One of the largest credit unions in Ontario, serving 18 branches across southwestern and Northern Ontario, Your Neighborhood Credit Union celebrates its 75th Anniversary in 2022. With many events already underway and in the works to honour the milestone is a Random Acts of Kindness (RAOK) movement.
The campaign gives each of the approximate 230 staff members of YNCU, including employees local to the Guelph YNCU located at Clair Rd. E., $75 to complete any random act of kindness in their community.
“Every week we announce five new staff members and they have that week to do an act of kindness in their community,” says Kirstin Dias, Marketing Director at YNCU. “What makes it different from our usual giving back initiatives is that it doesn't have to be charity-based. For this, it can be as simple as paying for dinner for someone beside you or groceries for the person behind you. It’s all about making someone’s day and spreading some kindness.”
Some past acts of kindness include
- Feminine hygiene products to a women’s shelter
- Grocery gift cards and groceries to food banks
- Gas gift cards at gas stations
- Donated diaper boxes to surprise a mother who is struggling
- Flowers and gift cards to frontline workers
Each act of kindness is accompanied by a card that the person can use to visit a landing page that informs them about the movement and how they can share it with others via the hashtag #YNCUcares on social media.
“Staff are so excited to complete their good deed. Everyone is eagerly anticipating being the next group selected so they can go out and do their act of kindness,” adds Dias, “It’s brought our staff together.”
At the nearby Cambridge YNCU, Allison Watkins, Admin Member Service Representative, handed out three $25 gift cards to shoppers at a local grocery store. She shared the RAOK experience with her son who had a heart-warming and genuine reaction after handing out the first card, saying “It feels good to share with other people, Mom!” Watkins noted that the recipients were shocked but very grateful for the gesture.
YNCU continues to partake in charitable initiatives throughout the many regions it serves.
“We’re always trying to make a difference in our communities. At YNCU, we are your neighbour that’s here to help you, not just with your finances, but with your life as well,” says Dias, “An ongoing theme for the year is giving back to the communities and neighbours who got us to where we are today over the past 75 years.”
Upcoming events that YNCU will be participating in during its 75th anniversary include large events at the two corporate office locations in Kitchener and Sault Ste. Marie, including sponsoring lemonade stands at Neighbour’s Day in Kitchener/Waterloo.
Learn more about how YNCU supports local communities here.