The Pay It Forward Program — where BECU members nominate their favorite local nonprofits to receive one of four $1,000 grants — was so successful that the program will be repeated in 2011.
“We started the program as a way to emphasize that since everyone in the area is eligible to join BECU, we want to give back to the community in a big way. Letting the members tell us who should receive the funds is just one more way the members can show they own this credit union,” said Kim Gunter, vice president, marketing, for BECU.
“Seeing the results of this program has been incredibly rewarding,” said Pat Burger, chairperson of the BECU board of directors. “It’s wonderful to see how many of our members are passionate and active in this community, and it’s been exciting to discover who the winners are and to see the good work they are doing to improve the lives of everyone in our area.”
The winners of the fourth quarter award, the Eastview Baptist Church Food Pantry, are a perfect example of how people in this community are working to make a difference in the lives of their neighbors.
As Rogers wrote, the Eastview Baptist Church Pantry is made possible by the efforts of “a small congregation with a huge heart.” The pantry fund is used to provide meals to shut-ins and the elderly, as many as 50 meals each week. The pantry also opens its doors on Wednesday and Sunday nights to families in need of groceries. The recipients of the food are not necessarily members of the church, just families in need of food during hard times. And even though they have designated evenings to be open, they’ve often answered emergency needs at odd hours of the day and night.
The Eastview Baptist Church Food Pantry is largely supported by a small congregation of about 25 people, and in recent years they have received donations from United Grocery Outlet in Athens, and Feed the Children, which is based in Nashville.
Anyone in need of their services, or anyone wishing to make their own contribution to this worthy cause, can write Eastview Baptist Church at 2582 County Road 561, Etowah, TN 37331.
Any BECU member who would like to nominate their favorite nonprofit for one of four $1,000 prizes to be given out in 2011 can write 500 words or less to: BECU Pays It Forward, BECU, P.O. Box 359, Calhoun, TN or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. For official contest rules, visit www.bowaterecu.org. The deadline for the first award is Feb. 28.