IC’s Great Holiday
We’re celebrating the season of giving in a big way
Winter holidays are when our community comes together and celebrates the commitment we have to each other. So this year we’ve let you – members and IC team members – choose which charities most deserve our help. We’ve raffled off the chance to nominate your favorite non-profits to receive more than $22,000 in donations from IC. To see who our winners nominated and why, check out the interviews attached to each charity logo below
Which charities did our 10 winning members select?
Nowhere is the ethic of community solidarity clearer than in the charities selected by our members this year. Every single organization that received $1,000 donations is a true local organization, no massive corporate organizations among them. From community food pantries to public broadcasting, each winning non-profit nominated by our members addresses multiple needs in their respective communities and illustrates the importance of taking care of each other at the most fundamental level.
To learn more about these organizations and why they were chosen, hover over the tiles below for interviews with the members who nominated them.
Hi Fran, what encouraged you to nominate Beacon of Hope?
My niece Bridget Maillet, she’s been a client since 2014. She was born with some special needs, and Beacon of Hope helps people with developmental disabilities. My sister in law Julie, she actually passed away the month after Bridget joined Beacon of Hope because it was really important to her to have Bridget in things that she could thrive in after she was gone. It was important to us and everyone around her. Bridget even met her partner Nicholas at Beacon of Hope, and they’ve been together a long time.
It’s a great facility. They go to the Friday night Beacon of Hope respite (also on Wednesdays), where they have meals, dancing, music, crafts, lots of activities. It’s an awesome way to help people in similar situations get together.
Plus, it gives the child or adult an opportunity to be on their own a bit, to meet other people and make new friends. And help each other along, too: there are people there with a lot of different disabilities, so they meet new friends and help them with their disabilities too. They get the idea that there are people similar to them, and they can share that time together. It’s a great organization, and they do a lot for Worcester county – there are people from all over the county that go there.
I was just there on Thursday night for their big annual fundraiser, they did a virtual event where some bands played, it was really nice. They’ve had walks in my sister-in-law’s memory too, it’s pretty awesome. My sister-in-law Marie volunteers every week there, twice a week.
They plan trips too, they go on trips a lot as a group and they always need volunteers too. It’s just…it’s heartwarming, because people give of themselves without reservations, and that’s awesome.
All this came at a great time. It was just the anniversary of my sister-in-law’s passing on December third, and so it’s been crazy, everyone’s really excited.
Lisa M LeBlanc
Hi Sandra! Why did you nominate the Townsend Ecumenical Council?
Well I’ve never used them thank god, I haven’t had to, I’ve been lucky. I have donated to them a few times, but that’s it. But on Nextdoor, once COVID hit, I noticed there were a lot of people that needed food and stuff, and they were big on helping out all these people. They do it anyway, they’re constantly delivering meals to the elderly and so on. And a lot of times they posted that they needed money, you know, because they were running out of food. I know they do a lot of work in Townsend, also another town up here called Ashby, and they do it all through the year. Especially when the kids go back to school, they help them with backpacks and school supplies.
That’s actually been a common theme in a lot of the charities that people have nominated, that they’re not necessarily single-topic or single-aim, but are really rooted in the community and focused on adapting to what the community needs throughout the year.
Yeah, and they’re very good at it. I’ve never met the people who run it, but I’ve seen the work they’ve done and I thought it would be nice if they got some help this time of year.
Are there any current or ongoing programs that you hope your donation can help with?
Well I know they’d gotten some donations of very nice clothing from some upscale stores, I know they’re trying to get people to come in and purchase some of that to help [with funding]. But they always need help. Especially this time of year, I know with COVID and everything that’s going on, there’s not a lot of money. But it would be nice to have more people help them out.
Hi Susan! Why did you nominate Ginny’s Helping Hand?
Well, it’s mostly because it’s a real community organization. It was started by Ginny White, back in the late 70s I think, and [at the time] it was just a woman who did what she could to reach out and help her neighbors, friends, and local community. And you know, it’s been around all these years.
To me, it’s so much nicer than some huge corporate thing where the CEO makes hundreds of thousands of dollars – this is just a woman with a kind heart reaching out to her community and helping out. She’s no longer at the Leominster location, but it’s still thriving, it’s grown, and I love her philosophy.
I personally don’t have a story of directly benefiting from her work, but rather her as an example of a really good soul, a good heart. I try to donate to them whenever I can, but this thing through IC was great because it allowed me to give something really substantial and I think that’s great. It’s a community bank and a community charity, it’s perfect. You know, I’m retired and I could never just give them $1,000 myself, so I’m really happy to be the catalyst for that.
They do things around the holidays, the food pantry is a big part of it – they put together baskets for thanksgiving, and at christmas time they help out with a lot of family sponsorships and gifts. It’s a really wonderful place and there are a lot of really dedicated volunteers who I think do a lot.
They’re kind of an adaptive organization, in a sense then. They respond to what the community needs at any given time.
Right, there’s a thrift store component too. They used to (I think they still do but they do it a little differently now) take furniture donations, like if a family needs, say, a refrigerator or a couch or something, they reach out and get that for them, connect people that way. They also work with other local organizations, the Spanish-American center for instance. Very adaptive, and just…helping people out when they need it, you know? Even helping people find shelter, there’s that too. It’s just the way community should be, and I think that it’s great that IC’s helping them.
Which charities did our 10 winning IC team members nominate?
Much like the groups chosen by our members, the winning IC team members focused their nominations on local, even neighborhood-level charities. These included schools, mental health assistance, indigenous advocacy groups, and many others that dedicate themselves to strengthening the communities in which we work and live.
To learn more about these organizations and why they were chosen, hover over the tiles below for interviews with the team members who nominated them.
Hi Bruce! Why did you nominate the St Vincent de Paul Food Pantry?
I nominated St Vincent’s because for years I have worked with a woman by the name of Annie DeMartino who does a lot of work with the working poor. She also used to work for the Child Services Dept for the State of Massachusetts, and is well known in the area for her work in this arena. She said that St Vincent’s is in dire need for more donations for food.
Are there specific projects or campaigns of theirs that you feel especially passionate about supporting?
Not in particular but Annie did tell me they were in need of a Van for pickups and deliveries, and they may try and raise funds for this Van. I told her I would be willing to help out in any way to raise funds.
Hi Monica! Why did you nominate the Millbury Parents Club?
Our family has had many generations attend the Millbury Public School System. My two children, now grown, had many opportunities to do and be involved in community events because of this club. The group is made up of parent volunteers and 100% of the funds collected go back to our children and community.
Are there specific programs or projects of theirs that you feel especially passionate about supporting? If so, why?
I am an avid reader and feel all children should be given the opportunity to learn to read. I really love that this club focuses a lot of effort on Literacy and the Reading is Fundamental Program (RIF). Also, they use their collected funds to provide experiences for our children versus just studies. They fund buses for class field trips to many places from museums, farms, and discovery adventures. I have always wanted to contribute and/or help in some way and now I am fortunate enough to give back to them with the help of IC Credit Union.
Hi Stephanie! Why did you nominate the Boys & Girls Club of Lunenburg?
I nominated the Boys & Girls Club of Lunenburg because it’s a great after school program for kids in Lunenburg. I do have a personal connection to their work – my daughter attends the program every day after school and she absolutely loves it there. They work with kids from 6th grade to 10th grade to provide support and development which helps kids reach their full potential as caring, responsible and productive citizens. They offer daily access to a broad range of programs in five core areas: Health & Life skills, The Arts, Education & Career Development, Sports, Recreation & Fitness, and Character & Leadership Development.
The club was organized as a result of the need for a safe and constructive after-school program for Lunenburg youth. The club opened in 2005 under the name of the Chester Mossman Teen Center. Prior to this club, there wasn’t any after-school program for middle and high school, or a safe place for them to go. On average there are approximately 85 students in attendance daily Monday through Friday. The program is affordable to all who want to attend.
The majority of their revenue comes from grants, pledge drives, fundraising events and corporate sponsorships. This program has helped many children find their passion and create lifelong friendships.
Are there specific programs or projects of theirs that you feel especially passionate about supporting?
Every year the club puts on a Halloween event that the whole town can attend. It’s called Shrieks & Kreiks. This event includes a haunted house that the club kids participate in as actors, as well as a haunted hayride run by volunteers. In addition to that the town’s businesses can have booths and games that they put out for the people attending. It’s a great event that continues to grow and grow.
They also put on a Power Hour Monday through Thursday after school where club members go to the library to work on their homework. They have tutors available to help the kids if they need it. They reward the kids that attend by having Power Hour events for those kids such as movie nights and monthly awards to the kids that attend the most.
They offer a Fit Club for kids that like sports, a D&D Club for kids that prefer that activity. There really is something for everyone!
Hi Theresa! Why did you nominate Beacon of Hope in Leominster?
I nominated the Beacon of Hope because I see firsthand the extreme “Good” in it. My aunt Sr.Janet Badagliacca (my moms sister) and Sr. Loretta Ciaccarelli, both Venerini Nuns, had an idea to create a Respite House for adult children with developmental disabilities. My dad and mom – as well as many others – immediately volunteered their valuable time, hard work and money donations to realize two nuns’ dream! The clients come and be with their friends, do crafts, learn money management, bake, cook and do lots of activities! They take day trips, dance, “Walk for Hope”, all by the Goodness, very generous and big hearted volunteers, since 1987. Sr. Janet and Sr. Loretta have since passed, but their dream is carried on by my other aunt, Sr. Pauline Badagliacca, and Vickie Briggs the Executive Director.
Are there specific projects or campaigns of theirs that you feel especially passionate about supporting?
A specific project I have volunteered for and love is the “Walk for Hope.” It brings the community together and raises money, and one year was dedicated to my dad (who has since passed). The biggest event that I especially love is the Harvest Dinner Dance held every November (unfortunately canceled due to Covid19 for the past 2 years). It’s their biggest fundraiser. Just having dinner with all “the family”, selling and buying raffles of donated beautiful items.
However, watching the kids dancing is my favorite – the smiles and laughter say it all! It all happens again by our very generous volunteers from Fitchburg and Leominster, mayors, council people, local firefighters, police, and local business owners – all of whom take time from their extremely busy schedules to make the event a great success!
$2,700 donated to charities chosen by other IC team members
Remaining IC team members who didn’t win were awarded $100 each to donate to charities of their choosing. Here are a few of the organizations that received their support.
We at IC Credit Union strongly believe that a credit union – or any business for that matter – is only as strong as the communities it serves. Since our inception in 1928 as a member-owned non-profit institution, we’ve focused on offering services that provide a positive impact to both our members and their neighborhoods. And throughout the year we’re deeply involved with a wide array of charitable organizations and nonprofits throughout Massachusetts, whether through outreach, volunteering, or corporate giving.
This year’s Great Holiday GiveBack is an opportunity for us to shine the spotlight on a number of these organizations that are close to our members’ and employees’ hearts, and share with you the reasons why.
Click below to learn more about IC’s charitable and corporate giving programs, aimed at making a positive difference in our Massachusetts communities.