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Tennessee Credit Unions Contribute to Their Communities


Upper Cumberland Federal Credit Union makes a donation in honor of its 85th anniversary. Credit Unions are known for helping their communities during challenging situations.  The UCFCU board of directors wanted to help their community by making a 2020 donation to the local United Fund.  United Fund carefully disperses money to over 30 organizations after a thorough review of the agency requesting funding.  Due to the COVID-19 challenges, there has been a much greater need for non-profits to receive funding to help their communities.  In honor of UCFCU’s 85th anniversary total donations to United Fund in the Year, 2020 will be $8,500.00 which equals donating approximately $1.06 per credit union member.  Due to UCFCU’s dedicated staff taking care of the members during the challenging year of 2020 this was made possible to give back to the community.

Ascend Federal Credit Union has announced it has donated $14,515 to the Central Tennessee chapter of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. The contribution includes $10,000 from the credit union and $4,515 from Ascend employees. The money will help fund local breast cancer detection and support projects for those with critical needs, with the goal of eliminating barriers to lifesaving services.

Ascend FCU Susan G Ko
From left: Ascend Chief Strategy Officer Leslie Copeland, Ascend President, and CEO Caren Gabriel, Komen Central TN CEO Dawn Eaton, Ascend Business Development Coordinator Amy Taylor, and Ascend AVP of Business Development Erin Spence.

“We are so thankful to Ascend for this significant donation to Susan G. Komen,” said Dawn Eaton, CEO of Komen Central Tennessee. “We have a treatment assistance program that provides financial assistance and services to uninsured and underinsured men and women in Tennessee who are undergoing breast cancer treatment. This money will impact the lives of many people who are struggling to meet the financial demands of pain medication, chemotherapy, childcare, and other needed services as they undergo treatment.”

Since 2000, Komen Central Tennessee has provided more than $10.1 million to local community partners in greater Nashville, the Upper Cumberland region, Chattanooga, and north Georgia to help with breast health and breast cancer education, screening, and diagnostic testing. The chapter has also provided $4.1 million to breast cancer research.

“We are extremely proud of our 17-year partnership with Komen,” said Caren Gabriel, Ascend president, and CEO. “Everyone deserves access to quality healthcare and support during treatment. Our employees have proven again just how passionate we are about making Middle Tennessee a better place to live for all of us.”

Eaton accepted the $10,000 donation at Ascend’s headquarters in Tullahoma on Nov. 13. Attending the check presentation were Gabriel, Eaton, Ascend Chief Strategy Officer Leslie Copeland, Ascend Business Development Coordinator Amy Taylor, and Ascend Assistant Vice President of Business Development Erin Spence.

Through an annual dress down program called Passionately Pink for a Cure, Ascend employees donate a minimum of $5 every Friday and Saturday in October to wear blue jeans, breast cancer awareness T-shirts, and Susan G. Komen pins to work. Donations brought the 2019 total to $5,546 and the 2018 total to $3,194. As previously mentioned, employees raised $4,515 this year, submitted directly through the Komen online donation portal.

Hawkins County Schools Grant Writer Debbi Pressnell (left) and Family Resource Center Director April Couch (right) display the donation from Eastman Credit Union.

Eastman Credit Union makes a donation to the Hawkins County Schools’ (HCS) Family Resource Center (FRC).  HCS and FRC do more than provide food and hygiene items to students and families in the school district. They also provide much-needed clothing items. They are called on almost every day by a parent, grandparent, or guardian asking for clothing for a child. The schools also the center when students require clean clothing in emergency situations.

These clothing items are solely dependent on donations from the community. Most are clean, but some do need to be laundered; especially if a student has allergies. Many of us take the simple task of throwing clothes in to wash as second nature. Not everyone has that luxury. There may not be funds to buy a washer or dryer or go to the laundry mat because there is a need to purchase groceries or medications.

FRC Director April Couch states, “The FRC takes pride in being able to provide clothing for HCS students. Previously, when clothing was donated, we had no way to wash these items before handing them out to our students. The purchase of a new washer and dryer gives us the opportunity to provide freshly washed and clean clothes which lifts the burden off some of the families we serve.”

Recently, Eastman Credit Union (ECU) was contacted about the Family Resource Center desperately needing a washer and dryer. Eastman Credit Union stepped up and provided the funding to help provide clean clothing for our students. In this season of thanksgiving, Hawkins County Schools and the Family Resource Center cannot be thankful enough to Eastman Credit Union!

“We have a strong desire at ECU to partner with our community organizations and provide resources that will allow them to meet their service needs. The work of the FRC makes a significant impact on the lives of Hawkins County children and their families. We are honored to help,” said Kelly Price, ECU’s President, and CEO.

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