Grow Financial Federal Credit Union

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August 20, 2019

Grow Financial Helps Prepare Local Students for Success

Grow Financial is helping send our local students back to school prepared! This August in partnership with the Grow Financial Foundation, the Youth & Schools Committee, and the Step Up to Leadership Program, we collected school supplies, personal care items and clothing to donate to several organizations in our Florida and South Carolina footprints.

“There are worthy causes in both areas, and we are excited for the opportunity to support the communities where we’re located. Our South Carolina team members share the same spirit of service as our Florida team members,” Anita Murphy, AVP, South Carolina Regional Executive said.

It wasn’t just Grow team members that contributed to the donations we are able to give to these inspiring groups. The generosity of our members amazed us throughout this supply drive!

Together we gathered some of the most-needed items and are excited to donate them to several organizations who share our desire to help prepare our local students for success.

“It’s important that we help get the kids in our communities started off on the right foot. From personal care items and clothes to school supplies, we’re making a big impact on the quality of life for these kids. Hopefully they will never have to know what it feels like to go without,” Justin Yent, AVP of Loan Resolution and chairman of the board of the Grow Foundation shared.

In addition to the donations we are able to provide to these organizations, the future leaders in our Step Up to Leadership Program had an opportunity to volunteer their time at Babycycle and Clothes To Kids this back-to-school season.

“Some children were nervous, asking if they had to pay for what they picked out, and seeing their relief when they learned they wouldn’t made me happy to be a part of that experience. Their excitement was contagious. I can’t say enough about how well-organized Clothes To Kids was from the shopping experience, to the store inventory and clothing, it was such a pleasure to volunteer there,” Laila Pagan, Relationship Specialist said.

After volunteering at Babycycle, Jordan Kendle, Relationship Specialist said, “Giving back to our community through volunteering presents a great opportunity for us to grow not only as people but as an organization, too. It allows me to put myself in others shoes and gives me perspective on how others live their day-to-day lives.”

In both Florida and South Carolina, we will be donating to organizations that assist students and kids of all ages. Read on to learn more about the organizations we helped this year.

Florida

We are proud to be supporting Babycycle Diaper Bank, Clothes To Kids and the Teaching Tools Store at the Hillsborough Education Foundation. As the only community diaper bank in South Pinellas County, Babycycle meets the needs of many children in the Tampa Bay Area. They believe that it is every child’s basic right to have access to clean diapers, yet statistics show that one in three parents struggle to provide their children with the needed amount of clean diapers. We are delighted to have the opportunity to help Babycycle fulfill their mission of ensuring no child has to go without necessities like diapers, wipes, clean clothing and other basic items.

Through our supply drive we are excited to once again be supporting Clothes To Kids, an organization that provides new and quality used clothing free of charge to low-income or in crisis school-age children in Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties. The students who benefit from Clothes To Kids are given an opportunity to shop their stores in Clearwater, St. Petersburg and Tampa, and will leave with a complete wardrobe, including five pairs of new socks, five pairs of new underwear, five tops, four bottoms, a jacket (in season), a dress (optional) and a pair of shoes. Donations like ours secure the future of this unique program that not only clothes kids but helps foster a strong sense of self in these kids who can now go back to school prepared for success.

Now that our students are clothed, we know it is equally important to have the supplies needed for a successful school year. That’s where the Teaching Tools Store at the Hillsborough Education Foundation comes in. Our donations are helping stock a resource center that gives free school supplies to any teacher in a Hillsborough County Title I school. Basic school supplies are often unaffordable for students in Title I schools, where over half of the students qualify for free and reduced lunch. This special program helps teachers better prepare their students to learn by providing the essential tools needed to complete classroom tasks.

South Carolina

For 2019 we are pleased to have extended the reach of the charitable giving of our members and team members to South Carolina. The supplies we collected will be donated to Epworth Children’s Home in Columbia and Lowcountry Orphan Relief in Charleston.

Since 1896, Epworth Children’s Home has been serving children, youth and families by providing education, counseling, medical care and spiritual enrichment. This organization aims to break the destructive cycle of abuse, neglect and shame children from stressed families often face, and replace it with an opportunity for each child to live a life of self-respect, responsibility and productivity. Part of living this life is being prepared for success at school and the donations we collected will definitely support Epworth Children’s Home in this critical mission.

Lowcountry Orphan Relief, Inc. is a non-profit organization that provides goods and services to children who have been abused or neglected and since 2006, they have clothed over 28,000 children in the Tri-County area. Lowcountry Orphan Relief was founded to help children who were removed from their homes with essentially no personal belongings or means to have their basic needs met reclaim dignity and find encouragement. The donation we are making to this organization will help fulfill their goal of providing a sense of security and normalcy to the children in their care, which is especially important as another school year begins.

We joined forces with these organizations to help make sure the students in our local communities that may come from disadvantaged backgrounds don’t have to worry about going back to school unprepared. With the support of our members and team members we are proud to be making a difference in the lives of these students!


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