Sacramento, Calif., December 18, 2013 - Golden 1 Credit Union sent letters of congratulations last week to 21 nonprofits in the Sacramento/Central Valley region. They are the recipients of community grants totaling $368,400 from the first, community-grant effort of California’s leading credit union. The awards ranged from a high of $38,800, and averaged almost $18,000. "We have always been committed to helping people achieve their dreams," said Donna Bland, President and CEO of Golden 1 Credit Union. "We advocate for our members by providing the services they need to get ahead, and our grants support the underserved by providing the financial assistance nonprofits need to create a positive impact in our communities."
The Golden 1 Credit Union Community Grant Program, implemented this fall with funding disbursements sent this month, support programs that provide assistance to young adults emancipated from the state’s foster care system and literacy programs that help students develop reading skills. One unmet need that Golden 1 identified is the high rate of Braille illiteracy among visually impaired and blind youth.
"The Golden 1 Credit Union Community grant will help us serve the 75 children enrolled in our REACH program explore and discover the world through Braille," said Executive Director for the Society for the Blind, Shari Roeseler. "We are appreciative of the Credit Union’s commitment to our program and we will prove it by being careful stewards of these funds."
The REACH program is a joint project of the Society for the Blind and Junior Blind. Both organizations have 60-year histories of working with individuals who are blind or low vision.
Another Golden 1 grant recipient, 916 Ink, provides a literacy development program for "at-risk" kids at Aspire, Capitol Heights Academy in Sacramento. The nonprofit organization helps kids become excited about reading and writing by providing free, 12-week creative writing workshops that culminate with a professionally printed and illustrated book of writing entries from the aspiring writers.
"We are so grateful for the amazing gift Golden 1 Credit Union is making to 916 Ink and the larger literacy community," said Katie McCleary, Executive Director of 916 Ink. "It's local businesses, like Golden 1 Credit Union, that have an opportunity to make a tremendous difference in the life of a child. How exciting that this holiday season Golden 1 has stepped up to the plate for kids, literacy, and Sacramento!"
"To move the dial in literacy skills and be able to scale up innovative approaches to learning is exactly the type of community partnerships we are looking for," says Bland. "The Society for the Blind and 916 Ink, have solid records of performance, and are excellent examples of the 21 organizations selected to receive Golden 1 Credit Union Grants this year. We are confident they will deliver positive outcomes for the kids they serve."
To celebrate 80 years of service this year, Golden 1 Credit Union also introduced the Golden 1 Credit Union Scholarship program; established to provide scholarships amounting to $312,000 in renewable financial assistance to 33 students attending California colleges and universities. Golden 1 also donated $52,500 to local food banks this holiday season and provided thousands more in donations to the United Way and Children's Miracle Network. Combined, this year Golden 1 Credit Union provided nearly $750,000 in financial support to individuals and organizations in the communities it serves.
Golden 1 Credit Union is California's leading financial cooperative, and the seventh largest credit union in the U.S. with more than $8 billion in assets and more than 650,000 members.
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