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November 9, 2021
Four Ways to Give Back to Your Community on a Budget
This time of year, feelings of gratitude and generosity abound. While we’re expressing thankfulness in our own lives, let’s be sure to share joy with others and support our community. We know many of us are looking to stick to our budget during the holiday season, so giving money to charity might not be possible for everyone. That’s why we’ve got four ways you can give back to your community without spending a dime.
1. Give with your time.
Sometimes, what local organizations need as much as dollars is volunteers. If you’re interested in helping your community, volunteering is one of the best ways to start. Our suggestion? Find a cause you’re passionate about and connect with a corresponding organization.
One cause near to our hearts at Grow that affects many people every day is food insecurity. Right now, one out of every five people struggles with wondering where their next meal will come from.1 Many local organizations are working tirelessly to help feed our community, like The Kind Mouse, which provided 140,000 meals to hungry kids in 2020. These organizations rely on volunteers year-round, so there are countless opportunities to give of your time through community service. If you’re nervous to volunteer alone, ask your friends or family if they would like to volunteer with you. Any charitable organization would greatly appreciate the extra help.
2. Give with your everyday support.
You might not think of your everyday shopping as a way to give back to the community, but it actually can be. When you shop local, you’re supporting a local member of your community and everyone they employ. You’re helping to generate positive economic impact right where you live. So, as you’re doing your shopping, whether for day-to-day life or the upcoming holiday season, consider opportunities to support a local business. (Read more about five ways to support local businesses.)
3. Give with positive word of mouth.
How much research do you typically do before making a purchase at a new retailer or trying a new restaurant? We’re guessing quite a bit if you’re like most consumers these days. Maybe you read online reviews or ask friends for their opinion first. This goes to show: your voice matters, and it has a powerful impact.
As a way to give back to your local businesses, consider leaving a positive review of the spots that you frequent or services you’ve used. Local businesses rely on positive word of mouth to reach new customers, so share recommendations with friends too.
4. Give with your resources.
If you’re like a lot of people, you’ve possibly been holding on to gently used clothes that you don’t wear often, like-new toys and games your children don’t play with much, extra pieces of furniture and other things you might not need. Consider donating those items, along with non-perishable food.
Many local organizations have food drives going on throughout the holiday season. Metropolitan Ministries typically serves more than 22,000 families in need in Tampa Bay with holiday meals, and Lowcountry C.A.R.E.S. Ministries and Harvest Hope serve the South Carolina community. Think about how you may be able to support your community beyond volunteering by giving of your extra resources. In addition to knowing you’ve helped out with a need in your community, you can often deduct these non-cash charitable donations on your taxes too.2
From giving of your time to spreading positive word of mouth about a local business, anything you can do to support your community can mean a lot to someone — especially during the holiday season. We hope these ideas inspire you to give back to your community, even while on a budget!
1Metropolitan Ministries. Our Work: Food. Accessed October 28, 2021. https://www.metromin.org/our-work/food/.
2For specific tax advice, please consult a qualified tax professional.
How to Find Your Routing & Account Numbers
When you make a payment online, by phone or on a mobile device, you may be asked for our routing number and your checking account number. Credit unions and banks use these numbers to identify accounts and make sure money gets where it’s supposed to be. You’ll also need to provide your routing and checking account numbers for:
- Direct deposits
- Electronic checks
- Military allotments
- Wire transfers
Where to Find Your Routing & Checking Account Numbers
Your personal checks include both our routing number and your account number, as shown on the Grow check example below.
Don’t have a Grow check? No worries.
Visit any Grow store and ask for a Direct Deposit Form. It lists both your routing number and checking account number.
Making a Loan Payment
When it comes to making payments, we try to make it as painless as possible to pay your loan every month. We have several different ways to pay, including convenient online options.
You have two ways to pay online by transferring funds from another bank or credit union.
- Grow Online Banking (Preferred payment method for any loan)
This is the simplest way to pay your loan. You can make one-time payments or set up automatic recurring payments in Grow Online Banking. Once you log in, select “Transfer/Payments” from the menu. If you’re not enrolled in Grow Online Banking yet, you can set up your account in just a few minutes.
- Debit Card or ACH (Available for auto, personal loans and HELOCs)
Note: ACH and debit card payments are not available for credit cards or most mortgages, except HELOCs.
We accept ACH payments with no additional fees or Mastercard® and Visa® debit cards with a convenience fee of $4.95. To get started with an online ACH or debit card payment, select Pay Now below.
Pay by Mail
You can also pay any Grow loan by check through the mail. Please remember to include your account number and Grow loan number on the check. (For credit card payments, please do not write your 16-digit credit card number on the check, which can cause a delay in processing the payment.)
Address for auto, credit card, personal loan and HELOC payments:
Grow Financial Federal Credit Union
P.O. Box 75466
Chicago, IL 60675-5466
Address for personal first or second mortgages and home equity payments:
Grow Financial Federal Credit Union
P.O. Box 11733
Newark, NJ 07101-4733
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