People Helping People. It’s our philosophy at Vantage Credit Union, and we take it seriously. Giving back is engrained in our culture. And it doesn’t happen just at the holidays. Our commitment to serving the communities where we live and work happens year-round.
Over the course of 2021, Vantage employees joined together with our member-owners to make a substantial impact in the community. As we wrap up 2021, we reflect on the good we accomplished together and look forward to continuing our efforts in 2022.
2021 Reflections on Giving
Holiday Gift Card Giveaway
We’re spreading some holiday cheer throughout the community. Each Vantage employee will select someone in their community to give a gift card to—a neighbor, first responder, healthcare worker or teacher. Maybe a parent navigating a toddler tantrum in a busy store or the barista tackling the endless coffee line. It might even be you!
This holiday season, we’re coming together with our members to make an impact in the community. We collected canned food donations to help stock the shelves of local food pantries. Through a toy drive, we’re giving back to local children through Cardinals Care and Ranken Jordan Pediatric Bridge Hospital. And we also put spare change to good use to help with the purchase of Thanksgiving dinners and toy purchases for those in need.
In coordination with other local credit unions, Vantage collected coats for Warners’ Warm-up. Over 11,500 coats were collected, surpassing last year’s total. Visit their website to see how you can still help!
First Responders Day
We honored local first responders on National First Responders Day by delivering surprise recognition baskets to fire stations and police departments across the St. Louis area. The surprise recognition was one simple way to express the credit union’s profound gratitude for their dedication to the service of others.
Y98 Student of the Month—From September 2021 – April 2022, Bret & Julie, with the ‘Wake-up with Bret & Julie Morning Show’ are hosting a promotion for students to receive recognition for doing something great, whether that be for acing a test or standing up for a classmate! Vantage will be awarding 35 students (five per month) with a $100 gift card. The students will also receive recognition with a plaque with their photo on the studio wall and a few minutes of fame on-air. Nominate a student today!
Y98 Adopt-a-Teacher—Bret and Julie hosted an Adopt-a-Teacher promotion through July 2021. They awarded five teachers with a $500 gift cards courtesy of Vantage. Nominations were accepted on their site, and members were encouraged to nominate teachers as well!
Y98 Christmas Wish—The holidays can be hard on families. Y98 listeners shared stories of local families in need, and with the help of Vantage and other community contributions, Y98 selected one family and granted their wishes this holiday season. Y98 also granted little wishes as they came in through community support.
The Little Bit Foundation
We partnered with The Little Bit Foundation to support their mission of breaking down barriers to learning for local children living in poverty. We contributed to their efforts through four volunteer events in September, assisting with books and buddies, food donations, school supplies and clothing donations. Additionally, through our staff Summer Fun Days initative we were able to make a $1,000 donation.
KidSmart and the Foster & Adoptive Care Coalition
Each year, the first day of school brings with it the excitement and thrill of a dive into an unknown adventure! For nearly twenty years, Vantage Credit Union has collected supplies and monetary donations in order to lessen the worry of that first day of school. Our efforts benefit two local charities, Foster & Adoptive Care Coalition of Greater St. Louis and KidSmart, which empowers children in need to succeed in school by providing free essential tools for learning.
Our annual Dream Big contest awards members ages 11-17 with $1,000 toward a computer to help them pursue their dream. Members’ dream submissions came in via videos, photos, paintings, and essays, and one member was randomly selected as the winner. Noelle (age 13) was this year’s winner. Her entry was a watercolor picture titled: “Future Occupations.” She used the prize money to purchase a new iPad, some accessories and an education app bundle. Congratulations, Noelle!
Quest For Education Scholarship
Vantage recognizes the importance of higher education for a successful future, and for over 35 years we’ve supported college-bound high school seniors with scholarships to help defray the rising costs of tuition and fees. In 2021, we honored ten members each with a $1,000 Quest For Education Scholarship.
Educators and school staff give their precious time and resources to make sure their students receive an education. To show our appreciation, we awarded $10 e-gift cards to more than 280 educators nominated by our members. They go above-and-beyond for students, and this was one way to show our support for these local heroes!
Young Adult Savings Challenge
As a young adult, it’s empowering to earn your own money and make your own financial decisions. Wise spending and saving habits are both important aspects to a successful financial future. Members ages 18-25 were entered for a chance to win a $250 QuikTrip gift card when they made a cumulative deposit of $100 or more into their Vantage account during the month of May. Two winners were randomly selected.
Youth Savings Challenges
Teaching your children and grandchildren good money habits doesn’t have to be difficult. Twice a year, Vantage holds savings challenges, members ages 10 and under were automatically entered for a chance to win $25 when they deposited $5 or more into their Vantage savings account. And members ages 11-17 were entered for a chance to win $50 when they deposited $10 or more into their Vantage account. We randomly selected ten lucky members from each age group.
Vantage Credit Union offers its members more than just banking services. The proper disposal of personal documents is incredibly important to mitigate the chances of clever thieves collecting the information necessary to take out loans or credit cards in your name. At our annual shred day, we collected and safely destroyed over 18,800 pounds of personal paperwork. We also collected over 60 bicycles for the St. Louis BWorks bicycle donation program.
During the month of April, Vantage hosted a food drive, and through the generous donations of our members and staff, collected 1,363 canned and dry goods and $420 to donate to the St. Louis Area Foodbank. To accent the food drive, 37 Vantage employees volunteered for two shifts at the St. Louis Area Foodbank, packing over 600 cases of items for distribution. In a mere six hours, they sorted nearly 9,000 pounds of food and cleaning supplies to support those in need.
Checking Account Winners
Over the course of 2021, we’ve awarded nearly $5,000 to our members with checking accounts through monthly cash drawings. Additionally, we’re holding an annual checking account cash drawing in January. Eligible Vista and Save.Think.Live. account holders have the opportunity to win a $1,000 cash prize, and eligible Legacy account holders could win a $2,500 cash prize. If a winner chooses to donate any portion of their prize to a 501c(3) organization supporting education, health, or community outreach, Vantage will match the contribution!
Our roots are in our community. Together with our staff and members, we look forward to making an even greater impact in 2022.