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    Eastman Credit Union’s Donation Helps Boys & Girls Clubs Focus on Growing Smiles

    July 29, 2021

    The leaders at The Boys and Girls Clubs of the Big Pines are devoted to bringing smiles to the faces of hundreds of kids by providing them with positive opportunities, but this devotion comes with a price tag.

    “We spend a lot of time fundraising because we aren’t willing to imagine life for these kids without the Boys and Girls Clubs.  Kids need positive environments, safe places, emotional support, and fun; we all need fun! Our mission is to provide those opportunities and exceed their expectations, so they always have a smile when they think of their experiences at the Boys and Girls Club,” said Chad Patterson, CEO of the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Big Pines.

    When Eastman Credit Union’s (ECU) Regional Director, Jill Alley, met Patterson through a leadership program, she was overwhelmed by his enthusiasm and passion for helping the kids and families across four East Texas counties.  These counties include ECU’s primary service area of Gregg and Harrison Counties.

    “Service-oriented programs, like the Boys and Girls Club, require hard work and a lot of fundraising.  The last year has been particularly challenging, but Chad’s passionate spirit and strong leadership are contagious. He inspires, and his team doesn’t give in. They don’t give up.  They just work harder.  What an amazing example they’re setting for these kids and the community at large,” said Alley.

    Sharing a similar culture that expects extraordinary service at all levels, ECU proudly announced $15,000 of monetary support for the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Big Pines, along with organizational commitments of continued partnerships in the years to come.

    With fundraising events compromised due to COVID, coupled with an increased need for services and increased costs to provide those services, ECU’s sponsorship was timely.  Across their four-county area, the clubs spend hundreds of hours raising funds through more than 15 events per year. One of Eastman Credit Union’s themes is “your happy future is also ours,” and that mantra extends into the communities they serve.

    “It was a natural fit for us to support the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Big Pines because, like us, they’re future shapers.  One of our main goals as an organization is to help shape the positive futures of our members by providing valuable financial products and services, a variety of financial education offerings, and free financial wellness coaches,” said Kelly Price, President and CEO of Eastman Credit Union. 

    Patterson noted that ECU’s support directly impacts their organization on two levels.  First, by helping the clubs fulfill their number one priority of ongoing safety responsibilities.

    “When kids don’t feel safe and supported, they are unable to learn, grow, or develop resiliency skills that will aid them throughout their lives. Boys and Girls Clubs create a refuge, a second home, and a safe space where young people have the freedom to focus on reaching their full potential. Our commitment to the safety of young people is unyielding.  The Boys and Girls Clubs of the Big Pines will never stop doing whatever it takes to protect kids,” said Patterson.

    Second, ECU’s support will assist the clubs in their efforts to implement and maintain other extremely important priorities, which include academic growth and learning recovery, workforce/career readiness, social and emotional wellbeing, and food security. 

    “The Boys and Girls Clubs of the Big Pines is an exemplary organization.  Chad and his team share a vision for success, and this compelling leadership is charting the course and making positive changes in the lives of the children,” said Price.

    “By investing in our Boys and Girls Clubs of the Big Pines mission, you are helping us help children reach their fullest potential.  Our hope is for every child to develop and become a caring, responsible, productive citizen.  We’re doing that one child and one smile at a time, but community support is required for us to do what we love. We greatly appreciate our new partnership with ECU,” said Patterson.

    The Boys and Girls Clubs of the Big Pines serve almost 1,000 kids through 17 locations.  They need support to provide safe environments with trained and caring adults.  Community support is necessary as they strive to deliver proven and fun programs and experiences to help kids learn, grow, and gain the tools needed to open the door to a great future.  If you wish to donate, volunteer, or inquire about how you can help them grow smiles and nourish futures, visit www.begreateasttexas.com.

    “Every donation we receive means we can spend more time helping the kids,” said Patterson.

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