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TTCU the Credit Union Donates $260k to Tulsa Public Schools
Wednesday, August 24, 2016 6:55 AM

TTCU Donates to Area Schools

Tulsa Public Schools received a check for $263,750 at Monday evening’s board meeting as part of TTCU the Credit Union’s $1 million pledge from earlier this summer.

The credit union announced in June a $1 million pledge match to benefit area school districts and launched the SOS – Support Our Schools fundraising campaign in an effort to raise a total of $4 million to help districts facing budget cuts this year.

Donita Quesnel, TTCU vice president of marketing, said the $1 million pledge was intended as a catalyst to encourage individuals to make donations and districts to launch their own fundraising campaigns.

“It has been wonderful to see communities rally around their schools and join the SOS campaign over the summer,” Quesnel said. “Now TTCU is distributing the $1 million we pledged to area schools, and we are overwhelmed at the tremendous appreciation we have received from the schools. It’s a great feeling to be able to help.”

TTCU President and CEO Tim Lyons presented the donation at the Tulsa School Board meeting Monday evening. “Our goal has been to inspire others to give,” Lyons said. “We’ve seen a lot of that happen over the last three months.”

Lyons said TTCU stands behind school employees in all districts in the area. “We’re in your corner,” he said. “We want to make a difference.”

TPS Superintendent Deborah Gist said: “We are deeply grateful for the incredible show of community support through TTCU’s Support Our Schools campaign. Tulsans are so generous both in spirit and in deed, and this funding will make a positive impact on teaching and learning in classrooms throughout our city.”

Gist said the district has not yet identified a specific use for the money, but she said it will be used “for schools and classrooms and students and teachers.” The funds are needed, she said, not just because they will be put to good use, but because of the message they send to teachers “that their work matters.”

TTCU will continue to distribute its pledge to the top 15 largest area school districts through September. Of the $263,750 presented to TPS on Monday, $250,000 is the district’s portion of the original $1 million pledge.

The remaining money was raised through TTCU’s ongoing School Pride program, which allows TTCU members to choose among more than 50 school card designs as the debit card for their checking accounts. Each time the card is swiped for a purchase, TTCU makes a donation to the school featured on the card.

The total SOS match amount has not yet been announced. Several foundations, including the George Kaiser Family Foundation, the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, and the Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation, had already collectively pledged to support the campaign with up to $500,000.

Other donors who committed to the project include Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma and American Airlines.