As the holidays are quickly approaching, Mazuma Credit Union’s elves have been busy preparing holiday packages for team members’ relatives serving in the United States Army. With a younger brother serving his fourth tour of duty in Afghanistan, Jeannie Ray, member service representative at the Gladstone branch, thought it would be a nice gesture to send Christmas cards to her brother’s battalion in Afghanistan.
“When I thought about doing this [sending holiday cards] I had it in my head his battalion was only 100, maybe 150 people,” says Ray. Ray was taken aback by the number of cards needed when her brother told her of the 800+ men and women he served with. “Every year our branch does something for the holidays, such as adopting a family, or donating to a food pantry,” says Ray. “When I approached team members about this project, they overwhelmingly chose to collect cards and candy for the troops.”
Ray ultimately reached out to all credit union employees and collected 1,048 holiday cards, 1,400 candy canes, 4,400 other candies and $445.29 in cash donations in four weeks. The cash donation paid for the postage for the 15 boxes of cards and candy sent overseas as well as the purchase of the candy. The remaining $109.65 was donated to Homes for Our Troops, one of Mazuma’s favorite charities.
The response was so overwhelming Mazuma’s holiday elves were able to provide cards and gifts to other serving relatives, the American Legion and the Veteran’s Administration.