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Tennessee Credit Unions Spread Holiday Cheer 

The credit union principle of concern for the community is often exemplified this time of year by many credit unions throughout the state. Here’s how 11 Tennessee credit unions are helping advance their local communities.

Appalachian Community Federal Credit Union
Kingsport, Tenn.
Multiple Holiday Events

“At ACFCU, we are so fortunate to be part of communities that take celebrating the holidays to heart,” said Andy Mullins, CEO and president of Appalachian Community Federal Credit Union. “It is a joy and honor for our credit union to be able to sponsor and participate in events that bring hope and light to young and old alike. Spreading Christmas cheer is the Appy Way!”

Children’s Hospital Parade: Team Appy was honored to be part of the Niswonger Children’s Hospital Scrubs Parade for the holidays. The parade featured community partners dressed in costumes carrying large character balloons throughout the halls for patients and their families to enjoy.

Jingle and Mingle: ACFCU sponsored WCQR’s Jingle and Mingle event in downtown Johnson City on Friday, December 8. The Appy Team provided free instant photos and glow-in-the-dark Christmas tattoos for kids of all ages. The event also featured live music, hot cocoa and cookies, games, and giveaways from local churches and other community partners. It was perfect weather to stroll through Candy Land Christmas at King Commons Park and Founders Park to see the more than 160 beautifully decorated trees.

Parade: ACFCU team members participated in the Gray Community Chest Christmas Parade on Saturday, December 9 handing out candy canes and mini stuffed animals.

Food Truck Rally: The Appy Team was a proud sponsor of the Very Merry Food Truck Rally in downtown Kingsport on Saturday, December 9. The all-day festivities organized by This is Kingsport and the Downtown Kingsport Association also included a parade, tree lighting ceremony, and live music. ACFCU also sponsored a tree in Glen Bruce Park with the theme of “Dashing through the Dough.” ACFCU CEO and President Andy Mullins is pictured with the tree.

Walking in a Winter Wonderland: Team Appy joined as a sponsor of the “Walking in a Winter Wonderland” experience for students at Roosevelt Elementary School in Kingsport. This initiative provides socks, a pair of Nike tennis shoes, a family meal, and a visit with Santa to Roosevelt students.

Copper Basin Federal Credit Union
Copper Hill, Tenn.
Santa and Blue Ridge Parade

At Copper Basin Federal Credit Union, we take pride in caring for our town—it’s all about People Helping People. We stay focused on giving back to our community and continuously seek volunteer opportunities.

This Christmas season, CBFCU wanted to spread cheer by hosting Santa Claus! We wanted to give families the ability to create lasting memories by photo; something they can hold on to forever. But, as much as we enjoy hosting events, we also appreciate participating in them too! This year, credit union elves made their way through Light Up Blue Ridge to share in the experience with our community.

While all our volunteers loved this parade, our CEO, Jessica Grostic had a special highlight of the evening. A precious girl made sure to ask her to “please tell Santa I’ve been a good girl this year” – The impact of our community is what drives us to do our best for you! Merry Christmas!

Eastman Credit Union
Kingsport, Tenn.
Salvation Army Red Kettle Match Pledge and Make-A-Wish

Eastman Credit Union is supporting the community this holiday season. On Friday, Dec. 8, Kelly Price, president and CEO of Eastman Credit Union, joined Aaron Scott, director of development and business operations of The Salvation Army, Kingsport Corps, on Johnson City’s Channel 11. On that day, Eastman Credit Union pledged to match all red kettle donations in the Tri-Cities up to $15,000. See the Red Kettle news clip.

Later that same Friday, Eastman Credit Union hosted a send-off party for a local Make-A-Wish child. Credit union employees, members of Make-A-Wish East Tennessee and family members joined together to celebrate 9-year-old Lucas Kinley and his family days before they head to Disneyland as part of Lucas’ Make-A-Wish.

To make the surprise possible, Make-A-Wish East Tennessee enlisted the help of Eastman Credit Union. Employees at Eastman Credit Union’s Corporate Office in Kingsport lined the halls to cheer on the family.

“They were excited to be a part of this,” said Kelly Price, president and CEO of Eastman Credit Union. “And so they ask, ‘Can we come out and stand in the hall and cheer Lucas and his family on?’ and it’s so heartwarming to see the team also rally around this and be a part of this.”

See the Make-A-Wish news clip.

Enbright Credit Union
Nashville, Tenn.
Toy Field

Fifteen years ago, Enbright Credit Union in Nashville was doing some radio ads with Cumulus Radio when they were introduced to Toy Field.

“We were inspired as it was the second annual Toy Field and was helping the Forgotten Angels (children who would not receive Christmas gifts),” said Ron Smith, president/CEO/CSO of Enbright Credit Union. “We asked the employees of Nashville Electric Service and our members to donate the first year we raised about $250. From there, over the years we have raised up to $3,000. Toy Field is on a Tuesday, so on Monday, we shop for toys and have filled up three cars and trucks with toys and bikes each year for the past four years. Previous to that it was fill up a truck, then a truck and a car, then a truck and two cars. We always deliver in the morning of Toy Field to kick off the day and incent others to drop off toys! I usually do a couple of radio spots to thank everyone and to continue to ask for toys.”

Foothills Federal Credit Union
Loudon, Tenn.
Multiple Holiday Events

The holidays are always a busy time at Foothills Federal Credit Union in Loudon, Tenn. Here are a few things the credit union has done this month.

Toys for Tots: We were able to buy gifts for 33 children in our community. An average of $150.00 was spent per child, bringing our total to about $5,000.

Operation Christmas Child: This year our employees packed boxes for Operation Christmas Child. We packed 25 boxes and look forward to packing more in 2024.

Loudon Christmas Parade: We participated in the Loudon Christmas Parade. Our float was Whoville/Grinch themed. We had so much fun seeing our members enjoy the parade.

Lenoir City Christmas Parade: Our Lenoir City branch participated in the Lenoir City Parade. The theme was Santa’s Workshop. Everyone really loved the rubber duckies that were passed out.

Polar Express Day: We had a blast wearing cozy Christmas PJs for Polar Express.

Heritage South Community Credit Union
Shelbyville, Tenn.
Shelbyville Community Soup Kitchen and Membership Food Drive

Heritage South Community Credit Union in Shelbyville, Tenn., is partnering with the Shelbyville Community Soup Kitchen to provide toys to needy families this Christmas season. The Soup Kitchen has been hosting Christmas parties for the families they serve for many years. But this year, the Soup Kitchen contacted their community partners looking for toys to give out at the party.

“We love supporting our community soup kitchen and have sent donations and teams to serve food in the past,” said Tasha Biles, Shelbyville Branch Manager. “When we heard that they were looking for toy donations, our employees quickly jumped at the idea of organizing a toy drive.”

With donations coming from employees and members alike, filling the donation boxes in the branch lobby didn’t take long. All donations will be presented to families at the Shelbyville Soup Kitchen Christmas Party on December 21st, bringing much-needed joy and cheer.

The toy donation drive comes on the heels of Heritage South’s annual November Give-Back promotion.

“Every year, we hold a membership drive of sorts in November,” said Wes Trundle, director of marketing at Heritage South. “We donate $5 to a food bank in our community for every new member who joins the credit union. The donations were one of the largest ever this year following a record-setting week for new memberships at the end of November!”

Heritage South supported the following food banks: Nourish Food Bank of Rutherford County, HOPEtown in Marshall County and Good Samaritan Association of Bedford County.

Leaders Credit Union
Jackson, Tenn.
Leaders with Love

Leaders recently completed fourteen Leaders with Love projects this holiday season!

Leaders with Love is Leaders Credit Union’s annual project to give back to our local communities all across West Tennessee. Each branch or department chose a different nonprofit to support, whether it was by donating items, gifts for Christmas or time of service. Each project was funded by Leaders Credit Union because the credit union is passionate about being community-minded and helping organizations that are transforming our community every day.

“You don’t have to have a membership with Leaders to be served by Leaders,” said Brenna Whitman, Champion Development Manager. “This is why we do this, to really help others and to serve and to remind ourselves that we are so lucky to be a part of this community.”

See the Leaders with Love video.

Scenic Community Credit Union
Chattanooga, Tenn.
Forgotten Child Fund

Scenic Community Credit Union supported the Forgotten Child Fund this holiday season. Each branch got a box to collect toys for kids in need. Forgotten Child Fund provides toys and jackets for over 13,000 kids in the area!

“We had members bring in toys or donated funds and we matched a part of those donations,” said Jourdan Reyes, marketing specialist at Scenic Community Credit Union. “We were able to collect over $2500 worth of toys for families in need.”

Southeast Financial Credit Union
Franklin, Tenn.
Stockings Project

Spreading holiday cheer, Southeast Financial Credit Union (SFCU), in collaboration with members of the CWA Local 3808 Retiree Club, delivered over 140 Christmas stockings to the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Williamson Medical Center. This generous effort echoes SFCU’s community-driven values, extending their commitment beyond financial services and to supporting the meaningful causes that touch the hearts of the community they serve.

Reflecting on this heartfelt initiative, SFCU’s CEO, John Jacoway, shares, “We are not just a financial institution. We are a part of the community we serve. Our values are reflected in how we treat our customers and our community. We hope these stockings bring comfort and happiness to each child at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital.”

Southern Security Federal Credit Union
Collierville, Tenn.
Youth Villages

Southern Security has a long-standing partnership with Youth Villages. Youth Villages provides help for children and young people across the United States who face a wide range of emotional, mental, and behavioral problems.

One of the events that we sponsor is their Holiday Heroes Program. We had a team of 10 volunteers sort and wrap presents for the youth and the families they serve. Our team has also fulfilled the wish lists of 20 different youths who are a part of the program. By supporting programs like Youth Villages, we’re fostering brighter futures for these incredible young individuals. Southern Security strives to create a better community with local investments!

“Southern Security’s relationship and dedication to Youth Villages Holiday Heroes program is modeled by the core values of our organization and the commitment to the communities in which we live and serve,” said Dawn Graeter, president and CEO of Southern Security Federal Credit Union. “It begins with our leadership and is shared with every member of our staff.”

Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union
Chattanooga, Tenn.
Salvation Army’s Angel Tree and Other Regional Projects

Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union (TVFCU) members and employees worked together to provide holiday gift bags for 182 children and senior adults this year through The Salvation Army Angel Tree program, and an estimated 225 additional gifts through various other programs within Tennessee and Northwest Georgia.

“This has been one of our biggest years for Angel Tree – we had over 4,000 people signed up,” said Kendall Hudson, major gifts manager at the Chattanooga Salvation Army. “TVFCU adopted the most angels of any organization, and we cannot express how grateful we are for that.”

Since 2006, TVFCU has hosted an employee food auction the day before Thanksgiving to raise funds for The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree Program. The auction, which includes a variety of homemade dishes and desserts, raised $10,161, which was $770 more than the previous year and enough to adopt 53 Angels.

Ten credit union branches housed Angel Trees for The Salvation Army’s Chattanooga and Cleveland divisions. Six more TVFCU branches supported other holiday initiatives, including the Stocking Full of Love Program for both Catoosa County Sheriff’s Office and Walker County Sheriff’s Office, Christmas for Kids through Marion County Sheriff’s Department, McMinn County Rescue Squad and Toys & Coats for Kids through Rhea County Sheriff’s Department.

“Every year, our Angel Tree and Season of Giving initiatives light up the holiday season at TVFCU, becoming a source of excitement for both our branch employees and members,” said Jeff Holley, Branch Director at TVFCU. “These initiatives go beyond gifts; they’re a way for us to extend a helping hand to communities in our area.”

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