INVESTED IN OUR COMMUNITIES – AND COUNTING.
Visions gives back more than $1 million each year to local causes, supporting more than 500 organizations. This number only grows with each passing year as community input reveals more and more great work deserving of donations.
Some of our favorite causes involve those fighting poverty, eliminating hunger, improving schools and education, sparking economic growth, supporting physical fitness, or promoting financial health and wellness.
Boys & Girls Club of Rochester
In November 2022 we presented the Boys & Girls Club of Rochester with a Visions Cares grant to support their Accelerated Reading program. Per the Boys and Girls Club, “The program helps children improve their reading skills and encourages the love of reading through daily reading practice.” To show their appreciation, the Boys & Girls Club of Rochester invited us to tour their facility and learn about all the programming that they offer in the community.
Cortland-Chenango Rural Services
Visions provided a $5,000 grant to Cortland-Chenango Rural Services to purchase a generator that will ensure the coolers and refrigerators can continue to operate in their food pantry during the event of power outages. As a result, food will be safely stored and the facility will be able to provide the community with access to food, water, heat, and safety in times of emergency. Cortland-Chenango Rural Services provides information, referrals, emergency services, advocacy, networking, and community action to individuals in the towns of South Otselic, Lincklaen, Pharsalia, Pitcher, German, McDonough, Taylor, Cincinnatus, Willet, Solon, and Freetown. This grant was also a great way for our branches and Community Development department to collaborate in support of an organization serving both Cortland and Chenango Counties.
Cortland Community Group ESL
Cortland Community Group ESL received a Visions Cares grant to purchase supplies for their students. The program is 100% volunteer run, operates out of the Cortland Community Center, and provides individual and small-group English classes for adult speakers of other languages. Services are completely free of charge and students get to keep the books and workbooks they are provided. Volunteers of Cortland Community Group ESL shared some wonderful stories with us about students from all over the world, including Cameroon and Turkey! They also shared several success stories of students who have gone on to study nursing, work at Price Chopper, a local pizzeria, and SUNY Cortland.
Allamuchy Board of Education
Visions recently awarded a grant to the Allamuchy Township Board of Education and Rutherfurd Hall in Allamuchy, NJ for a newly developed training program. The program provided important CPR and First Aid training for the staff of the Allamuchy Township School District, local fire and rescue personnel, and community members at large. The grant assisted with purchasing professional manikins with American Heart Association compliant feedback systems and AED training packets. These items are essential to provide instructors and students with a realistic learning experience to acquire the skills needed to perform high quality CPR. Visions is proud to support such a wonderful program that will have a life changing impact in the community.
Berks County Department of Veteran Affairs
The Etchberger Veterans Service Center of Berks County, also known as the Berks County Department of Veterans Affairs, is proud to announce a newly formed Berks County Veterans Temporary Assistance (BCVTA) Grant Program. The program will be used as a supplemental community resource in Berks County to support veterans and their families who are faced with financial hardships and need temporary support to overcome unexpected hurdles. As many must wait for funds from the state department, the BCVTA program acts as a buffer. In support of this program, Visions provided a grant of our own for $5,000.
Passaic County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA)
Visions is a proud sponsor of Passaic County CASA. CASA, Court Appointed Special Advocates, is a non-profit organization that works to facilitate and influence life-changing decisions for children in the child welfare system. CASA recruits, trains, and empowers hundreds of volunteers to serve as advocates to speak up in the best interest of abused and neglected children in court. To show our support, Visions presented CASA with a grant to support their 15th Anniversary Storybook Gala.
Roxboro Road Elementary School
Visions provided a $500 grant in support of the food pantry started by Traci and Susan at Roxboro Road Elementary School in Syracuse, NY. Throughout the 2021-2022 school year, they received donations from nearby pantries but requested additional funds to supplement what they already have available. Traci and Susan, two extremely dedicated teachers, deliver the food to students’ homes which not only helps with hunger needs, but also helps build the home-to-school connection.
Binghamton University Student-Athlete Academic Success Center
The Student-Athlete Success Center at Binghamton University is a resource center intended to nurture and enrich the overall success of the student-athlete. The university’s student services staff is committed to “integrating the student-athlete fully into the college environment in order to maximize the educational benefit of the entire collegiate experience.”
New Jersey Education Association
Tim Strong, Public Relations & Community Engagement Manager, attended and presented at the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) Convention in Atlantic City, NJ, along with one of our Community Development officers, Shari Leone. During the convention, he spoke about Project Education – Visions’ commitment of $1 million over 10 years, $100,000 per year, for the NJEA. The Visions representatives also presented a Visions Loves Educators Classroom Funding Grant for a Virtual Community Garden.
SUNY Oswego Scholarships
Visions provided two $500 scholarships in the Fall and Spring semesters to non-traditional, independent SUNY Oswego students working towards an undergraduate degree while attending the Syracuse Campus.
Rochester Crime Stoppers
Visions employees attended a luncheon where a new K-9 Fundraiser was launched by the Rochester Area Crime Stoppers. Employees interacted with officers and their K-9 partners, as well as watched some demonstrations. Rochester Area CRIME STOPPERS’ K-9 Initiative provides financial support for unexpected veterinary expenses for ill and injured K-9s. These highly trained and hardworking animals track lost children and the elderly; detect explosives and narcotics; and are beloved partners in law enforcement. They protect the police officer as well as the community. Crime Stoppers is one of our longest standing community partnerships in Rochester, and we are happy to continue supporting their efforts.
Clear Path for Veterans
As a result of the culmination of a season-long collaboration called “Veteran of the Game,” run by Syracuse Crunch, Visions donated $250 to Clear Path for Veterans at every game that this title was awarded. These donations totaled $4,000 at the end of the season!
Rochester Open Door Mission
Visions provided a grant in early January 2021 to the Open Door Mission in Rochester, NY, a Christian based rescue mission who has been addressing the needs of homelessness and food insecurity in the Rochester community since 1952. ODM provides shelter, food and guidance to homeless men, women and children and a path forward when people are at their most vulnerable. The funds will sponsor meals for one Open Door Mission guest for an entire year. Due to the pandemic, the demand for Open Door Mission’s services has increased dramatically, and we are honored to provide support.
Reading Hospital Foundation
Screening mammography is the most effective tool for detecting breast cancer in women over 40, and in its early stages, yet many women from medically underserved communities do not have adequate access to screening mammograms. Visions provided the Reading Hospital Foundation in Reading, PA with a grant to purchase a Mobile Mammography Coach, which will be effective at reaching these communities in Berks County. Throughout the course of the year, the Mobile Mammography Coach team will work with other community organizations to host events focused on the uninsured and under insured to provide screening mammograms at no cost or low cost, and deliver services to women in their neighborhoods, eliminating cost and transportation barriers.
A novel pay-what-you-can café, Café Esperanza, received a grant from Visions Cares to purchase equipment and expand their efforts within the Reading, PA area. As a pay-what-you-can establishment, Café Esperanza helps alleviate some of the food insecurity that is experienced in many of our communities. The core values of Café Esperanza include pay-what-you-can pricing, volunteering your time in exchange for a meal, paid staff earning a living wage, and community volunteers working to run the organization. They have created a community gathering point in a restaurant setting, which provides space for art, music, education, and even job-training. They serve excellent, ethically grown coffee and locally sourced foods. Fresh, simple offerings, guest chefs from various styles of cooking, and sustainable practices such as recycling, composting, and low waste portions are central to Café Esperanza’s expanding mission.
The Kia Foundation
Visions Cares awarded The Kia Foundation with a grant to support their Furry Kisses Fund. This fund was started for low-income pet owners to assist with veterinary and spay and neuter costs. The grant funds will be used for their $100 monthly giveaways as part of this fund. In addition to the funding provided by Visions FCU, part of the proceeds from the local Pet Thrift Store and Pet Food Pantry are donated to The Furry Kisses Fund.
Flags of Gratitude
One of our dear members from Morris County, NJ has been spreading kindness to healthcare workers and first responders with her Flags of Gratitude. We were so inspired that we funded a grant to help her out with her project. In return, she gave us our very own flag. This goes to show that our members are truly what Make Visions Matter!
Center for Prevention and Counseling
Each year Visions awards the Center for Prevention and Counseling of Newton, NJ a grant for their Taking Flight to Change Summit. This event allows middle and high school students to develop coping skills and emotional management strategies to assist in improving their school climate and reduce bullying. Now more than ever, social-emotional learning opportunities focused on empathy and resiliency are critical, as teachers and students transition back to school after experiencing the collective trauma brought on by COVID-19.
Jewish Community Center of Lehigh Valley
Visions awarded the Jewish Community Center of Lehigh Valley, PA with a grant for new outdoor recreational space that will be known as Camp JCC. Camps play an important role in encouraging young people to increase movement and physical activity. The goal of Camp JCC is to provide campers with new opportunities to learn about and develop active, healthy lifestyles that they can carry with them into adulthood.
Centro Hispano Daniel Torres
Centro Hispano received a Visions Cares grant to support a nutritional breakfast program for senior citizens of Reading, PA. Their novel program, Healthy Start Senior Food Initiative, is the only breakfast program offered for free to senior citizens in the city of Reading that assures access to a nutritional breakfast five days a week. For some, the meals that are provided may be the only meals they have for the day.
Visions presented a grant to Rochester Jewels Inc. for their year-end cotillion and the purchase of laptops for graduating seniors. The organization’s mission is to provide mentoring services to school-age girls in the Rochester, NY area to help them grow, learn, and become successful and independent young women. This grant will also aid in preparing these women for their academic careers in college.
Girls Who Code at Binghamton University
Our partnership with Girls Who Code at Binghamton University began with support of their 2019 Spring Graduation. We have since provided a grant to cover the $1,260 transportation cost to bring Binghamton High School female students to classes designed to teach the computing skills needed to pursue 21st century opportunities in technology and engineering sectors.
United Way of Northern New Jersey
Visions presented a $3,000 grant to the United Way of Northern New Jersey. The Northern New Jersey chapter supports education programs and ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) households which support community programs that prepare children to be successful citizens, employees, and adults.
When a Visions member chooses the Americana debit card design, Visions donates $5 to Operation Homefront. In 2019 that totaled to a grant of $25,135. Operation Homefront serves Veterans and their families by providing access to programs that aid with financial assistance, housing, support groups, meals, scholarships, school supplies, programs for new and expecting parents, and more.
Student-Athlete Academic Success Center
Being the official on-campus partner for Binghamton University isn’t enough for us – we want to give back to the students and faculty, too. Our donation to renovate the Student-Athlete Academic Success Center will impact all current and future student-athletes at Binghamton University.
Abilities in Motion
We gave $10,000 to support Abilities in Motion’s STARS Program in Reading, PA. The STARS program is a summer work readiness program that serves 45 individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Downs Syndrome, Mental Illness, and other disabilities.
John Mack Foundation
Our donation partner for the annual 4 on the 4th Road Race is the John Mack Foundation. They work to provide life-saving AEDs to community-based organizations throughout the Southern Tier region in Upstate New York.
Canstruction of the Southern Tier
We’re not only the title sponsor of “Canstruction of the Southern Tier”, but we also provide Broome-Tioga BOCES students with a grant to purchase the cans needed to create their structure. Our grant enables them to purchase and donate over $3,000 worth of canned goods for local food pantries.
Montrose Mobile Food Pantry
Our $3,000 grant to the Montrose Mobile food pantry provided much-needed relief to those suffering from food insecurity in Susquehanna County, PA.
Annual Visions Cup
Each year, we hold the annual Visions Cup between our regions’ two baseball teams – the Binghamton Rumble Ponies and the Reading Fightin’ Phils. The Phils took the second series, resulting in a $2,500 donation to the charity of their choice – Baseballtown Charities, an organization dedicated to keeping baseball alive for youth in Reading, PA.