU team members attended the Bread of Life Benefit, sponsored by DCU, to support the nonprofit Net of Compassion based in Worcester, MA. This organization, led by Pastor Richard Gonzalez, has served 300 hot meals in the Main South section of Worcester every Saturday since 2010. Net of Compassion also provides clothing, food pantry groceries, and encouragement to men and women struggling with poverty, addiction, prostitution, homelessness, and mental illness. During the winter, the organization supports a pop-up or overflow shelter, named by guests “Hotel Grace”, at St. John’s Parish, also located in Worcester, to shelter and feed 50 men and women, many of whom live in tents of encampments during the warmer months. The benefit, attended by several hundred individuals, including several City Councilors and the Worcester County Sherriff, provided heartwarming testimonials by families who have been impacted by Net of Compassion.
DCU Supports LGBTQ+ Youth Fashion Program
As a continuation of our support of diversity in Central Massachusetts, DCU sponsored Love Your Labels, a Worcester-based nonprofit and their inaugural class who took part in the “Threads: Woven Together” program. The eight-week program used design and art as a lens to discuss personal expression, gender, sexuality, and self-discovery. DCU helped sponsor 100% of student scholarships and materials for the program, which is geared toward youth ages 13-18 who live in Central Massachusetts. Participants had an opportunity to showcase their designs at an event held on November 16th at the EcoTarium in Worcester, allowing event attendees an opportunity to address bias and stigma by encouraging all participants to not only accept, but to love their labels.
Celebrating STEM Week with the Boys & Girls Clubs
DCU team members participated in STEM Fairs at the Boys & Girls Club of Worcester, MA on October 16th and the Boys & Girls Club of Fitchburg & Leominster on October 24th. Club members were able to tour tables hosted by local businesses highlighting the STEM careers available to attendees. DCU discussed career paths of those working within the technology field and what mathematics means for a career in a credit union. Students whose paths may not align with a career with DCU were engaged with conversations about the importance of saving for their future aspirations, including the importance of saving for college.
DCU Sponsors Credit Reality Fair for High School Students
DCU was one of several sponsors at Marlborough High School’s Reality Fair held on October 29th. DCU team members educated more than 200 students on how to open savings and checking accounts, what credit means for young adults’ financial success, and how to obtain loans in times of need. Students were instructed to select their desired career in advance of the Fair and learned about how Federal tax, State tax, Social Security play a part in payroll deductions. Realtors were on hand to help students find living accommodations, auto dealers to assist in “purchasing” transportation and other volunteers who provided information on various everyday expenses, including “purchasing” food, clothing, vacations, insurance, and paying utility bills. Students learned about various career paths and the how to balance their budgets, taking monthly bills and unexpected expenses into consideration. The Reality Fair is organized in partnership with Marlborough High School and the Marlborough Rotary Club to address the need to educate teens in personal finance before they graduate.
Members of DCU’s Mortgage Team Help a Deserving Homeowner in Need
Team members from DCU’s Mortgage Department participated in a home renovation project for a Dorchester, MA resident living without a working stove, in a cold and drafty home that has been in their family for more than 45 years. For a fourth consecutive year, in collaboration with Rebuilding Together Boston, the Massachusetts Mortgage Bankers Association, several volunteers, and DCU team members had the opportunity to improve the quality of life for this deserving homeowner. Through the generous donations of member companies, including DCU, the volunteers completed several essential repairs and updates throughout the home. Rebuilding Together Boston’s mission is to improve the safety and health of low-income residents’ homes as well as revitalize communities throughout the Greater Boston area.
Making Strides Against Breast Cancer in New Hampshire
For the last several years, DCU team members have worked with the American Cancer Society’s Nashua Chapter by donating their time and space in the branch, to distribute shirts for the Breast Cancer Awareness Walk that took place in Nashua, NH. To date, the event so far has raised over $103,000. The American Cancer Society started “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer” walks to unite communities in the fight against this deadly disease. Today, Making Strides is the largest network of breast cancer events in the nation. Raised money helps the American Cancer Society fund groundbreaking breast cancer research and provide patients services such as free rides to chemo treatments, free places to stay near treatment, and a live 24/7 cancer helpline.
Supporting the Outreach Program’s Combat Hunger Event
On October 10th, over 100 DCU team members from different departments banded together to package 23,382 meals in partnership with The Outreach Program and End Hunger NE. In support of The Outreach Program’s mission of ending hunger and enriching lives, DCU team members formed assembly lines inside DCU’s Operations Center in Chelmsford, MA where they prepared and sealed packages of rice and beans and minestrone soup. These meals were distributed to the Merrimack Valley Food Bank to help those in need. This is the second Combat Hunger event DCU has hosted in 2019 and a total of 40,282 meals have been packaged by team members. Of all the businesses the program partners with, DCU ranks 6th in New England and 3rd in Massachusetts in terms of quantity of meals packaged and donated.
DCU’s Days of Caring in Methuen and Lawrence, MA
In the weeks leading up to the opening of the Methuen Member Service Center, DCU team members donated and contributed to several community-focused initiatives in the cities of Methuen, MA and Lawrence, MA during the credit union’s ‘Days of Caring’. At Methuen Day, DCU sponsored an ice cream truck, so that festival goers could enjoy a frozen treat and meet Methuen team members. DCU staff packaged and delivered blessing bags to Lazarus House, a Lawrence-based organization that restores dignity and self-respect to those who are poor, homeless, or underserved. During a visit to Methuen Arlington Neighborhood (M.A.N.) Inc., an organization that provides safe and supportive after-school programming, nourishment, and family resources, DCU team members delivered backpacks filled with school supplies, helped with homework, and enjoyed the company of the children and adolescents at M.A.N. Inc. To support the local animal shelter, DCU provided needed supplies to the MSPCA at Nevins Farm, helped with chores and learned about the animals that are provided shelter and care at the facility. At the Caribbean Supermarket, DCU team members seized the opportunity to interact with their new neighbors and help offset the cost of groceries for patrons. DCU’s ‘Days of Caring’ culminated with the ribbon cutting of the Methuen Member Service Center on October 28th. Representatives from DCU’s Senior Management team, Branch Managers, city officials, state officials, and local charities that DCU supports were on-hand for the celebration.
Community Harvest Project Apple Picking
With apple picking season underway, DCU team members participated alongside the Corridor 9 Chamber of Commerce on September 6th to pick more than 4,800 pounds of apples for the Community Harvest Project (CHP). Apples were then sorted by volunteers which resulted in 6,400 servings of fresh apples being delivered to the Worcester County Food Bank. CHP is a non-profit farm that engages volunteers to grow fresh fruits and vegetables to provide to those experiencing hunger. The 30 acres of apple orchard is located at Prospect Hill Farm in Harvard, MA. Apples that were not suitable for the Food Bank were sold to a local cider mill to support CHP operations.
DCU Serves as Diversity Sponsor for 44th Annual Worcester Pride Parade and Celebration
On September 7th, DCU team members from various departments marched in support of diversity at the 44th Annual Worcester Pride Parade, which aims to promote, educate, and celebrate Worcester County’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI+) community, allies, and supporters. Contrary to other Pride parades, Worcester hosts its event in September to encourage the involvement of students from the 11 area colleges and universities. The family friendly atmosphere welcomed over 3,000 parade participants and more than 20,000 festival attendees to the streets of downtown Worcester. DCU’s involvement in the parade served as a testament to the credit union’s diverse employee and membership base and its longstanding commitment to supporting the communities where our members live and work.
DCU Supports United Way Days of Caring
In support of the United Ways of Central and North Central Massachusetts during the month of September, DCU team members volunteered at the Worcester Housing Authority, the Pleasant Street Neighborhood Network Center in Worcester, MA, the First Congregational Church of Gardner, the Boy Scouts of America in Lancaster, MA, and the Northwest School in Leominster, MA. Projects included painting, cleaning, landscaping, and other general tasks that local organizations may not be able to accomplish without the assistance of collaboration by the community.
DCU Supports National Night Out
On August 6th, DCU partnered with several branch communities to help sponsor National Night Out, an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie. Thousands of neighbors took part in National Night Out across hundreds of communities from all fifty states, U.S. territories, and military bases worldwide. Neighborhoods hosted block parties, festivals, parades, cookouts and various other community events with safety demonstrations, seminars, youth events, visits from emergency personnel, exhibits and much more.
DCU Helps Worcester Public School Employees Kick Off New School Year
For a fourth-straight year, school spirit and optimism filled the DCU Center in Worcester, MA on August 23rd as more than 5,000 Worcester Public School employees, community leaders, and elected officials packed the arena for a special back to school rally. As it has done in the past, DCU helped to offset the cost of the event, so that the rally could be held at no cost to the City of Worcester or its residents. The event is intended in part to remind the assembled staff of their role in helping students achieve their educational goals in a safe and secure environment. The three-hour event also celebrated the wide range of professions that are critical to the school system’s success. The rally featured speeches from Superintendent Maureen Bineinda, City Mayor, Joseph Petty, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, and State Treasurer Deborah Goldberg. The keynote speaker for this year’s rally was Jaime Casap, Global Education Evangelist for Google, Inc. Casap spoke to the importance of embracing technology in the classroom and encouraged educators to not ask students what they want to be when they grow up, but instead ask what problems they’d like to solve. Casap believes that starting this dialogue helps children identify what they need to do to accomplish their goals.
DCU Insurance Builds and Donates Bikes to Children in Need
Team members from DCU Insurance participated in a Build a Bike team building exercise. The initiative started as an opportunity for members of the DCU Insurance team to bond and at the same time build relationships with organizations, like DCU, that are making a difference in their community. This activity gave DCU Insurance team members the chance to leave a lasting impression on local children in need who might not otherwise experience the joy of owning and riding a bicycle. Each bike was equipped with a helmet, lock, bike safety tips and an inspirational note. As we look to expand our branch network – with the opening of our new Methuen Member Service Center in late fall, we sought to earmark an organization within that region who is contributing to and advancing educational opportunities for local youth both recreationally and in the classroom. After researching numerous organizations in the Merrimack Valley, we found several worthy recipients including, On the Move, whose mission closely align with DCU’s.
DCU Team Members Participate in Boston Children’s Hospital’s Corporate Cup
DCU sponsored and participated in the second-straight Boston Children’s Hospital’s Corporate Cup at Harvard University held on July 19th. Fifteen DCU team members from departments across the credit union participated in a series of competitive events promoting fun, fitness, and friendly competition among members of the Greater Boston business community. Individuals competed in events including distance rowing, football throws, an obstacle course and tug of war. Proceeds raised from the event help make an impact through the “Every Child Fund” at Boston Children’s Hospital – healing children, helping families, and fueling lifesaving research for children. To date through the help of sponsors, like DCU, the 2019 Corporate Cup has raised $625,725 towards their $750,000 fundraising goal.
DCU Sponsors American Young Voices Concert at DCU Center
On June 5th, DCU sponsored American Young Voices, a collaborative chorus of 2,000+ school-aged children who performed in front of a live audience at the DCU Center in Worcester, MA. American Young Voices is an educational program that harnesses the power of music to foster skills, such as: communication, collaboration, creativity, mindfulness, and innovation. They also provide schools with music curriculum with extensive support, materials and resources for teachers and their elementary and middle school student from towns and cities throughout Massachusetts. Through DCU’s sponsorship, many local schools were able to attend who may not have otherwise been able to participate.
CU Kids @ Heart Runners Raise record $530,000 for Pediatric Brain Cancer Research at Boston Children’s Hospital
In April of 2019, 22 individuals, including three DCU runners, from the Credit Union Kids @ Heart Boston Marathon team completed the 26.2-mile Boston Marathon course. 2019 marked the 20th running of the Boston marathon for the CU Kids @ Heart Team who raised the largest single-year donation of $530,000 to fund research for the preventative treatment and/or a cure for pediatric brain tumors, pediatric epilepsy, Moyamoya disease Sturge-Weber Syndrome and Cerebral Palsy. On June 20th, Credit Union Kids @ Heart Boston Marathon team members, along with EasCorp leadership, presented a fundraising check to Boston Children’s Hospital and had the chance to meet with doctors who’re making a profound difference in the lives of pediatric cancer patients and their families. Since its inception in 1996, the CU Kids @ Heart team, which consists of over 60 credit unions, has collectively donated nearly $7 million to directly benefit special research projects at Boston Children’s Hospital.
DCU and Habitat for Humanity Partner to Bring Joy to Veterans and their Children
On June 18th, DCU team members from various departments worked together at the credit union’s Marlborough, MA Operations Center to build and decorate two playhouses for children from two area veteran families as part of Habitat for Humanity’s Operation Playhouse initiative. Members of DCU’s Facilities Team donated the paint and supplies needed to construct the playhouses. Board by board, DCU team members with the help of a Habitat for Humanity instructor brought the playhouses to life. Operation Playhouse is a meaningful opportunity for DCU team members to thank and give back to local veterans for their selfless service to our country.
DCU Team Members Pack 17,000 meals to Benefit Merrimack Valley Food Bank
Each morning, 616,000 Massachusetts residents wake up not knowing where their next meal will come from. Summer is a particularly challenging time of year for local food banks and pantries. Families with children who had been receiving free or reduced-cost breakfast and/or lunch at school need to find a way to replace those meals during summer break. On May 16th, 154 DCU team members from various departments assembled at our Marlborough Operations Center to package 17,000 meals in conjunction with End Hunger NE and The Outreach Program. DCU team members packaged meals consisting of macaroni and cheese, minestrone, beans and rice, and apple cinnamon oatmeal to benefit the Merrimack Valley Food Bank of Lowell, MA. The Merrimack Valley Food Bank is the go-to resource for several emergency food providers and pantries servicing Middlesex County, which is the hungriest county in Massachusetts with 119,000 individuals facing food insecurity. With the help and generosity of DCU, End Hunger NE and The Outreach Program is one step closer to achieving its goal of feeding 1 million people this spring.
DCU Does its Part to Help End Child Poverty During Red Nose Day
Members who visited one of DCU’s branch locations across Massachusetts and New Hampshire on May 23rd were greeted by branch staff wearing red noses in support of Red Nose Day. Red Nose Day is a campaign spearheaded by Comic Relief USA to help end child poverty through funding programs that help keep children safe, healthy and educated. Since its inception in 2015, Red Nose Day has raised nearly $150 million and have positively impacted 16 million children in the United States. DCU supported these efforts by providing a financial donation to Comic Relief USA on behalf of our members.
DCU Branches Support American Cancer Society’s Daffodil Days
The daffodil represents hope and is the flower to bloom in the spring. In early April, all DCU branches purchased and offered fresh daffodils to members as part of the American Cancer Society’s Daffodil Days campaign to benefit cancer research, education, advocacy and patient support programs. As a thank you to our members, each DCU branch made a collective monetary donation to the American Cancer Society on their behalf.
DCU and Stars on Ice Athletes Collaborate to Make Meaningful Experience for Boys & Girls Club Members
In late April, DCU teamed up with the United Way, Boys & Girls Club and the athletes of Stars on Ice to provide a memorable experience for youth who exhibit responsible, respectful and safe behavior during programs and activities at the club. Staff from the Boys & Girls Club chose children that repeatedly demonstrate model behavior and the willingness to be a leader. DCU sponsored Boys & Girls Club members and their families with tickets to Stars on Ice at the DCU Center on April 28th. Each of the “Star” members were granted access to the pre-skate warmups and the Icebreaker, which featured an up-close chance to hear from two world-class figure skaters performing in Stars on Ice.
DCU Sponsors Mobile Mini Golf at Leominster, MA Public Library
In late March, DCU gave Leominster youth the opportunity to experience Mobile Mini Golf at the library. Through DCU’s sponsorship, both children and their families were welcome to play in the common areas throughout the library with hills, jumps, bumps, twists and loops. The Mobile Mini Golf Course is part of DCU’s ongoing commitment to sponsor programs at the Leominster Public Library that enriches the lives of children and their families.
DCU Presents Harlem Globetrotters “The ABCs of Bullying Prevention” at the DCU Center
On March 23rd, DCU sponsored the Harlem Globetrotters as they stopped at the DCU Center in Worcester, MA to square off with their arch-rival, The Generals. The Globetrotters are world-renowned as “Ambassadors of Goodwill,” for their support of “The ABCs of Bullying Prevention.” Throughout both the team’s games at the DCU Center, they incorporated this important message of bullying and violence prevention by inviting kids in the audience to come on the court and participate in the team’s signature ballhandling skills and humor. The Globetrotters’ ABCs of Bullying Prevention program works in conjunction with the National Campaign to Stop Violence by helping children ages 6-to-12 years old understand how using non-confrontational behavior can develop a culture where aggressive behavior is discouraged, and violence is reduced.
DCU Helps Empower Female Business Scholars at UMass Amherst
On February 23rd, DCU sponsored and participated in the Women of Issenberg Business School Conference held at UMass Amherst. The Women of Issenberg Conference is entirely run by students and sold out for a second-straight year with more than 400 attendees. The conference was open to all UMass students as a professional development opportunity. Throughout the day, attendees were given the opportunity to attend two of the ten panel discussions and one of five workshops offered. Jane Fontaine, Senior Vice President of Human Resources & Training, was one of the speakers on the “Oh the Places You Will Go” panel, which covered a range of topics from post graduate experiences, various career paths, and how to handle unexpected opportunities. The panelists reassured attendees that graduating from college is not the end of something great, but the beginning of everything they will become.
DCU Encourages Members to Save During America Saves Week
America Saves Week, which runs from February 25th through March 2nd is a nationwide savings movement headed by America Saves, the American Savings Education Council, and the Consumer Federation of America, to motivate and support low-to-moderate income individuals and families in their continual effort to save money, reduce debt, and build wealth. For the last 12 years, America Saves Week has utilized the principles of behavioral economics and social marketing to help alter the savings behavior of millions of Americans and encourage them to assess their savings status and learn proper savings habits. This has been accomplished by encouraging individuals to set savings goals, create a plan, and save automatically. For a second consecutive year, DCU joined more than 1,500 organizations that participated in the America Saves initiative with nearly 10,000 individuals taking part in the program. Frontline team members backed this initiative through sharing savings tips and educating members on the importance of creating a savings plan.
Worcester Crossing Branch Team Members Lead Credit Seminar at Worcester Housing Authority
During the month of January, team members from DCU’s Worcester Crossing branch visited the Worcester Housing Authority office to discuss credit-related topics. This is the fourth seminar DCU has conducted at the Worcester Housing Authority and attendees have commented about how these seminars have helped them develop a better understanding of how credit works. These seminars are part of DCU ‘s ongoing commitment to increase financial awareness for residents living in the underbanked and unbanked neighborhoods of Worcester.