Desert Schools Federal Credit Union, the largest not-for-profit membership-based financial institution in the state of Arizona, announced today that it has been selected by Toastmasters International and the organization’s District 3 Governor as the 2012 award recipient for community service and leadership for the state of Arizona.
This is the first time Desert Schools has been recognized by Toastmasters, a globally recognized, international nonprofit educational organization that operates clubs worldwide for the purpose of helping members improve their communication, public speaking and leadership skills. The organization has more than 270,000 members and over 13,000 clubs in 116 countries.
Desert Schools will be presented with the Toastmasters International 2012 award for community service and leadership on Friday, May 18th. Cathy Graham, vice president of marketing at Desert Schools Federal Credit Union, will accept the award on the credit union’s behalf.
Desert Schools has built its foundation on a fundamental passion for lending a personal hand toward positive change throughout Valley communities and encourages its employees to get involved in the same philanthropic spirit on which the organization has prided itself since its founding.
The Desert Schools ‘CommuniTeam’ – a group made up of dedicated employee volunteers – is active throughout Valley communities and offers Desert Schools’ employees the opportunity to volunteer their time and philanthropic talents throughout the community. Participating in nearly 130 community projects in the Phoenix metropolitan area, 45% of Desert Schools’ employees got involved with or led community projects in 2011, volunteering 2,902 hours to support various causes.
Susan Frank, President and CEO of Desert Schools, said, “We couldn’t be more honored to accept this award from an outstanding organization like Toastmasters International. Giving back to our community has long been the cornerstone of Desert Schools’ business. The time that Desert Schools staff is able to spend year in and year out doing good throughout our Valley is something that we’re very proud of, and it means that much more to be recognized by such an extraordinary philanthropic organization.”
In 2011, the credit union coordinated fundraising efforts with employees, vendors and partners to give back more than $770,000 to the community. Desert Schools raised $360,285 for the Children’s Miracle Network, $224,178 for the United Way and $96,000 in community grants in 2011 alone.
The credit union also awarded $30,000 in community service scholarships to high school seniors and college freshmen for demonstrating dedication to their studies and continued education as well as their commitment to giving back to the community. Scholarships were awarded for Fall 2012 coursework.