Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union in Cambridge teamed up with Fox 9 and Minnesota food banks to make a positive impact during the holiday season last week.

The new program is dubbed “Coins for a Cause,” which seeks to help people in need, said Hillary Kline, senior public relations specialist of Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union in St. Paul.

“In tandem with the pandemic and helping our most vulnerable population during the holiday season,” Kline said. “It’s really just giving back there. The numbers have tripled across the state since the pandemic started in terms of those people who are hungry. So we were just looking for a way to give back.”

Kari Krummel, branch manager of Affinity Plus in Cambridge, said people donated in different ways last week. During business hours on Dec. 7 to 10, Cambridge and other participating Affinity Plus branches did an entryway drop-off day where people contributed their coins into a collection barrel. On Dec. 11, the Cambridge branch also hosted a curbside donation day where the first 50 donors were thanked with a gift bag from Affinity Plus, Fox 9 and Cub Foods.

“It’s ideally loose change, but we take everything,” Krummel said. “We’ve got members drop off bills, they’ve been dropping off all week long.”

Krummel explained that depending on the amount of collected donations at her branch and other branches throughout the state, Affinity Plus will match up to $25,000 for helping local food banks such as Second Harvest Heartland and others.

“We’ve just seen this huge kind of surge with people who need this year because of unemployment, the illness, all the things going on,” Krummel said. “So we’ve seen just from our own members just more needs, more situations of loss of job and things of that.”

Krummel added that a program such as “Coins for a Cause” reflects what Affinity Plus is about: being involved in the community, helping individuals, connecting and making a difference.

“So just, you know, constantly trying to find ways, how can we get involved in our community?” Krummel said. “How can we help people, make an impact, like a true impact? And ... not just like throw some money at something, but walk the walk.”

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