UW Credit Union Employees Raise Nearly $380,000 this Giving Season

A word from Steph Harrill Kyle, Community Partnerships Manager

A portrait of Steph Harrill Kyle, Community Partnerships Manager at UW Credit Union.

This holiday season, as many of us welcome back cherished traditions that bring us closer to loved ones, UW Credit Union is reflecting on a time-honored tradition that continues to unite our 800+ employees.

Giving. Selfless giving of time, talent and hard-earned income to address some of the most pressing issues our communities face.

This year, our annual Community Giving Campaign generated nearly $380,000 to benefit United Way and Community Shares of Wisconsin. This is a big number that exceeded a big goal. In a year where headlines point to a decrease in charitable giving, our employees stepped up to surpass our monetary fundraising goal of $330,000 to further demonstrate their commitment to supporting our community partners on the frontlines. These organizations work tirelessly to help curb the devastating effects of the pandemic while also addressing longstanding inequities that continue to disproportionally impact historically marginalized community members.

As the impact of these dollars sinks in, I’m flooded with gratitude for everyone who made this possible.

I’ll start with our 2021 Employee Campaign Managers, who are nothing short of amazing:

  • Madison Heinowski, Senior Financial Specialist, New Berlin
  • Molly Vanderwielen, Consumer Lending Sales Specialist
  • Sonja Emerick, Branch Manager, Verona

I also want to recognize all employees who participated in annual fundraising activities, including our Silent Auction, Candy Bags, the 50/50 Raffle and Jeans Day Stickers. It’s rewarding to see so many people come back year after year to contribute, while also encouraging others to do the same.

We’re especially grateful to our employee resource groups (ERGs) for being extra hands-on this year. In addition to new fundraising tactics, including a game of Loteria hosted by our Raices Latinx group, other ERGs collected in-demand items to benefit community partners. Our Black Excellence ERG hosted a Donation Drive to support Pathfinders, a Milwaukee-based organization and recent grant recipient of the UW Credit Union Fund for Racial Equity that is dedicated to serving youth in crisis. Employees were encouraged to bring in cleaning supplies, personal hygiene products and feminine products. In total, more than 500 items were donated.

Education-based events, including two virtual bus tours – one hosted alongside United Way Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County to benefit Pathfinders and the other hosted with United Way Dane County to benefit Urban Triage – shared vital information about these organizations with the community, highlighting the ways United Way supports their mission and elevates their impact. We also heard from Community Shares member organizations, GSAFE and Rooted, about the critical roles they play in our community.

As we consider ways to boost that impact this holiday season, both United Way and Community Shares Wisconsin have dedicated ways to give back:

We encourage all who can give to check out these websites directly.

Finally, thank you to our members, who continue to share their own expressions of gratitude and support for ongoing community giving efforts. We couldn’t be prouder of the people and the places we call home.

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