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CoastHills Giving Program Donates $4,000 To Animal Causes

by Joshua D. Scroggin
July 29, 2019
A dog noses up to a chain link fence from inside its enclosure at a local animal shelter.

You may know Christi Schaffer as one of the friendly faces greeting you at CoastHills Credit Union’s Paso Robles branch.

But many of Christi’s friends, family and North County neighbors know her for her passion outside of work — as the biggest pet lover in town. She just can’t say no to helping a stray in need.

That’s why Christi helped the Credit Union’s employee giving program direct $4,000 to pet-driven local nonprofits last month alone. As a contributor to “I’m All In,” Christi was one of six CoastHills staff members chosen to award $1,000 sponsorships to the charity of their choice.

Four of them chose causes like Christi’s: Woods Humane Society’s North San Luis Obispo County location.

“I just got two puppies,” Christi said. “We had them spayed, microchipped and treated for fleas, and it only cost me $150 for both of them.

“I just think it’s an amazing facility. There are so many animals out there that are not cared for and don’t have their shots, and it’s so easy to take them to some place like that.” 

Formerly known as North County Humane Society, the Atascadero location joined with Woods (which also has a location near Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo) in 2017. Both locations are dedicated to sheltering homeless animals and promoting responsible pet ownership. They offer adoptions, low-cost spay and neuter services, education programs, training classes, microchipping and more.

Christi knew from the moment her name was called that she would be sending her donation to the organization that means so much to her.

“Oh, yeah, I screamed,” she said.

And she wasn’t alone. CoastHills employees also gave to VIVA cat shelter in Lompoc, Santa Barbara County Animal Care Foundation and CARE 4 Paws in Santa Barbara, which has a mobile care clinic that also visits Lompoc and Santa Maria.

Each received a $1,000 sponsorship from the CoastHills employee program. There were donations going to other causes, too. Credit Union staff also sent $1,000 checks to Santa Maria High FFA and Bridge House, the Good Samaritan emergency shelter in Lompoc.

And those are just the most recent donations.

In all, 64 different employees have been responsible for dispersing $66,000 to the communities we serve since the launch of “I’m All In” in 2016. In addition to animals, the biggest impacts have been made in the education, homelessness, counseling, healthcare, low-income, community and arts categories. Money has been delivered to organizations headquartered in Lompoc, Santa Maria, the Five Cities, San Luis Obispo, Atascadero, Paso Robles and Thousand Oaks.

The program is fully funded through voluntary employee donations. Each pay period, staff who participate donate a portion straight from their own pay checks. The success of the program is completely dependent on the generosity of our co-workers, and we have nearly 90 percent participation. 

“The most special aspect of our giving program is that the power to choose always stays in the hands of the CoastHills employees who donate to ‘I’m All In,’ ” said Credit Union Chief Communications Officer Scott Coe. “The organizations that receive funding are those our staff cares about most.”

It just so happened that this quarter, the randomly chosen winners leaned more toward animal causes like, VIVA — a no-kill, cage-free cat shelter that houses between 100 and 150 cats and kittens. VIVA also offers low-cost adoptions, spay and neuter services and operates both a retirement home for older cats and a sanctuary for feral cats.

CARE 4 Paws is unique for its mobile clinic, which offers spays and neuters at multiple locations throughout Santa Barbara County. They also perform vaccines and microchipping, community medicine, companion pet assistance and dog training intervention.

Santa Barbara County Animal Care Foundation is an all-volunteer non-profit that raises money to help the County by focusing on and supporting the maintenance of Santa Barbara County Animal Services No Kill Achievement.

To learn more about the CoastHills Credit Union “I’m All In” employee giving program, please visit our website.

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