From Home With Love
By Donna Adinolfe
Background: In September of 2018, Ideal CU employee Carley Brake, a teller at their Woodbury, MN, office, began a year-long deployment to Kuwait. Army Spec. Brake, a human resource specialist with the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, served with more than 600 other Red Bull soldiers in support of Task Force Spartan.
What they did: To honor Carley and her company, Ideal employees and the Ideal Board of Directors donated $3,186.41 to purchase and send supplies overseas.
Asked what she and her company missed most from home, Carley sent a list of everyday items that most people often take for granted, like coffee, creamer, sugar, cups, spoons, hot sauce, peanut butter and honey buns.
Results: The first care packages arrived in early March, followed by three more shipments in the months to follow. Carley soon became one of the most popular soldiers at mail delivery time and was happy to distribute the wealth.
“So many people commented, ‘Wow, wish my job at home would do something like this for me.’ I am absolutely blessed to work and be a part of such an amazing company like Ideal. I could not have imagined the amount of support you all have provided to me and others while I have been away.”
Carley returned to Ideal Credit Union in August. With $900 still available, Ideal offered to buy dinner for Carley and her division now that they are back home, but she wanted to pay it forward, so the funds were given to buy supplies for care packages to send to Eagle Battalion/Bravo Company 1-128 IN-BN, currently deployed to Afghanistan.
Key Lessons learned:
- How incredibly generous employees and board of directors are in supporting these types of efforts.
- How appreciative Carley and her company were to receive care packages filled with simple pleasures from back home.
- How living the credit union philosophy of “people helping people” is truly ingrained in everything Ideal does.
- How good it feels to pay it forward.
Melissa Dickhausen, one of the organizers, said, “It was so amazing how everyone pulled together and was eager to help. It was so fun going shopping. I received many crazy looks with the amount of creamer, sugar, ramen, honey, juice, etc. Then, when I told people what it was for, they smiled and I even received a hug from a gentleman in the checkout line. It feels amazing to help bring joy and comfort to those away from their families.”