PORTSMOUTH, NH (December 4, 2023) – Service CU is proud to continue its own holiday traditions, giving back to New Hampshire communities one effort at a time.
Now in its 4th year, Service CU has distributed a total of 21,000 bags through its Stay Warm initiative. Through this effort, credit union volunteers pack bags that include a hat, glove, scarf, and blanket to be distributed to nonprofit partners across the state. This year, volunteers packed 6,000 bags that were given to 35 NH nonprofits to be distributed to their communities. The organizations include homeless shelters, food pantries, children’s programs and schools.
“Even if it’s a scarf, mittens and a hat, it just provides them with a feeling of comfort throughout these really cold months,” said Kelly Espinola, Principal of Southside Middle School in Manchester, of the cold-weather essentials provided to students in the Stay Warm bags.
Added Mary Chevalier, founder of 1269 Café, a community outreach center for the homeless, “We do a winter overnight warming station from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. Sometimes when it’s particularly cold outside, and people decide to leave, it’s so nice to have something like that to say, “Here, since you’re not staying with us, would you like to take this with you?”
Hear from more Stay Warm nonprofit recipients here.
Additionally, Service CU has brought back a newer annual tradition to spread joy to children and support local business. Now in its second year, Project Elf has Service CU elves purchase toys from independently owned toy stores in NH towns including Littleton, North Conway, Somersworth, Concord, Keene, Dover, Exeter and Portsmouth. On December 6, all toys will be delivered to the NH State Police to distribute to families in need, just in time for the holidays. “My two daughters said it ‘must be what Santa feels like!’” said Allyson Speake, owner of Tanglewood Hollow in Concord, of the effort.
“We are proud to bring back these annual traditions that make a huge impact on the communities that we serve,” said Jaime Yates, community relations manager at Service Credit Union. “Not only are we helping keep NH warm this winter, we are also able to support local business as well as well as the State Police.”
To round out the year, the credit union is also empowering each of its 35 New Hampshire branches to donate $750 to a nonprofit of their choosing. This will allow community partners to purchase things from their wish lists, and help them continue fulfilling their mission and important work in NH. This effort complements the branch collection drives that have been going on all year, which have collected nearly 5,000 needed items for local nonprofits.
"Thank you for your call today. It absolutely made my day and our holiday. We know our community organizations have a choice about which nonprofits they support. At the very least you deserve our gratitude," said Maureen Sullivan, Executive Director, Child Advocacy Center of Rockingham County, one of the nonprofits “adopted” by a Service CU branch. For a running list of the rest, visit servicecu.org/community.