VyStar Credit Union launches charitable foundation

The philanthropy will help military members and veterans, youth and interconnected communities.

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VyStar Credit Union announced March 29 it launched VyStar Foundation, which will serve as the credit union’s philanthropic arm. 

VyStar said in a news release the foundation will be dedicated to doing good and leading by example through collaborative partnerships that support youth, military members and veterans and overall community vitality in the areas served by the credit union.

“VyStar Credit Union’s purpose is to Do Good. That simple phrase describes the spirit of philanthropy that is deeply embedded in our organization. It inspires our teams in all that we do, whether we’re serving our members, volunteering with nonprofit organizations or donating to community partners who share in our commitment to improve the places we call home,” said Patricia McElroy, VyStar senior vice president, VyStar Foundation president, in the release. “We have seen the incredible power of what we can accomplish when we work together for a common good. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to lead VyStar Foundation to further expand VyStar’s dedication to the community.” 

Grants through VyStar Foundation will be available to 501c3 organizations whose purpose and mission align with the foundation’s strategic giving pillars:

• Ensuring military members, veterans and their families receive the social services they need and the recognition they deserve.

• Empowering youth by providing equitable access to creative learning environments.

• Cultivating financially strong, culturally vibrant and interconnected communities.

VyStar Foundation’s first grant cycle opened March 29 and marks the credit union’s roots at Naval Air Station Jacksonville. The grant cycle focuses on nonprofit organizations that support active military, veterans and their families.

Specific funding priority will be given to programs that address food and housing insecurity, employment and small business counseling, or mental health services. Grant application information sessions will be conducted in March and April, with the final application deadline April 30.

“VyStar Foundation’s launch will take our philanthropic efforts to new heights,” said VyStar President and CEO Brian Wolfburg in the release. “As VyStar continues to grow across Florida and Georgia, the Foundation will serve our new and existing communities, help us build important relationships with community leaders and support organizations that make a difference each and every day.”

VyStar Foundation will be operated by a volunteer board of directors. It comprises McElroy; Wolfburg, chair; VyStar Chief Operations Officer Chad Meadows, as treasurer; VyStar Chief Marketing Officer Dana Karzan as secretary; and VyStar Credit Union Board Secretary Diane Fears.

Moving forward, the Foundation Board will include community members from areas served by VyStar.

Visit vystarfoundation.org for more details.