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Charities Receive $50k Thanks to ECU Employees

KINGSPORT - Eleven community organizations in Eastman Credit Union’s service areas are receiving donations totaling over $50,000 this week thanks to ECU’s “Casual for a Cause” employee giving program.

“It’s a wonderful program, where our employees choose organizations, they want to support,” said ECU’s CEO and president Kelly Price.

On payday Thursdays, participating ECU employees eagerly wear matching t-shirts, jeans, and tennis shoes to work in support of “Casual for A Cause.” This employee-supported program has raised over $164,000 for selected charities since 2020.

“We started this program in the second half of 2020 when the pandemic made it difficult to serve our communities in traditional ways.  We saw an opportunity to pull our teams together and help them focus on something good, and from day one, Casual for a Cause was a success. Ninety-eight percent of our employees are participating,” said Price.

Since 2020, thirty-six charities have received checks from ECU. Each year, the amounts donated to the charities vary based on employee participation and the number of non-profit organizations selected.

“We have a voting process that begins in the fall where employees choose the following year’s recipients. Then, we call those selected to let them know that we’ll be raising money for them during the upcoming year and to share that we’ll add their organization’s name to the back of our t-shirts,” said Price.

ECU has over 1,000 employees across the communities they serve in Tennessee, Virginia, and Texas. Charities are selected from each area. The 2023 charities chosen by ECU staff were Appalachia Service Project, Daily Bread Community Kitchen, Boys and Girls Club of Elizabethton/Carter County, Morristown/Hamblen County Humane Society, Hawkins County Humane Society, Lee County Animal Shelter, SCMA Food Pantry, Pathfinders Youth Camp, SMILE Foster Closet, Longview Animal Care & Adoption Center, and Longview Dream Center.

“Part of the real beauty for the charities is that we knock on their door. It’s a surprise to them.  These organizations are not expecting our call,” said Price.

In addition to this program, ECU makes corporate donations to schools and organizations that have totaled more than $6 million over the last five years.

About Eastman Credit Union

Eastman Credit Union is a not-for-profit financial cooperative headquartered in Kingsport, Tennessee. Serving areas of Northeast Tennessee, Southwest Virginia, and East Texas, ECU is one of the nation’s top 50 largest credit unions with over 325,000 members and employs approximately 1,000.  For more information about ECU, visit  Funds are federally insured by NCUA. Member Equal Housing Lender. Equal Opportunity Employer.