Award Spotlight: Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Community Service Award

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Several Recognition Awards will be presented to New York credit unions during EXCEL 19, the New York Credit Union Association’s Annual Meeting & Convention. Today’s featured award is the Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Community Service Award, which honors credit unions that strengthen local institutions and materially improve the lives of non-members through community outreach programs.

This year’s first-place winners are Horizon’s FCU and GPO FCU. Western New York FCU received an honorable mention.

Horizons FCU is receiving the award in the $50 million – $250 million asset category. The award is being presented for the credit union’s initiatives with Horace Mann Elementary in Binghamton. Most recently, Horizon’s donated two “calming benches” to the school, where children could write down their problems and in turn “throw their troubles away.” The credit union also set up a “Thanks for Giving” coat drive in three branches to collect new and gently used coats for the students at the school, which is located in a low-income area.

GPO FCU is receiving the award in the $250 million – $1 billion asset category. Early in 2018, GPO noticed specific financial literacy needs within their community and began creating more tailored financial programs to meet those needs. Specifically, the credit union began working closely with the Utica Refugee Center to meet the needs of the area’s growing immigrant population. Their custom financial literacy programs involved elements of budgeting and basic banking for the immigrant community, many of whom had never used a financial institution before.

Western New York FCU is receiving an honorable mention for their work with the credit union’s charity of the year, WNY Heroes. The organization provides veterans, members of the armed services, and the widows and children of deceased veterans with access to essential services, financial assistance and other resources.

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