Mid Minnesota Federal Credit Union to receive Award in Philanthropy
The award recognizes the efforts of an individual, couple, family, or an organization who have significantly contributed to the field of philanthropy.
BRAINERD — The 2022 recipient of the Brainerd Lakes Area Community Foundation’s Award in Philanthropy is Mid Minnesota Federal Credit Union.
The award recognizes the efforts of an individual, couple, family or an organization significantly contributing to the field of philanthropy. Mid Minnesota Federal Credit Union clearly exhibited all the above attributes in a significant way, foundation officials said in a news release.
The Award in Philanthropy will be awarded July 14 to Mid Minnesota Federal Credit Union during the Brainerd Lakes Area Community Foundation Annual Dinner at Grand View Lodge in Nisswa.
Mid Minnesota Federal Credit Union was named the 2022 Award in Philanthropy recipient because of its generosity and support of the Brainerd lakes area, foundation officials said. The credit union is a member-owned financial cooperative with 163 team members and serving 11 locations across central Minnesota.
Mid Minnesota Federal Credit Union believes in giving back to the community and their impact in the Brainerd lakes area is something they are very proud of, officials said in the release.
Mid Minnesota Federal Credit Union donates $1 per member annually and with over 53,000 members currently, that amount is impactful to communities in the Brainerd lakes area. These donations are decided by local staff through social responsibility committees in the communities Mid Minnesota serves including Pequot Lakes, Brainerd, Baxter and Crosby. Brainerd High School’s Strength Center, Lakes Area Restorative Justice Project, Kinship Partners and Northland Arboretum are all examples of larger projects receiving $500 or more in grant funding determined by Mid Minnesota Federal Credit Union’s volunteer board members.
Mid Minnesota Federal Credit Union also gives donations as a credit union-wide project and assists with fundraising for organizations such as the United Way with matching funds from the credit union, a time and talent auction, penny wars, and “dress the Executive Management Team,” allowing their staff to make donations in a fun and engaging way.
Mid Minnesota Federal Credit Union provides scholarship opportunities for high school students in their service area and provides food and beverages for most of the scholarship recognition events, helping to defray the costs to the school districts.
Community engagement and education is budgeted and staffed because it is at the core of their mission to improve financial well-being. Mid Minnesota Federal Credit Union provides over 10 hours per week of financial education to high schools and other nonprofits, as well as an 18-week, one credit course at Brainerd Learning Center called “Money Smarts.”
The credit union also offers a poverty simulation to the community that provides participants a view of living a month as someone in poverty, offering an exercise in empathy and how each person can support those struggling in the community. High school students attend the Mad City Money simulation to experience “real world” budgeting where students are assigned a job, a family, debt, and bills and they must visit booths such as a car dealer, housing, grocery store, insurance and fun — all to live within a budget. Mid Minnesota Federal Credit Union provides volunteers and materials for all these activities at no charge because of their strong values around giving back to the community and helping to teach financial literacy.
In addition to the thousands of volunteer hours, Mid Minnesota Federal Credit Union employees give to local nonprofits and the credit union supports community efforts and events financially as well.
“MMFCU has assisted with the growth and development of the Brainerd lakes area and the surrounding communities through supporting nonprofit organizations with financial donations and volunteering for many events and offering financial education to many populations within our community,” said Karl Samp, executive director of Brainerd Lakes Area Community Foundation, in the release. “The Brainerd Lakes Area is a better place because of their philanthropic giving. We are honored to name them as our 2022 recipients of the Award in Philanthropy."
Also being recognized at this year’s Brainerd Lakes Area Community Foundation Annual Dinner is Dr. Paul Severson, a surgeon at Cuyuna Regional Medical Center, who will be receiving the foundation’s inaugural Global Humanitarian Award in recognition of his kindness, generosity and passion for helping others.
Severson is being recognized for helping raise millions of dollars for Haiti’s health care facilities and serving as a volunteer physician for 30 years with Project Haiti, a nonprofit organization he founded that now has 800 volunteers who provide humanitarian relief to the impoverished people of rural Haiti. He has made over 70 trips to Haiti as a missionary volunteer to teach laparoscopic and endoscopic surgery to more than 300 surgeons.
Project Haiti also supported Hospital Bienfaisance in Pignon by improving its infrastructure, building a second story, surgery, and education wings in addition to a dormitory, airport and primary school in its community. He’s looking forward to spending more time there during his upcoming retirement, the release said.
In addition, the legacy of one local woman will be honored posthumously with a Legacy Hero Award. Jean Collins leaves a legacy through sharing her gifts during her lifetime as a teacher, Kiwanis member, dedicated member of First Baptist Church, strong supporter of Lakes Area Music Festival and generous community member. Upon her passing in 2021, Collins left financial gifts that will continue to support many neighbors and leverage the services of local nonprofits as they continue their important work.
The Award in Philanthropy event is open to everyone. Tickets and sponsorships may be reserved online at communitygiving.org/events .