CU Forward Day, formerly Plus It Forward, is a statewide day of Minnesota’s credit unions spreading kindness in the communities they serve. The day is held annually on Columbus Day, a federal holiday on the second Monday of October.
All Minnesota credit unions are invited to participate in CU Forward Day by selecting a giveback opportunity that means the most to their staff and community. MnCUN will gather details from all credit unions participating in the day, create a collective impact report, and share it with the media, legislators, and opinion leaders statewide.
In the past, credit union staff have spent the day delivery gift baskets to local law enforcement, volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, hosting a community shred day, volunteering for park cleanup, helping at a local food shelf, and much more. See below for additional ideas.
Credit unions interested in participating in 2017 should contact MnCUN Director of Communications Andrea Molnau or Communications Specialist Laura Whittet.
In 2013, Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union hosted their first organization-wide Plus It Forward Day.
Initially focused on Affinity Plus’ employees dedicating eight hours to volunteerism, the event has grown substantially – the 2016 Plus It Forward event included 25 participating credit unions resulting in more than 1,200 employees and members dedicating over 7,300 total volunteer hours to scatter kindness in their communities.
In a response to the growing cooperative nature of the event, the Minnesota Credit Union Network will now coordinate credit union participation, tracking and media efforts going forward under the umbrella name CU Forward Day.
Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union invites credit unions to join them at Second Harvest Heartland in Golden Valley. The site can host 100 volunteers throughout the day to help in their warehouse – food sorting, food packing, and a variety of other fun projects. Two shifts are available: 9-11:30 a.m. and 1-3:30 p.m. For more information, contact Stephanie Musgrove.
The Minnesota Credit Union Network encourages credit unions to join us at Feed My Starving Children in Eagan from 9:30-11:30 a.m. For volunteer information, visit Feed My Starving Children online.
Interested in inviting fellow credit unions to volunteer cooperatively during CU Forward Day? Contact Laura Whittet.
ACTS OF KINDNESS IDEAS
- Visit a retirement/senior living center to visit residents, play games, deliver flowers or treats
- Deliver appreciation cards and cookies or coffee to local heroes and public servants
- Deliver cards or crafts to Children’s hospital patients or elderly
- Appreciate staff/volunteers at local non-profit groups, flower stems, notes, or donuts
- Create compliment cards to hand out to community members with small useful item
- Handing out Dairy Queen treats or gift cards
- Provide people with a blank, postage paid envelope and notecard to send to a loved one
- Provide small care packages to college students or community members
- Give out small “cold & flu” survival packets
- Purchase lunch or coffee for random community members
- Reading to kids or elderly
- Bagging groceries for patrons at “bag-it-yourself” stores
- Community clean-up: trash along roads, rivers, city sidewalks, parks, etc.
The proposed media outreach timeline below is intended to provide a consistent, coordinated effort to maximize the collective impact of the state’s credit unions.
All credit unions can begin discussing CU Forward Day on social media at any time, continuing through mid-October using #cuforwarday
- 9/15/17 – Deadline to sign up
- 9/29/17 – deadline for credit unions to submit responses to the impact survey
- 9/19/17 – by mid-September, MnCUN will provide a sample press release for participating credit unions to use (if desired) in creating individualized releases
- 9/23/17 – MnCUN will send first statewide media advisory to provide baseline information about CU Forward Day, to capture attention of weekly and biweekly publications
- 10/3/17 – MnCUN to send second statewide media advisory
- 10/5/15 – participating credit unions encouraged to distribute personalized media releases
- 10/10-14 – In the days following CU Forward Day, individual credit unions should send pictures and summaries to media contacts as a follow-up
- 10/23/17 – deadline for credit unions to submit responses to the post-event survey