Coast Hills

Employee giving blows away expectations

by Joshua D. Scroggin
April 26, 2016
I'm All In

Karla Gonzalez has fond memories from her time at Fairlawn Elementary in Santa Maria. She’ll never forget visiting places like The Getty Center and going off to 6th Grade Camp.

Now that her son Adrian is a student at her old school, it feels like something’s missing.  

“When I was a student here at Fairlawn, we had so many more field trips, we had so many more activities,” Karla said, “but the budget keeps getting cut. And if anything, maybe the kids will have one field trip a year, and that’s about it.”

A member services officer in our branch at The Crossroads shopping center, Karla was able to give the school’s funding a boost. She recently presented the elementary school with a $1,000 donation thanks to a new employee giving program at CoastHills Credit Union.

IMG_7264-01The program is called “I’m All In.” It’s fully voluntary and completely funded by employee donations. CoastHills employees sign up to give what they can, and the money is pooled together by the CoastHills Community Foundation. Every quarter, a random drawing determines who decides where the money is spent.

When the program was first introduced at a December staff meeting, nearly every one of our 230 employees pledged their support. The initial hope was that we could fund a $1,000 charitable donation once each quarter.

Thanks to the overwhelmingly positive response to the cause, I’m All In will deliver $1,000 donations to three different community organizations personally selected by CoastHills employees in the first quarter alone.  Karla was the first to win the random drawing, but more announcements are coming soon.

“I knew that CoastHills employees were all in on our mission to make a difference in our neighbors’ lives,” said CoastHills Community Foundation Director Rebecca Alarcio. “But I was truly astounded to find nearly every one of our 230 employees line up at our December meeting to sign up for the program — and do so without hesitation. They are making a personal commitment from every paycheck to give back to their communities. Honestly, I was choked up to see the outpouring.”

Fairlawn’s Parent Teacher Committee will decide how the donation is spent, and the school has many worthy causes. Field trips, Read Across America Day, the Math Super Bowl, Battle of the Books and the school’s soccer team are all funded through the committee.

The school is also purchasing a new electronic marquee and maintains a uniform closet to help clothe kids in need. Fairlawn's school motto is "Choosing to learn, determined to succeed, making a difference together." I'm All In and the CoastHills Community Foundation are delighted to join a rallying cry so similar to our own: We make a difference in our neighbors' lives.

“Oh my gosh,” Fairlawn Principal Toni Kelly said. “A thousand dollars at a time covers a couple field trips locally. It covers a field trip far away. The electronic marquee, it certainly puts a dent in the price tag that we’re going to pay for that. It makes a huge difference for our kids.”


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