STCU surprises, delights Season of Giving recipients


Last updated 12/22/2021 at 8:22am

In response to continuing need that’s intensified by the pandemic, STCU continued its tradition of year-end giving, surprising more than 30 community organizations with checks ranging from $1,000 to $30,000 to assist with their work of providing basic needs to Inland Northwest families.

In addition, 92 organizations where employees volunteered in 2021 will receive checks of $25 to $1,000 from the Spokane-based credit union.

The surprise donations totaling more than $300,000 – some of which are yet to be delivered – are STCU’s annual Season of Giving tradition. They are being delivered to non-profit organizations in Eastern Washington, Tri-Cities, the Columbia Basin and North Idaho, with a particular emphasis on education, workforce development and homelessness.

Because the gifts are a surprise, STCU is not listing organizations that have not yet received theirs. Included among the organizations that have already received their gifts:

$34,000 ($1,000 each) to 34 libraries, delivered for Giving Tuesday, November 30. The libraries are within 12 library systems in Eastern Washington, North Idaho, the Columbia Basin and Tri-Cities.

$30,000 to the Columbia Basin Foundation to endow the CDFCU Scholarship, Funded by STCU.

$25,000 to Innovia Foundation for its Regional Promise Scholarship Initiative, which aims at ensuring every student from Eastern Washington and North Idaho has the opportunity to continue their education after high school.

$25,000 to CHAS Health Foundation, which provides quality health and wellness services to the communities of Eastern Washington and North Idaho.

$20,000 ($10,000 each) to The Arc of Tri-Cities and The Arc of Spokane to help provide employment opportunities to people with developmental disabilities. The gift will support the organization’s Supported Employment program, which matches people with well-suited jobs, and provides ongoing coaching.

$17,500 in gift cards to students experiencing homelessness at Spokane Public Schools and the Kennewick School District.

$15,000 ($5,000 each) to United Way of North Idaho, United Way of Grant County, and United Way of Benton-Franklin County.

$15,000 each ($30,000 total) to Volunteers of America and SNAP, money that can be accessed by area agencies to help prevent homelessness.

$15,000 to Feast Collective. The non-profit operates Feast World Kitchen, a non-profit Spokane restaurant and catering company that features a rotating group of chefs, all of whom are immigrants or former refugees. Most are women.

$10,000 to Spokane County United Way, including $5,000 to underwrite stipends for people who have experienced homelessness, and are serving as consultants to agencies working on solutions.

$10,000 to Cup of Cool Water for its Cool Water Painters program in Spokane, which provides job-training opportunities and essential skills to youth and young adults experiencing homelessness.

$10,000 to Columbia Industries in Kennewick, to support its work on behalf of individuals with disabilities and other challenges. The organization provides employment services, career opportunities, and job and life skills training.

$10,000 ($5,000 each) to American Red Cross – Inland Northwest and American Red Cross – Central and Southeastern Washington.

$10,000 to help underwrite a classroom at Crosswalk 2.0, a new facility set to open in 2023. Opened in 1985 by Volunteers of America Eastern Washington & Northern Idaho, Crosswalk is an emergency shelter, where runaway and homeless youth receive support and services aimed at ending their homelessness.

$10,000 to Specialized Needs Recreation in North Idaho, to help provide opportunities for social interactions to individuals with special needs. SNR hosts activities, camps, and year-around programs that help build a more independent lifestyle.

$10,000 to Community Colleges of Spokane Foundation, which provides scholarships and emergency support for CCS students, and support for CCS programs.

$5,000 to the American Indian Community Center, a Spokane gathering place and service organization that provides career counseling, education assistance, crisis intervention, family services and more.

$5,000 to Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Inland Northwest to support the families of children receiving medical care.

$5,000 to the West Richland Community Care Foundation, which helps meet critical needs for those in the West Richland community, often in collaboration with schools or the West Richland Police Department.

$4,800 to cover the cost of replacing doors at the Rathdrum Community Center.

In addition, STCU employees who served at least 12 volunteer hours at any single organization this year were invited to apply for a Volunteers Count grant on behalf of that organization. As a result, STCU is delivering 16 $1,000 grants, along with checks of $25, $50 and $100 to an additional 76 organizations where employees volunteered.

STCU’s Volunteers Count program offers employees 16 hours of paid time each year for volunteerism. The credit union encourages further volunteer activity by providing flexible schedules, leadership training at all levels, and other support to help them make a community impact.

For credit union staff, seeing reactions to the surprise gifts is a big part of the fun. That’s typically done during a virtual meeting set up by STCU under the guise of leaning more about the organization’s work.

The gift to Innovia Foundation was delivered Wednesday morning during STCU’s monthly staff meeting. CEO Shelly O’Quinn had been invited as a guest to inform the credit union’s 840 employees about Innovia’s role as a community foundation. Instead, she was greeted by Riverpark Square Santa Pat Connelly, who presented her with a $25,000 check from STCU to support education attainment.

“We have a big bold vision that every single child in our region would have both the opportunity and support to pursue a post-secondary education,” O’Quinn told STCU staff. “We appreciate STCU being part of truly transforming lives in our community.”

About STCU

Founded by Spokane schoolteachers in 1934, STCU is a not-for-profit financial cooperative with more than 245,000 members, 34 branch locations, and $4.4 billion in total assets.


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