Earlier this year, Desert Financial announced plans to give back $7 million dollars to the Valley community in 2018 through various donations, grants, giveaways and community programs, dubbing the effort as the organization’s “Year of Giving.”

As a part of the larger campaign, the credit union implemented its Random Acts of Kindness program, which empowers employees to nominate deserving members of the community for any kind of help, gift or award. Most recently, a Desert Financial employee nominated an Arizona family to receive a much-needed monetary donation to subsidize their son’s rising medical bills due to two rare heart conditions. Stacey and Tom Rogers’ young son, Zion, is in desperate need of a heart transplant and the family has been making homemade salsa, cleaning homes and hosting yard sales to raise funds to pay for the mounting medical bills. When a Desert Financial employee heard their unique story on television, she notified the board about Zion’s condition and her request to assist the family was quickly approved. Just days later, Desert Financial came to Zion’s aid by surprising his family in Queen Creek with a check in the amount of $15,000.

“Whenever our employees see someone that can use a helping a hand, they nominate them to be a recipient of a Random Act of Kindness,” said Cathy Graham, chief marketing officer at Desert Financial Credit Union. “It shows how much our employees are truly connected to what’s happening in our community and how much they care. They are our most valuable assets – our eyes and ears in across the Valley. Empowering them with a sense of purpose and a simple goal to do good allows us to connect to those who need assistance on a deeper level.”

The Rogers family was visibly moved by the generous donation and shared the fact that the funds will go a long way toward helping with their son’s medical expenses. However, without a donor just yet, additional resources will be needed to cover Zion’s continued pediatric bills, echocardiograms, EKG’s, and oxygen. Those who would like to learn more about Zion’s story or donate can visit his Go Fund Me Page.

Earlier this summer, Desert Financial threw a surprise birthday party for a longtime employee of a grocery store in which one of its branches is located. Characterized as vibrant, generous and full of life, Werner is a special-needs employee who is cared for by his brother.

“He’s one of our biggest fans,” said Jeff Meshey, president of Desert Financial. “He does a lot of things for our branch inside of the grocery store and we really appreciate him. We wanted to take some time to make him feel special and show him that his daily kindness and positive attitude hasn’t gone unnoticed.”

Branch employees threw Werner a birthday pizza party complete with decorations and a brand new television, DVD’s and a mini-refrigerator to take home to enjoy.

Another highlight this summer took place at the BBB Torch Awards, where Desert Financial empowered 400 people to make a difference in their community. At the event, 360 guests were provided $25 gift cards to perform their own random act of kindness, while an additional 40 opened surprise envelopes containing a blank donation form in the amount of $500 to be made out to the name of a non-profit of their choosing. In total, 400 people were encouraged to make a difference in the Arizona community with a total of $29,000 provided from Desert Financial Credit Union. 

At just over halfway through the 2018 Year of Giving campaign, Desert Financial has already donated 6.27 million of its goal of its $7 million goal, and dozens of additional Random Acts of Kindness stories can be found by visiting Desert Financial’s Community Connections page: https://www.desertfinancial.com/year-of-giving/Community-Connections