First up is Gesa Credit Union of Washington State, which lat year sponsored students at a local culinary center in preparing Thanksgiving dinner for residents and staff at a local teen homeless shelter. This year, the credit union approached the center's instructor with a proposal to do the same thing, only this year for Christmas. The students jumped all over it. This is called "proactive agape."
Next in line is Virginia-based community bank Southern Bank. They're the corporate sponsor for a Hampton Roads television station's annual "Operation Christmas List." The station collects and delivers toys to local children whose parents don't have the money to afford much more than a lump of coal. This beats the polar opposite type of story sometimes featured this time of year, especially over the past seven years, about a heartless bank kicking some family out of its home and into a snow bank (notwithstanding Fannie Mae's policy of suspending evictions for the holidays.
Finally, we have another Virginia community bank, Union Bank and Trust, teaming up with a Richmond-based television station and a local bookstore to give a little girl whose family just moved out of homelessness what I think is a priceless gift: a library. That will be a gift that will keep on giving.
If good publicity results from these efforts, then good for all concerned. Community banks and credit unions are part of the fabric of local community life, as are so many other local businesses. Their numbers are dwindling year by year. Whether or not you believe me, you'll miss them when they're gone.