Coastal Credit Union Foundation Enriches Community

Alleviating food insecurity is one of the goals of the Coastal Credit Union Foundation. One of its first grants was to the Interfaith Food Shuttle.

Customers of Coastal Federal Credit Union make a difference in the community every time they swipe their cards — a penny of each transaction goes to feed the hungry and lift people out of poverty.

On Feb. 21, attendees of Cary Magazine’s Meet the Maggys Party can also support these worthy causes. Proceeds from a silent auction held at the event will be divided between the Maggy-winning nonprofit Dorcas Ministries and the Coastal Credit Union Foundation.

 The foundation’s mission is to enrich the lives of credit union members and their communities by providing financial support to 501(c)(3) organizations, particularly in central North Carolina.

The foundation’s top priorities are:

  • Helping the financially vulnerable
  • Increasing financial literacy
  • Alleviating food insecurity

“The foundation’s mission has an overlap with Coastal’s, particularly as it pertains to increasing financial literacy and helping the financially vulnerable,” said Joe Mecca, a spokesperson for Coastal Federal Credit Union. “This allows us to have strong alignment between who the foundation is supporting and the work the credit union does.

“We also included alleviating food insecurity in our foundation’s mission, because there’s a strong correlation with financial vulnerability. The people getting assistance from organizations that focus on feeding people are often a good audience for some of our financial literacy programs,” he said.

Before the foundation was set up in 2011, Coastal gave primarily through corporate donations.

“Having our own foundation allowed us to get a lot more focused in how we make contributions, and enabled us to make a larger impact,” said Mecca.

In 2011, the foundation awarded grants to two nonprofits – the Interfaith Food Shuttle and YMCA of the Triangle. By 2016, the number of grants grew to 17. In the last seven years, the Coastal Credit Union Foundation has provided more than $802,000 in community grants.

Each time members use their debit or credit card, Coastal diverts a penny from the interchange fee paid by the merchant to the foundation. All those pennies add up to more than $275,000 a year to help the community.

“We also get our members involved because they feel like every time they choose to use one of our cards, they’re making a small difference in the community,” said Mecca. “It’s hard to create that feeling when you’re using corporate dollars.”

Open to the public for the first time, the Meet the Maggys Party will also feature samples from winning restaurants, boutique pop-up shops, entertainment and more. Tickets are available for $10 each at maggyparty.com.

 

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