Germantown Bank Uses Texting and Social Media to Money to Donate Steers to Feed local Families

June 26, 2014

The Mid-Atlantic Federal Credit Union is raising money to donate steers to Manna Food Center in Gaithersburg to fight hunger. From June 18 until July 31, the Germantown-based bank, a nonprofit financial cooperative with commercial and consumer members, is asking for donations, using social media and texting to raise funds. It will purchase steers at the 4-H livestock sale at the Montgomery County Agricultural Fair on Aug. 15.

This is the second year the credit union will donate steers from the 4-H sale, but this year it is asking the public pitch in.

Last year Marc Wilensky, vice president of marketing for the Mid-Atlantic Federal Credit Union, got the idea to donate a steer when “a coworker and I were actually at the fair ground and we were watching them load up all the animals for the 4-H auction,” he said. This year employees decided to turn the donation into a larger program, recruiting other donors.

The 1,029 pound steer purchased last year produced 450 pounds of meat to feed about 400 families, Wilensky said. The bank paid about $3,300 for one steer, and this year Wilensky hopes it can raise enough money to buy more. It is matching donations up to $5,000, and as of Monday it had already reached $1,746 before matching funds are added.

Donors can visit through the credit union’s Facebook page or website, or by texting ‘BEEF’ to 55155. After giving they can post a cow icon with their name on the fundraising page and on their Facebook page or Twitter account to spread the word. Wilensky said it’s the same idea as if people donated at the bank and posted a note on the wall saying that they contributed, but with fewer people visiting physical bank locations, the bank wanted to take the same concept digital.

The credit union aims to raise $10,000, which could feed about 2,000 people, according to a press release.

Once the steers are purchased they will be butchered, frozen and distributed to families through Manna’s network, said Manna Executive Director Jackie DeCarlo.

“We’re also really keen on the idea because the steer is part of the 4-H exhibit, so to know that a young farmer locally raised this cow,” DeCarlo said.

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