Now more than ever, it is immensely important that we try to focus on the good going on in our communities.

For this reason, we decided to showcase some acts of kindness from individuals over at our neighborhood American Credit Union (ACU) who recently participated in a shared endeavor to “pay it forward.”

ACU CEO Ken Leonard gave each of his 170 employees $50 to use in any act of kindness they saw fit. Here are some examples of how they chose to spread the joy:

  • $50 donated to PETA to help promote kind treatment of all animals.
  • $50 (and an employee match of an additional $50) donated to St. Francis House to provide necessities such as clothing and food for those in need.
  • $50 donated to the Deputy Cooper Dyson Legacy Fund to help raise money for his family.
  • $50 was given to one of ACU’s own who is struggling financially during these times.
  • $50 donated to a GoFundMe campaign for a family member of an employee who was involved in an accident.
  • $50 (and an employee match of an additional $50) was given to the family of a single mom who is unable to work full time due to health concerns.

Upon speaking with the nurse supervisor at Soldiers Home in Orting, an ACU branch supervisor was told all 86 residents were in desperate need of socks and blankets. She pooled enough money together from her coworkers to buy a blanket and pair of socks for all 86 residents.

  • $50 donated to WIRES, an organization aiding animals that were rescued during the Australian wildfires.
  • $290 was pooled together to help a veteran and ACU member who had fallen on hard times financially.
  • One employee started a GoFundMe campaign with their $50 to help raise money for a family member who was involved in a fatal accident involving a semi-truck. In total, the campaign has raised over $13,000.
  • $50 was donated to The Unforgotten Souls, an animal shelter in Whiteville, North Carolina.
  • Two employees used their $50 to buy coffee and food for local police officers.
  • One ACU employee pooled together $300 to surprise a waitress at Hawks Prairie restaurant in Olympia. This restaurant was specifically chosen because its workers were facing job loss due to its upcoming closure. The donation was given to a woman whose daughter had recently passed away and who was struggling financially and emotionally.

An ACU branch manager used her $50 to create blessing bags which contained hand warmers, socks, food, water, and greeting cards for those struggling with homelessness.

  • $60 was donated to help a mother pay for funeral expenses for her son who had passed away.
  • $50 was paid forward to help a struggling mother pay for groceries in the grocery store line.
  • $50 was used to buy toys and stuffed animals for children in the pediatric unit at St. Pete’s hospital.
  • $50 was donated to a mother and her six kids who lost their dad/husband last year and were struggling to make ends meet.
  • $50 donated to the Oregon Humane Society to help pets in need find homes.