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Bonner, Boundary counties receive STCU grants

| February 7, 2023 1:00 AM

SANDPOINT — Christmas has come and gone but STCU is continuing the season of giving with a new philanthropic venture that awarded $20,000 to Bonner and Boundary counties.

Launching officially on Jan. 31, the Here For Good Foundation will award grants to schools and nonprofit organizations across Washington, Tri-Cities, Wash., and North Idaho.

To start the foundation with a bang, the launch included a $50,000 grant dispersed between five counties in western Washington and North Idaho including Bonner and Boundary counties. Administered through the Innovia Foundation, an organization that manages over 800 charitable funds, each county will be given $10,000. The grants will then be divided in half, $5,000 will be available immediately toward the 2023 grant cycle, and the remaining will be put toward Innovia community endowments for future use.

“When Innovia was just getting its start, STCU already had a decades-long track record of serving communities,” said Innovia chief executive officer Shelly O’Quinn. “While we have worked closely on many initiatives, we’re pleased to solidify that relationship with the launch of STCU’s Here for Good Foundation, as part of the Innovia family.”

Focusing on education, arts, culture and economic development, Traci McGlathery, STCU community relations director, said the ultimate goal with the foundation is to continue to support local communities, which has seen donations go to the Panhandle Alliance for Education and a floor replacement for the Memorial Community Center in Hope.

“STCU decided it is time. It is time for us to show our commitment to the communities that we serve,” McGathery said.

Starting out with a $1 million investment, McGlathery said STCU would like to see that investment grow an additional $1 million each year over the next 10 years in hopes of seeing that investment become $10 million in grants, with chief marketing officer Marty Dickinson noting that each year STCU has seen an increase in charitable requests.

“While financial support is only part of our commitment to communities, the need is definitely growing,” Dickinson said. “The Here for Good Foundation ensures that we’re always able to respond to critical needs in the communities we serve, based on local knowledge, even as those needs shift.”

The foundation is now accepting grant applications from nonprofits and schools in the five counties awarded including Bonner and Boundary counties. The applications with be reviewed by an oversight board of STCU officers charged by the foundation. The board will then be guided by an advisory council of STCU employees.

“Council members are a cross-section of the communities, which are best equipped to assess local priorities,” McGlathery said. “We can’t wait to see the results, this year and in the future.”

Alongside the many applications the foundation is anticipating seeing, McGlathery also said STCU and the Here For Good Foundation are also open to hearing about the impact the grants are making.

“One of the roles that STCU has played, pretty significantly, is being a voice for education. Of course, we're advocating on behalf of our members and what they need. But we know as a business leader, and one of the largest employers in the region, that we also must advocate for what's best for our communities so that they can thrive and grow,” McGlathery said “Telling those stories often from another viewpoint can be more impactful.”

To apply for a grant or learn more about the Here For Good Foundation visit the STCU website