A ripple effect of service; Winona's Affinity Plus participates in statewide volunteer initiative...
Tuesday, October 11, 2016
Winona Daily News (October 11, 2016) - Four years ago, Affinity Plus Credit Union began a yearly event to get people from the company out into the community and involved with service work.
They called it "Plus it Forward."
It started with just Affinity Plus employees. Last year, 12 other credit unions across Minnesota joined. This year, 24 credit unions across the state had employees out in their respective communities taking on service work and volunteering.
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton even officially declared the day "Plus it Forward Day." Kellie Jorgenson, Winona's Affinity Plus branch manager, said she's excited and proud of how far the program has come.
"It's nice to see that people are being recognized for doing good things," Jorgenson said. "I hope to see it continue to grow."
In previous years Affinity Plus has partnered with various community organizations to help make a difference in the community. This year they partnered with Habitat for Humanity.
Monday morning, Affinity Plus employees were working early, re-painting a garage on the east end of town, then went on to help do some cleaning at the Dan Corcoran House.
"People are grateful to have this kind of help and see others in the community doing things to improve the community," Jorgenson said.
They also try to do random acts of kindness. Jorgenson said they've taped quarters to vending machines, and stuck $5 bills in random places — like books in local libraries. They spent the first year cleaning up downtown Winona and also helped paint the railings down at Levee Park.
"We just try to spread kindness, no matter how small the act might be, and create a ripple effect," Jorgenson said.
John Corcoran, Habitat for Humanity's construction manager, said he's happy to see organizations taking on this kind of volunteer work, and is the kind of help Habitat needs to fulfill its mission.
"It's fabulous ... they reached out to us to see if this could be a possibility," he said. "Groups like this is exactly what we need in the community."