EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (1/10/14)--For Royal CU, it was simple--take 20 of its Facebook fans, add $10 to each and multiply by paying it forward. The equation was more than effective--it was overwhelming.
"We weren't exactly prepared for all the heartwarming, touching stories that came out of this," said Andrea Finn, digital marketing specialist at the Eau Claire, Wis.-based credit union.
They shared their stories and photos on Royal CU's Facebook page, where others "liked" photos and proffered their thanks that so many lives were positively affected by a small gesture.
"One member reminded us that it takes all of us to do something like this, and that is what she specifically likes about RCU being so community-minded," Finn said. Members from Centuria, Chippewa Falls, Colby, Eau Claire, Eleva, Frederic, Independence, New Richmond, Whitehall and Withee participated.
Several members doubled the $10 by adding their own money to the campaign, making donations to holiday toy drives and food pantries. Pay-it-forward winner Natalie Spies used the money for her and her family to make sandwiches for a local homeless shelter.
Mande Kuechenmeister told her story about paying it forward on Royal CU's Facebook page. She decided her contribution would be the next time she dined out. After paying her bill and leaving her usual tip, she left a note on the table with the credit union's $10 and added her own $10 so the server could pay it forward.
The $1.35 billion-asset credit union plans to do another positive campaign, Finn said.