JAY — OTIS Federal Credit Union marked International Credit Union Day by making donations to area school lunch programs and to local heating assistance funds.
Credit unions in countries all over the world recognized International Credit Union Day Oct. 17, celebrating the not-for-profit cooperative spirit that all credit unions share.
OTIS FCU donated a total of $1,200 to help offset student lunch debt at area schools. Each of the six districts in the credit union’s field of membership received $200 to pay down past-due meal accounts at Regional School Unit 73 (Jay-Livermore-Livermore Falls), School Administrative District 58 (Phillips, Eustis, Avon, Kingfield, Strong), RSU 9 (Farmington, Wilton, Starks, Industry, Chesterville, New Sharon, Weld, Temple, Vienna and New Vineyard), MSAD 52 (Turner, Leeds, Greene), RSU 38 (Wayne, Readfield, Mt Vernon, and Manchester), and RSU #78 (Dallas Plantation, Magalloway Plantation, Rangeley, Rangeley Plantation and Sandy River Plantation).
“Ending hunger in Maine is the signature social responsibility cause championed by Maine’s credit unions,” said Sarah Hayes, director of marketing and communications at OTIS FCU. “The ‘people helping people’ philosophy credit unions share isn’t just a tagline.
“It is a mission, a call to action — one that our institution and other credit unions everywhere strive to exemplify every day. Donating to each of the school lunch programs within our field of membership serves as an additional way for us to combat food insecurity beyond our participation in the Campaign for Ending Hunger, allowing us to make further inroads at the local level.
“Despite the existence of subsidized lunch programs, there are still many students who unfortunately are falling through the cracks for various reasons. With these donations, we hope to lessen a stressful financial burden on area families, and to provide some relief to those who most need it during an especially expensive time of the year.”
In addition to the lunch program donations, OTIS FCU made donations of $200 to the Rural Community Action Ministry’s Heating Fund and the United Way of the Tri-Valley Area’s heating assistance program via The Very Basics Fund.
“International Credit Union Day is a great time to reflect on the cooperative principles that Credit Unions abide by,” said Kim Turner, president/CEO of OTIS FCU. “Concern for Community is one of the most powerful principles because it encompasses not only our membership, but also the members of the communities we serve.
“Food insecurity for all, but especially for children, is real and it isn’t going away. It has to be so hard for parents that don’t know how they will come up with the funds to feed their children, especially during school when they should be thriving, learning as much as they can to set them up for future success.
“Donating to RCAM and United Way of the Tri-Valley Area was also an easy decision for us as we understand that the cold nights and days are here and will be here over the next few months. This is a time when those of modest means have to sacrifice in other areas just to make sure they have the fuel they need to stay warm during these difficult months.”
PHOTO: From left, Laura Lorette, RSU #73 food service director; Kim Turner, president/CEO, OTIS FCU; Sarah Hayes, director of Marketing and Communications, OTIS FCU. (Submitted photo)