CONTRIBUTED PHOTO Bay Federal Credit Union staff show off governor’s medal for volunteer service: From left, Angelica Reyes, Tonée Picard, Carrie Birkhofer and Laura Owen.
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Organic grower Earthbound Farm has won silver in the energy and sustainability category of the 2010 Edison Best New Product Awards for its new plastic clamshell package.
An employee steering committee oversees community activities. Volunteer teams participate in 30 to 38 school or nonprofit activities a year, cleaning up beaches, staffing fund-
“It’s a cultural value for us,” said Tonée Picard, Bay Federal’s executive vice president and chief marketing and development officer.
In seven years, Bay Federal employees have volunteered for 49 different nonprofits.
unteer in San Luis Obispo, Rocklin Volunteers in Police Service, WriteGirls of Los Angeles, Taproot Foundation and Cisco.
“The evening was magical and very inspirational,” said Bay Federal President and CEO Carrie Birkhofer, who attended with several employees.“ Due to the small size of the event, we were able to mingle with the first lady and share some of the challenges we are facing in Santa Cruz County and how important it is for people to volunteer their time to help each other. I came home with a network of friends and great ideas.”
The governor called all of the medal winners heroes.
Other honorees included the president of San Diego’s Just in Time for Foster Youth, an Americorps vol-
“One hundred percent of their employees volunteered seven years in a row,” she said.“ That’s phenomenal.”
Delaney felt the credit union’s track record was exceptional.
The local credit union, which serves three counties with 186 employees, wa s t h e wi n n e r i n t h e small business volunteer program category.
“Isn’t that the coolest thing ever?” said Karen Delaney, executive director of the Santa Cruz County Volunteer Center. Delaney nominated Bay Federal in
“I hope that news of what we are doing inspires others to make a difference in their own neighborhoods a n d c i t i e s ,” B i r k h o f e r said.
Inspired by one employee’s desire to help children with disabilities, coworkers chose to refresh the aging summer camp for children with physic a l a n d d e v e l o pme n t a l disabilities. All materials were donated — paint, l umb e r , h a r dwa r e a n d plants — and a local contractor provided two probono painting crews.
One charity is the focus each month, with efforts g o i n g we l l b e y o n d t h e standard donation box in the lobby. One employee group transformed their break room into an Italian restaurant to raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network; 13 employees shaved their heads to raise money for the same cause. Last year, employees raised $ 56,000 for 10 charities, gathered 368 cell phones for soldiers, 230 winter coats for children, registered 405 marrow donors and collected food and school supplies.
hofer, the team produced a brief documentary video, designed print materials and wrote press releases, public service announcements, speeches and radio commercials. The result: An increase in food collected of 200,000 pounds the first year, another increase of 200,000 pounds the second year and 100,000 pounds last year.
About 50 volunteers participated in the Extreme Camp Makeover for Easter Seals, working for an entire weekend.
raisers, helping the homeless and assisting the Capitola art and wine festival.