For Northwest Community Credit Union, a fundraising partnership with Special Olympics Illinois simply wasn’t going to be enough.

When the group approached the Morton Grove, Ill.-based credit union about hosting activities and fundraisers, NWCCU CEO Jose Garcia presented a counter offer – he suggested taking the relationship a step further by making SOILL one of the credit union’s select employee groups.

“We said, ‘It would be great if we could partner a little more and engage in a relationship where any of the participants or employees could be members of the credit union,” Garcia told CU Journal.

Jose Garcia, CEO of Northwest Community Credit Union
Jose Garcia, CEO of Northwest Community Credit Union

Illinois is home to more than 40,000 volunteers and staff, and 23,000 athletes involved in the state’s Special Olympics. All of SOILL’s staff, volunteers, participants and their families are now welcome to become members and enjoy the benefits of membership at the $58 million-asset credit union.

As a result of the partnership, Garcia is encouraging his staff to volunteer with the organization and NWCCU branches will advertise SOILL events.

To help celebrate the Special Olympics movement’s 50th anniversary in 2018, NWCCU will donate $50 on behalf of each SOILL member who gets a vehicle loan through the credit union.

The CU also wants to use its other SEGs to help support SOILL. NWCCU is in talks with St. Xiaver University in Chicago, another one of its SEGs, about hosting SOILL events at the university’s facilities and student athletes volunteering.

“We’re excited to see how this relationship blossoms,” Garcia said.

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