Bethpage Federal Credit Union has launched a community outreach program that will award financial grants to students who want to improve the quality of life in their local communities.
The program, which will operate through the credit union's charitable giving arm Bethpage Cares, will provide approximately 100 mini grants ranging from $250 to $5,000 to both individual students and student groups ranging from the fifth grade through college.
The students must show a desire to develop a project-focused program to benefit the local community. Bethpage’s Difference Makers Committee will review all applications, which are available now at bethpagefcu.com/community/volunteer.
“Difference Makers is a new approach to grant making for Bethpage," said Linda Armyn, senior vice president at Bethpage. "Bethpage Cares is shifting gears to now support high-impact projects versus fundraisers.
"Today’s youth are both passionate and compassionate and we want to harness that energy and positivity for the good of everyone," Armyn said.
Examples of projects Bethpage Cares is looking to support include organizing a beach cleanup, planting a community garden or starting an anti-bullying campaign at school. Both students and student groups such as clubs, honor societies, sports teams and community groups are encouraged to apply. Applications should include a business plan, budget and timeline and detail the project's expected community impact.
“We want to effect change and know that there are many ambitious young people today that support our ambitions, but just need financial support," Armyn said.
Since 2002, Bethpage Federal Credit Union’s Bethpage Cares program has helped Bethpage employees volunteer more than 4,000 hours annually, supporting dozens of charitable organizations throughout New York. Bethpage invests in the community through large sponsored events, volunteerism and charitable grants totaling over $2 million annually.