Arsenal Credit Union gives back to the local community numerous ways, focusing on activities that help those in need, educating and mentoring youth, and helping protect the environment through recycling efforts.
Since 2013, our employees have volunteered more than 2,000 service hours toward improving our community on behalf of the credit union. They have made more than 3,850 sack lunches for people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. They have organized school supply, food, clothes and toy drives for those less fortunate. They have taught young people in the classroom about personal finance – reaching 3,326 students through 215 presentations.
In the second semester of the 2015-16 school year, Arsenal brought financial literacy education to students at McCluer North High School in the Ferguson-Florissant School District by providing them with free access to the EverFi™ Financial Literacy – Understanding Money learning platform. This web-based program uses the latest in new media technology – simulations, avatars, gaming and adaptive-pathing – to bring complex financial concepts to life for today’s digital generation. Through this platform, students became certified in hundreds of topics in personal finance, allowing them to become more informed, responsible citizens.
Arsenal Credit Union strives to be a good environmental steward. In order to help the community reduce waste, we provide recycling bins for cans and plastic containers at all our locations and assist with the responsible disposal of paper, by holding several free, public "shred days" throughout the year. We continue to revamp our operational processes to use fewer materials, incorporate energy-efficient designs into new branches and recycle as much as possible. In 2014, we added collection bins in some of our branches so that old cellphones could be recycled, too.
We also host electronics recycling events at our branches during the year.
In the past, our social responsibility efforts focused on helping children and veterans. We strongly supported Children's Miracle Network, which has two affiliated hospitals in St. Louis, and the Credit Unions for Kids program. We and our employees participated in numerous fundraisers for CMN, from bowl-a-thons and raffles to dress-down days and bake sales. In addition, we worked to support veterans' groups and projects throughout the region, sponsoring the National Veterans Golden Age Games and National Veterans Wheelchair Games and providing a wide range of support to the Fisher House at the St. Louis VA Medical Center. We also took an active role in Missouri credit unions' efforts to raise funds and mobilize volunteers for Homes for Our Troops, which built two specially adapted homes in Missouri for wounded veterans at no cost.
We also gave time, treasure and talent to a variety of other local nonprofit organizations in their efforts to better our communities, including Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the Arnold Police Department, the Kurt Warner First Things First Foundation, the Special Olympics, the American Red Cross and animal rescue groups.
Arsenal’s community partnerships have led to us earning 14 Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Awards from the Missouri Credit Union Association.
The people-helping-people philosophy pervades all aspects of our daily business. We are especially committed to offering programs, products and services that address our members' needs at every age.
We provide debt counseling materials to our members and give them the opportunity to meet with a credit counselor. Five of our branches boast Member Education Centers, which give our members access to unbiased information on a variety of financial topics. We've held member seminars on topics like home and car loans and fraud prevention.
For making "people helping people" an integral part of our everyday operations, we've received eight Louise Herring Awards for Philosophy in Action from MCUA. For our youth and adult financial education efforts, we have been honored with five Alphonse Desjardins Awards from the MCUA.
All of the aforementioned awards, 27 total, were earned at the state level. In 2005, we received national recognition (honorable mention award in the Louise Herring competition) for our Tracker Kids Club program.
Teaching people of all ages about better money management is something we take seriously. That's why Arsenal provides a multitude of articles, videos and other educational materials via a special section on our website, plus a variety of take-one items and other printed resources inside most of our branches.
It's this desire to spread information that has driven us to spend the last three years alone touring 21 St. Louis metro area schools, representing six public districts and two private academies, in a mission to educate students about the importance of financial responsibility. As a result, Arsenal has perennially ranked among the top three credit unions in the state for number of classroom presentations given and students reached, as reported by the National Youth Involvement Board.
Upon request, we are able to enhance any teaching curriculum by providing free classroom materials, such as student workbooks and activities certified by the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE). We are also able to deploy our experienced youth financial education specialist and certified educator in personal finance (CEPF), Jenny Remes. As a 10-year program veteran, Jenny engages students in the responsibility of budgeting, investing, managing credit and keeping money safe and secure by utilizing presentations that can be customized to grade level, needs and curriculum.
To find out more about Arsenal's free financial education resources, email Jenny Remes at email@example.com or call her at 314.919.1006.
Watch this video slideshow of our employees' social responsibility efforts!
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