Haxtun Community Federal Credit Union leads Rise Up effort to help local businesses

Credit unions are founded on a simple, but important principle, People Helping People. Never has this been truer than the past several months during the pandemic and all the chaos it has caused.

In our community, the team at Haxtun Community Federal Credit Union put many measures in place to continue to safely serve members as the pandemic shifted operations and access. But they also wanted to go beyond the traditional ways of helping members and the community and came up with a unique virtual challenge to spark fundraising along with health and wellness. Drawn from HCFCU employee Stephanie Harms’ experience as a mountain climber and fitness trainer, the “Rise Up Challenge” was created.

The challenge was a multi-pronged event designed to engage the community, raise money to help impacted local businesses and encourage physical activity. The challenge allowed participants to be as involved as they wanted – from simply purchasing an event t-shirt to logging steps/miles to complete virtual 14ers – all to raise awareness and support the local community. All proceeds were used to purchase gift cards from businesses impacted by the COVID-19 shutdown and then used as prizes in the Rise Up 14er Challenge.

Prizes were awarded in two different categories: miles bikes and miles walked/ran. Each category allotted prizes in five different age groups.

HCFCU CEO Kristin Hadeen said, “We felt like Rise Up was appropriate due to the current situation and our desire to promote mental and physical health.” She added, “we wanted to do something that would have an immediate impact to help businesses affected by the pandemic and the community stepped up in a big way.”

The challenge raised $1041 and the Mountain West Credit Union Foundation matched that amount, bringing the total to $2082. Another $391 of other local donations brought the grand total to almost $2500, all funneled back into local business.

The credit union also received a grant from the National Credit Union Administration to help impacted businesses and the credit union’s membership in the sum of $10,000.00.  They used it to provide utilities and offset COVID-related expenses for impacted businesses in Haxtun.

“At a time when everyone was so greatly affected by this pandemic, we are so proud that we were able to provide a small amount of positivity and economic relief in our community,” Hadeen said.