Credit unions provide holiday cheer at local grocery stores

Published 11:32 pm Monday, November 20, 2017

When local grocery shoppers stepped up to the register to pay for their items Friday, many were met with random acts of kindness.

Credit unions from across the state came together Friday to “Pay it Forward” to grocery shoppers by paying for part of the grocery bills.

The annual Pay it Forward campaign is sponsored by the Tennessee Credit Union League. The statewide effort included $15,000 given out across the state to help cover grocery shopper’s needs – with $3,000 of that being shared in the Tri-Cities on Friday.

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“Credit unions are member-owned financial cooperatives, and we’re all about sharing, caring, and giving back in our communities,” Northeast Community Credit Union President/CEO and Pay it Forward volunteer Teresa Arnold said. “With food being an expensive necessity, many folks in our area struggle with providing groceries for their families. That’s where our Tennessee credit unions come in – we want to Pay It Forward with our acts of kindness, in the hope that people will have something more to smile about this Thanksgiving season.”

Shoppers at Elizabethton’s Food City, Save-a-Lot, and Ingles, and at the Roan Mountain Redi-Mart, were met by friendly smiling faces and plenty of offers to help foot the bills for the shoppers.

“The stories that were shared with us today were so heartwarming and touching,” Arnold said. “We’re thankful the Tennessee Credit Union League made this possible.  Our staff was blessed with tearful hugs from grateful people, and also by being witness to how truly giving this area is – lots of shoppers actually passed on our offers to help, saying they wanted to Pay It Forward to someone else.  It’s a blessing. There is so much to be thankful for in our corner of the state.”