- Personal Loans
- Personal Loans
- Home & Auto
November 7, 2023
Four Ways to Give Back to Your Community on a Budget
At 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. Giving your time through volunteering is one of the best ways to help your community. Our suggestion? Find a cause you’re passionate about and connect with a corresponding organization.
One cause near to our hearts at Grow Financial, which affects many people every day, is food insecurity. Right now, one in every six families wonders where their next meal will come from.1 Many local organizations are working tirelessly to help feed our community, such as The Kind Mouse, which provided more than 165,000 meals to hungry kids in 2022. These organizations rely on volunteers year-round, so there are countless opportunities to give your time through community service. Don’t want to volunteer alone? Ask your friends or family to volunteer with you. Any charitable organization would greatly appreciate the extra help!
2. Support locally owned businesses.
When you shop at a locally owned business, you’re supporting a member of your community and everyone they employ while helping to generate a positive economic impact right where you live. While it’s not always feasible to shop locally every time, consider finding ways to integrate local options into your regular monthly budget. You could:
- Visit a neighborhood farmer’s market. Produce prices are often lower than larger grocery retailers, and you can’t beat the freshness of locally-grown produce!
- Try a mom-and-pop restaurant. Most of us love a good chain, but don’t forget to keep your local pizza place, donut shop or taqueria in the rotation.
- Do your holiday shopping at small businesses. Handmade jewelry, bath supplies, candles, clothing, art and more make excellent gifts.
- Get your auto repairs done at a local garage. Your neighborhood mechanic most likely knows the tools of the trade better than anyone (and might just charge you less, too!).
So, as you’re doing your expected shopping, whether for day-to-day life or the upcoming holiday season, consider opportunities to support local businesses. (Read more about five ways to support local businesses.)
3. Share positive reviews.
Do you research a business online before visiting? If you’re like most consumers these days, you probably read online reviews or ask friends for their opinion first before joining a new gym, trying a new restaurant or taking your car in for a repair. This goes to show that your voice matters, and it has a powerful impact.
To give back to your local businesses, leave a positive review of your favorite spots. Businesses rely on positive word of mouth to reach new customers, so share the love today to help them out!
4. Donate clothing and items.
Think about how you may be able to support your community by donating your extra resources. Consider donating non-perishable food, gently used clothes, like-new toys and games your children don’t play with much, extra pieces of furniture and other things you might not need.
Many local organizations have food drives going on throughout the holiday season. In Tampa Bay, Metropolitan Ministries typically serves more than 30,000 families in need with holiday meals, and Lowcountry C.A.R.E.S. Ministries and Harvest Hope serve the South Carolina community. In addition to knowing you’ve helped out, you can often deduct these non-cash charitable donations on your taxes, too.2
From giving your time to spreading positive word of mouth about a local business, anything you can do to support your community will 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 18, 2023. 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