2020 LMCU Impact Report

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LMCU Impact Report 2020

Finding unique ways to serve during a crisis

“ …we knew immediate and ongoing support in our communities was needed now more than ever.” Letter from our CEO While 2020 was an unexpected year of challenges and change, Lake Michigan Credit Union’s mission remained the same: to support the communities we serve and our local nonprofit partners. We were humbled to see our staff, members, partners, and neighbors come together to support one another throughout these unprecedented times. With over 485,000 members and 1,400 team members, we knew immediate and ongoing support in our communities was needed now more than ever. We made it a priority to find unique ways to meet the needs of organizations within our long-term philanthropic focus areas of education, health and well-being, and housing. We honored our commitment to make lasting and impactful philanthropic investments, and our team members found unique ways to volunteer during the pandemic — participating in safe and socially distanced opportunities or volunteering virtually from home. This report will provide an inside look at the impact LMCU and our team members have had during the last year. We’re in the business of making people’s lives better. We want to thank our members for putting us in a position to help our communities when it’s needed most. I’d also like to thank every one of our LMCU team members who continue to give back more and more every year. Without your efforts, our impact would not be possible.

Sandy Jelinski President/CEO Lake Michigan Credit Union

Table of contents LMCU’s Impact Report provides a glimpse at the ways our organization and team members gave back throughout 2020.





2020 at a glance

Our mission & our approach Long-term philanthropic focuses



COVID-19 immediate response Working together while socially distant




Banding together for healthcare heroes Food insecurity (LMCU Cares)



Housing stability and equity


Resiliency in the classroom Providing access to postsecondary education


14-15 Dedicated to serve Making it happen



Looking ahead

Our mission Community outreach has been embedded in our culture since we opened our doors in 1933. Whether through volunteerism, philanthropy, sponsorships or other forms of community engagement, it has been important to be a catalyst for change and growth in the communities we serve. We’re proud of our commitment to contribute as an organization and the impact our team members make in their communities.

Our approach Lake Michigan Credit Union recognizes the immediate and longterm impact that COVID-19 will continue to have. We quickly pivoted our philanthropy and annual campaigns to better support the needs of our communities during these uncertain times, while continuing to address our long-term focus areas.


philanthropic focuses Education - Since our founding as the Grand Rapids Teachers’ Credit Union, education has remained at the forefront of who we are as an organization. As the definition of a classroom changed, so did our philanthropic priorities in this area. We understood the hardship of virtual learning on teachers, education systems, students and families, and acted swiftly to respond. Health & Well-Being - We took proactive steps to respond to the health and well-being of our community, while also acknowledging the perpetual effects the pandemic will have on our healthcare workers. LMCU remained focused on supporting and recognizing our essential and frontline workers during a time of such uncertainty. The pandemic amplified the need to focus on addressing health inequities and access to high quality care for all members of our communities. Housing - Housing is a core social determinant of personal health, well-being and education. As more Americans were faced with the threat of unemployment and eviction, focused efforts around developing access to stable housing became more important. In addition to serving our own members, we worked with our nonprofit partners to help meet the rising needs of renters and homeowners. We also participated in a collaborative community response to the rising number of individuals experiencing homelessness due to the pandemic.


at a glance LMCU invested $989,960.88 philanthropically during 2020. Here are a few other noteworthy areas of impact from the year:

$115,889,810 in Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) loans funded in Michigan and Florida.

$152,603.72 donated to nonprofits addressing housing insecurity.

144 pints of life-saving blood donated, helping 432 patients.

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Nominations received for the first-ever “My Teacher Is…” grant program.

Over 37,500 pairs of foot coverings and over 1,500 masks donated.

Shred Your Stuff Day Events:

Over 56,000 pounds of paper was recycled at three Shred Your Stuff Day events.

Band Together:

Members and employees donated over $50,000 for 15 hospitals as part of our Band Together campaign.

TeacherAppreciation Campaign: LMCU provided 1,175 gift cards to teachers at 54 schools across Michigan and Florida.

767 children read 6,100 books

during the month of March during Max’s Reading Adventure, our National Reading Month campaign.


LMCU branches served as personal protective equipment drop-off sites.

LMCU Cares raised:

$110,000 towards the fight against local hunger.

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COVID-19 immediate


LMCU continued to serve our members, business partners, and our communities as we collectively responded to the sudden impact of COVID-19 in March. Here are few of the immediate actions we took: LMCU donated 37,500 pairs of foot-coverings — originally intended for the spring Parade of Homes — to nine hospitals across Michigan and Florida. TransNation™ Title partnered with LMCU to donate 400 N95 masks to frontline hospital workers in Muskegon. Additionally, we purchased over 600 masks for frontline service workers and nonprofit organizations in West Michigan and Southeast Michigan. We also partnered with the Kent County Health Department and West Michigan Hispanic Chamber to provide more than 500 masks and ‘return to work’ materials translated in Spanish for employees to over 50 business owners. “ Our top priority is the safe delivery of care, and the face masks will allow us to conserve and extend our supply of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) for our frontline employees. These will be a great addition to our inventory, thank you!” - Laura D., Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation

LMCU donated $50,000 to partner agencies across our footprint who specifically responded to the immediate needs resulting from COVID-19. Those agencies included: • Heart of West Michigan United Way • United Way of Southeastern Michigan • Southwest Florida Community Foundation • United Way of the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region • Greater Ottawa County United Way • United Way of the Lakeshore • United Way of Saginaw County • Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation • United Way of Washtenaw County • Capital Area United Way • Community Foundation of Greater Flint • Feeding America West Michigan • Hispanic Center of Western Michigan • Cherry Health

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Working together while

socially distant As 2020 took on a more virtual approach to doing business, we found new and creative ways to make an impact and bring a personal touch. In partnership with Treetops Collective, a Grand Rapids based nonprofit, we purchased nine laptops for refugee high school students to use in distance learning. “ My family has over 9 children...We did not have laptops [for at-home schoolwork], but now we have two laptops in the house that we can use that we received from Treetops. It has been nice to have the laptops and be able to do school work from home.� - Giselle (Student) Our southeast Michigan mortgage processing team wanted to show their appreciation to frontline workers. The region raised over $700 to purchase meals for three different organizations through their own fundraising efforts, supporting over 50 essential workers. Through our partnership with Mercy Health in the West Michigan area, seven LMCU branches served as personal protective equipment drop-off sites. Our members and employees came through with an incredible amount of gloves, shoe coverings, masks, and sanitizing products to be donated.

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Banding together for

healthcare heroes When our branch lobbies were closed in May, our retail team members worked hard to raise funds for our Band Together campaign. Traditionally benefiting local Children’s hospitals and pediatric units, we shifted this year’s campaign to collect donations for regional hospitals’ COVID-19 response and relief funds. Thanks to our members and team members, we raised over $50,000 to benefit 15 area hospitals throughout Michigan and Florida.

Michigan • Spectrum Health (Grand Rapids) • Mercy Health (Grand Rapids & Muskegon) • Metro Health - University of Michigan Health Hospital (Wyoming) • Cherry Health (multiple locations across Michigan) • Holland Hospital (Holland) • Ascension Borgess Hospital (Kalamazoo) • Bronson Methodist Hospital (Kalamazoo) • Covenant Healthcare (Saginaw) • Beaumont Health System (SE Michigan) • University of Michigan - C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital (Ann Arbor) • Ascension Providence Rochester Hospital (Rochester) • Munson Healthcare (Traverse City) Florida • Lee Health (SW FL)

“ We are grateful for our longstanding partnership with LMCU over the past 50 years. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the team at LMCU and their members have shown us an invaluable amount of support. Their eagerness to jump in and help where they could — is truly remarkable!” - Angela P., Saint Mary’s Foundation

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• NCH Hospital Systems (SW FL)

Food insecurity

LMCU Cares With food insecurity on the rise, our LMCU mortgage department was determined to support organizations addressing the issue within our communities. For every new construction and purchase loan closed in May and June, LMCU donated $50. In total, $110,000 was distributed to seven nonprofit organizations.

“ Lake Michigan Credit Union has proven to be a valuable supporter this holiday season. Their commitment to our community will provide upwards of $60,000 meals to those in need.” - Terry C., Gleaners Community Food Bank

In addition to the increased number of families dependent on their services, food insecurity organizations were facing new challenges cause by the pandemic. The rising cost of food, inability to invite large groups of volunteers onsite, and the urgent need to develop more partnerships were just a few of the hurdles they faced. LMCU’s contribution will help these organizations provide over one million meals for families in need. • Kids’ Food Basket • Gleaners Community Food Bank • Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida • Food Bank of Eastern Michigan • Kalamazoo Loaves and Fishes • The Father Fred Foundation • Greater Lansing Food Bank “ During the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for food in Michigan has been unprecedented. In collaboration with our partners, we’ve distributed nearly 40 million pounds of food since mid-March — a 100% increase over the same period last year. We wouldn’t be able to meet that massive and growing need without the support of amazing partners like Lake Michigan Credit Union.” - Kara R., Food Bank of Eastern Michigan

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Housing stability

and equity During the pandemic, increased unemployment left many people wondering how they would pay their rent or mortgage. Each year, LMCU works with partners such as Habitat for Humanity and Inner City Christian Federation (ICCF) to provide pathways to permanent housing solutions for our neighbors. This year, we also partnered with Fair Housing Centers across the state of Michigan to support the needs amplified by the pandemic, such as working to end housing discrimination and promoting accessible, integrated communities.

As winter weather began to set in, the need for expanded shelter offerings for those experiencing homelessness became apparent in Grand Rapids. Mel Trotter Ministries, Guiding Light, and the City of Grand Rapids collaborated to open a new warming center and emergency overnight shelter in December. This helped address the need created by an increase in individuals needing shelter due to the pandemic and the capacity limits required due to social distancing measures. LMCU gave a gift of $10,000 to support this collaborative response.

LMCU donated:

$152,603.72 to nonprofits addressing housing insecurity.

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Resiliency in

the classroom Perhaps this year more than ever, schools and teachers needed our support to provide future generations with an education. We launched our first ever “My Teacher Is…” grant program, awarding 25 teachers across Michigan and Florida with $1,000 grants. We received over 400 nominations from students, parents, peers, community members and school administrators explaining how a teacher in their life embodies the definition of resiliency. Grants were used to help teachers purchase classroom supplies, aid in online learning, or anything that benefits the educational process. “ In a pandemic world, without access to the school’s outdoor playspaces and nature preserve, she turned her students into explorers of their own backyards. She filmed weekly videos and helped create activity guides for her students from nearby woods or a local park, often with her hammock or dog accompanying her.” - Excerpt from Jenna Z.’s nomination, Little Hawks Discovery Preschool (Holland, MI) “ She was highly organized and prepared with lesson plans. From the beginning, she laid out the expectations for the students with virtual learning.” - Excerpt from Stephanie J.’s nomination, Verde K-8 School (Boca Raton, FL)

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Regardless of what back to school looked like, we wanted to show our appreciation for teachers. Each of our 54 branches selected one elementary, middle, or high school to surprise each teacher with a $15 Amazon gift card. In total, we provided 1,175 teachers, at 54 schools across Michigan and Florida with gift cards. “ Thank you so much for this gift card and the appreciation it shows. I bought two books about kindness and diversity to share with my second graders. I can’t wait for them to arrive.” - Kelly M., Emmons Lake Elementary School “ I’m using it for a graphics tablet that I can use to teach my virtual students. LMCU, you make teachers feel supported and appreciated… we need that so much right now!” - Tina E., Northview High School

Providing access to

postsecondary education Our Lloyd F. Hutt Scholarship celebrated its 30th year in 2020. Each student wrote an original essay answering the question: “In 30 years, what’s the one thing you hope to still have and why?” “ I feel that now more than ever, we are lacking this attention to detail. This world forces us to keep going, to keep running and because of this, we tend to look to the end goal, not realizing that the journey is what matters. We don’t realize that it is all the little details that come along the way that make us who we are and really what makes life worth living. It’s those moments where we laugh so much we can no longer breathe, the first steps, first days of school, those milestones that we sometimes miss in exchange for worldly demands.” - Excerpt from “The Little Details”, Malack J.

This year, we awarded fifteen high school seniors with a

$2,000 scholarship.

LMCU has awarded:


Celebrating 30 years Our Lloyd F. Hutt Scholarship celebrated its 30th year in 2020.


252 students

have been awarded scholarships.

in scholarship dollars since 1990.

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Dedicated to


Every year, LMCU offers employees a paid day off to volunteer with the nonprofit or organization of their choice. In a year where inperson volunteering was limited, our team members found unique ways to volunteer their time by tapping into local projects that had immediate needs and created lasting impacts within our community. At the height of the pandemic, many families were unsure of where their next meal would come from. The Hispanic Center of Western Michigan addressed this need, providing fresh produce and essential items to local Grand Rapids families. LMCU team members Alexis R. and Kristina G. volunteered over 80 hours between April and August with the Center to provide local families with these critical resources. Gabe N. recognized a need at a local school and assembled a team to help. The group reconstructed the walkway of the Victory Garden at South Elementary School in Grandville. Originally, each student made a 1’ x 1’ concrete block for the garden’s walkway. The students decorated the blocks with sparkles, tools, buttons from video game controllers, and other personalized items. Over time, these blocks had shifted, slid, and became misaligned; the walkway was unsafe to walk on. Gabe offered his knowledge and skills to rebuild the walkway by donating 20 hours of his time in August and September to ensure this project was a success.

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Making it

happen While the activities in 2020 looked very different, there were still many impactful causes that LMCU was able to participate in or support. LMCU honored all financial commitments for spring nonprofit programs and events canceled due to COVID-19. Nonprofits thought creatively in regards to these events, with many switching from in-person to virtual — allowing much-needed fundraising to take place while adapting to the ever-changing landscape of COVID-19. LMCU’s Bridge Run went virtual this year for “Bridge Run Week: A Bridge to 2021.” Over 811 participants, including 177 team members completed the 10-mile run or 5K run/walk on their own. Proceeds from this year’s Bridge Run benefited myTeam® Triumph, No Surrender Running Club, Great Sports Great Kids, and RunGR. Through our ongoing partnership with Kalamazoo Parks and Recreation, LMCU was the title sponsor of the Lunchtime Live series in Bronson Park. In both Florida and Michigan, LMCU maintained our ongoing partnerships with our Make a Wish partners. Our team members participated in the Walk for Wishes and raised more than $25,700

for Make a Wish Southern Florida. All of the funds raised will be used to grant the life-changing wishes of local children with critical illnesses. The Boys and Girls Club of Grand Rapids Youth Commonwealth stepped up and provided on-site learning for club members as their schools went virtual. LMCU supported these extraordinary measures with a grant of $10,000 to help the organization sustain these services. For the second year in a row, LMCU was the Signature Sponsor for Local First’s Holiday Campaign. During this campaign, Local First spotlighted local businesses, highlighting the importance of shopping small during the holiday season. During LMCU’s annual Santa Squad campaign, we invited residents of Michigan and Florida to submit an item from their holiday wish list from a locally owned, small business. We were able to surprise individuals with their wish list item, all while supporting over 60 small businesses.

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ahead An unprecedented year allowed for an unparalleled response of coming together as a community. LMCU pivoted quickly to address the unique challenges of the pandemic, but we know we can’t rest on our laurels. Through volunteerism and philanthropy, we remain committed to serving our communities in 2021 and beyond. We wouldn’t be able to accomplish our work without the ongoing support of our team members, members, and nonprofit partners. We remain optimistic and excited to see what 2021 brings!