At AACFCU, #WeGiveBack is more than a hashtag, it’s ingrained in our culture. As we work to make life better for others, we make our communities stronger all while creating meaningful, lasting, positive change.
Christmas came early for one local nonprofit ministry in the Wiregrass when AACFCU presented The Ark Dothan with a $100,000 check! The faith based organization was selected as the recipient of the first such grant ever given by AACFCU’s Helping Hands Foundation, which was established in 2016 for the purpose of giving back to the community.
Bobby Michael, President/CEO of AACFCU commented, “When developing this project, one of our objectives was to provide funds to an organization whose dreams exceed their existing capital. Through a lengthy application and interview process, The Ark Dothan has displayed a proven record of creating positive change in our community along with a demonstrated ability to serve as good stewards of the money they will be receiving.”
The Ark Dothan Executive Director, Dr. Jeff Peacock, likened the generous grant to a Christmas miracle. “Last May, we began the construction of 21 transitional apartments in faith. We entered the process knowing we would need additional support along the way, but didn’t know where the funds would come from. We literally prayed for God’s provision and feel incredibly blessed to be selected as Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union’s grant winner. With these funds, we’ll be able to grow our Transformational Program and maximize our ability to serve, feed and house those in need.”
In 2018, AACFCU’s Board of Directors made a commitment to donate $100,000 to enhance the lives of others in a way that exemplifies the credit union philosophy of “People Helping People.” During the last decade, the credit union has given away more than $500,000 to local charities, with many of the funds provided from employee fundraisers. Lisa Hales, AACFCU’s Senior Vice President of Member Experience who was instrumental in the creation of the Helping Hands Foundation stated, “There is a culture of giving that permeates this organization. Whether lending support for local events through volunteering or ensuring that children and local nursing home residents receive the items on their Christmas wish list, you will find our employees giving back to the community in ways both large and small. As we like to say, ‘We Give Back’ is more than a hashtag at AACFCU.”
The Ark Dothan has been in existence since 2000 and has expanded its services to include a Men’s Program, Women’s Program, Food Program and a Thrift Store. The 12-month Transformational Program provides residents the tools they need to overcome homelessness, addiction or to transition successfully from prison. The completion of 21 transitional apartments will mean more individuals than ever before will have a place to receive the support they need during a critical point of their lives.
With the help of The Ark Dothan, residents are able to obtain their General Education Diploma (GED), attend college or vocational school, get their driver’s license, obtain a job and learn budgeting basics in addition to other life skills. In addition to the Transformational Program, their Food Bank feeds more than 3,000 Wiregrass families annually and serve more than 12,000 sack lunches each year to anyone in need of a meal.
The Ark Dothan is funded through the sales of its Thrift Store along with the gifts of generous donors. This holiday season, they are also receiving a little help from AACFCU. According to Michael, the unusual gift is not out of the ordinary for the $1.2 billion organization with a heartbeat for doing good. “The Ark Dothan is one of many nonprofits making a lasting difference every day. We are extremely pleased to share a few of our resources in order to enhance the work they do and impact the lives of more people than ever before.”
Peacock, who served on the Board of Directors for The Ark Dothan for many years, became the organization’s Executive Director in 2014. While he’s seen his share of surprises in his current role, the unexpected gift of $100,000 was something he never could have anticipated. “We were certainly hoping that we would be selected, but nothing can prepare you for the announcement that your organization will be receiving such a meaningful, sizable donation. During this season of giving, what could be more impactful than receiving a grant that will allow us to give hope to those whose lives were once hopeless? Nothing is more meaningful, and appropriate, for a time of year when we celebrate peace and good will to all mankind.”
AACFCU recently donated school supplies to 12 local organizations throughout our service areas to assist students and teachers during the 2018-2019 school year! Donations were made by AACFCU members and employees as part of our commitment to give back to the community. This year marks our seventh year hosting a school donation drive at each of our 21 branches.
Donations were given to the following organizations:
AACFCU donated $17,155 to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF) after a company-wide fundraising campaign. Because of the kindness of AACFCU employees and members, $10,155 was raised in donations while AACFCU donated an additional $7,000 to CFF.
AACFCU is a sponsor of the CFF Great Strides Walks in Dothan and Mobile each year, and AACFCU employees coordinate fundraisers at each location.
Kathy Scarbrough, AACFCU vice president of marketing, said, “Our employees get excited and work hard every year to put together fun ideas to help raise money for Cystic Fibrosis. If it wasn’t for the generosity of our members and local community a donation like this wouldn’t be possible.”