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Interra Credit Union’s Hometown Giving Service Project

November 30, 2018 – This year marks a milestone in the holiday service project tradition at Interra Credit Union. It is the 25th anniversary of Hometown Giving, providing financial support, hosting events, adopting families and donating wish list items to support organizations that serve those in need throughout a five-county area where Interra offices are located. Last year, more than $40,000 was distributed, together with hundreds of gifts and organizations’ wish list items.

Corporate support of $25,000, combined with staff fundraisers and member involvement, make the project so successful, Karen Steffensen, vice president of communications and community engagement, said. A staff committee met earlier this fall to review and determine which agencies Hometown Giving will support this year. Committee members contacted agencies to learn about wish list needs, plan parties and adopt families.

Giving Trees are up at all 15 Interra offices. Members and employees are encouraged to take ornament tags from the trees, shop for items and return them, unwrapped, to Interra by designated due dates, ranging from early December through the end of the year. “While people may not know what the needs are or who to contact at organizations, we’ve done the leg work for them,” Steffensen said. “And, we make the deliveries, too.”

“Merry Match” provides opportunities for people to donate at all Interra offices to the Hometown Giving project. The match is Interra’s corporate commitment of $25,000.

The primary internal fundraiser is a staff silent auction. Interra and the employees have donated about 100 items -  gift baskets, baked goods, experiences and tickets, hand-crafted items and more. All staff will then take part in a week-long online silent auction to raise money for the service project. Other staff fundraisers provide for days off with pay, gift cards and other items. In addition, Interra employees may purchase up to 10 dress-down stickers, with all funds going to Hometown Giving.

The agencies supported by Hometown Giving this year include: ADEC, Agape House,  The Arc of LaGrange County, Bashor Children’s Home, Boys and Girls Clubs (all the clubs in Elkhart County), Boys and Girls Club of Bremen, Cancer Resources, CAPS, Cardinal Services, Center for Healing and Hope, Church Community Services/Soup of Success, Clothes and Food Basket, Elkhart County Council on Aging,  Elkhart Safe Haven Women’s Shelter, Fairfield Food Pantry, Family Christian Development Center, Five Little Stones, Lakeland Youth Center, Lighthouse Day Care, MDC Goldenrod, Salvation Army – Goshen and Plymouth, The Post, Project Back Pack (Bremen), RETA, Ryan’s Place, St. Joe Valley Blue Star Mothers, Spa Women’s Ministry, Syracuse Food Pantry, Together We Rise, Wakarusa Elementary School, Wanee Wishing Well, and The Window.

 “The success of the service project is a combined effort of the credit union, our staff and members,” Steffensen pointed out. For more information about Interra’s Hometown Giving project, contact any Interra office or visit