• July 5, 2022
  • Posted by General Electric Credit Union
  • 4 read

3 Local Change Makers that Make Up Our Giveback Partners

As an organization, General Electric Credit Union (GECU) is dedicated to deepening our commitment to the local communities where we work and serve. One of the ways we support these efforts is through our annual GECU Giveback Partners initiative. Every year, three local non-profits that mirror our credit union "People Helping People" philosophy are selected. GECU will invest in and support these organizations with volunteers, through financial contributions, and in a variety of other ways. Use this guide to learn more about these fantastic non-profits and the impact they have on the community. 

Our 2022 Giveback Partners 

1. Beech Acres Parenting Center

  • Mission: “We combine science and compassion to deliver innovative solutions that equip adults to meet children’s needs and cultivate their strengths.”
  • Vision: A world where all children are nurtured to discover, cultivate, and apply their gifts.

Beech Acres Parenting Center (BAPC) meets parents where they are – in schools and in the community – to give them the tools they need to thrive. Programs are rooted in a strengths-based approach, called Natural Strength Parenting. Services include trauma-informed behavioral and mental health services in schools (Beyond the Classroom) and child welfare programs (Foster Care/Adoption Services).

In Hamilton County, there are 1,800 children who need loving homes; the need for foster parents is greater than ever. BAPC works to reach potential foster parents who have experience dealing with children facing trauma or behavioral & mental health needs. The BAPC Center Foster Care program partners with local Children’s Services departments to provide holistic support to foster parents and children in Hamilton, Butler, Warren, Montgomery, and Clermont counties. BAPC also provides extensive training, coordinates additional services, and has built a peer network to support foster parents, ensuring their success. With more than 40 years of foster care experience, BAPC provided care for 200 children in loving foster homes during the 2021-2022 Fiscal Year.

Embedded within schools and conducted collaboratively with teachers and school staff, the BAPC Beyond the Classroom program provides a holistic support system to help families overcome a wide array of challenges. Beyond the Classroom serves all families in a school community and works with students in grades K-12. Since the program started three years ago, Beyond the Classroom has grown quickly, now partnering with 24 schools and serving 6,200 students and parents across Greater Cincinnati in the 2021-22 Academic Year. To learn more about how you could impact BAPC, contact them via this link.

2. Grant Us Hope 

  • Mission: To reduce youth suicide and promote mental health through collaborative, evidence-based initiatives.
  • Vision: Grant Us Hope works to prevent suicide by EDUCATING, ENGAGING, and EMPOWERING young people to accelerate capacity around mental health and suicide prevention, ultimately changing the culture of schools.

Suicide is the third leading cause of death for youth between the ages of 10-19. Grant Us Hope is a change agent for teen suicide prevention in the Greater Cincinnati region. As an organization, they are passionate about providing a platform for teens, parents, and families to engage in pro-mental health conversations, activities, and solutions, and committed to expanding the availability, reach, and impact of mental health services for teens in distress.

Most suicides are preventable, and youth frequently give warning signs. Hope Squads are one of the signature programs Grant Us Hope introduced to the area. A Hope Squad is a school-based, peer-to-peer, suicide prevention program for students with a three-year curriculum that emphasizes suicide prevention fundamentals, self-care, and anti-bullying. Hope Squads include groups of students, nominated by their peers, who are good listeners and caring individuals. Students are taught the specific curriculum by school counselors and advisors. To learn more about this program, visit What Is Hope Squad?

The Hope Squad curriculum utilizes QPR techniques. The purpose of the program is to create a common knowledge and understanding within the school community; the Hope Squad members are trained to identify at-risk students, recognize warning signs, provide friendship, and seek help from an adult. Hope Squads do not replace the role of school counselors. Grant Us Hope creates communities of leadership and advocacy that enhance mental wellness, safety, and suicide prevention in schools, by developing a community of students working together to save lives. To hear from Grant Us Hope Founder Diane Egbers, click here.

3. HART Animal Rescue 

  • Mission: To rescue homeless animals, saving them from euthanization, abandonment, and abuse with the goal of placing them in forever homes.

HART the Homeless Animal Rescue Team is a 100% volunteer, non-profit animal rescue organization. Animals are accepted from puppy mills, shelters, strays, surrenders, and can be victims of animal abuse. HART does not have a physical shelter or boarding facility and therefore, depends on foster homes. HART foster families provide a safe, loving, structured environment for the rescued animals until they are adopted into their forever homes. HART animals receive high-quality veterinary care including required vaccinations, specialized treatment as needed, microchipping, and spaying or neutering services. Foster families for dogs and cats are always needed.

HART wants the community to know that pet fostering can be extremely rewarding. Many think they will become too attached to the dog or cat, which is a common reason individuals hesitate to pet foster. However, words cannot describe how good it feels to save a pet’s life and then to see the animal adopted into a new, loving home. HART foster families receive pet supplies including food, litter, toys, leashes, collars, carriers, etc. If you are interested in pet fostering, complete a Foster Application on the HART website. Pet adoption is also an essential part of the organization’s work.

HART cannot operate without dedicated foster families and generous volunteers. Volunteer opportunities include adoption follow up, planning or working at special events – such as Adopt-a-Thons and fundraisers – soliciting and coordinating donations, and transporting animals. Adoption fees only partially cover veterinary expenses; HART relies on donations, fundraising, and grants for other expenses. 

We hope you enjoyed learning more about these local change makers. If you work with or volunteer at any of the 2022 GECU Giveback Partners, tell us about it by emailing GECU Cares at: [email protected] #GECUCares

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