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Chief Financial Credit Union announces Pontiac’s Grace Centers of Hope as the first winner of its inaugural Chief Cares contest

Rochester Hills, MI - The Pontiac-based Grace Centers of Hope is the inaugural winner of the Chief Financial Credit Union Chief Cares Contest, getting more than 13,000 votes of support in two rounds of voting.

The Chief Cares Contest was launched to increase support for local nonprofits during the global COVID-19 pandemic. Chief Financial Credit Union kicked off the Chief Cares contest in early October.

A total of 45,132 votes were cast for 33 participating nonprofit organizations. Grace Centers of Hope received 10,396 votes in the second round, making them the winner of $10,000.

The online contest asked nonprofits to upload videos and information about the valuable work they do and then share their page – asking community members and supporters to cast votes. The first round began Oct. 3, with 33 participating nonprofits. Five organizations that received the most votes continued on to round 2, which started Nov. 2.

“Inspiring creative philanthropy is part of our core mission and has become increasingly important during the pandemic,” said Chief Financial EVP and CMO, Cheryl Boodram. “Our Chief Cares 2020 contest was far more than just giving back to one deserving nonprofit, but also a creative way of helping all of the participating nonprofits highlight the work they do on the frontlines supporting our communities.”

In recognition of the limited resources that many nonprofits and community organizations have, Chief Financial Credit Union provided media kits to each entrant, so they could reach more voters and showcase their unique missions and work. The Chief Financial team also provided assistance to the participating nonprofits and voters during the contest.

Grace Centers of Hope provides help, hope and long-term life skills programs for those afflicted by homelessness, domestic violence, addiction and abuse in southeast Michigan. They don’t receive any government funding and offer programs for men, women and children who are seeking shelter and healing.

The devastating circumstances faced by those served by Grace Centers of Hope disrupt virtually every aspect of family life, damaging the physical and emotional health of family members, interfering with children’s education and development, and frequently resulting in the separation of family members. Through GCH’s one-year life skills program, they provide guidance, vocational education, career and education center access, and financial responsibility training to hundreds of individuals each year.

“The Chief Cares 2020 contest has helped us bring more awareness to Grace Centers of Hope’s lifesaving programs and we were proud to be a part of it,” said Grace Centers of Hope CEO, Kent Clark. “The $10,000 donation from Chief Financial Credit Union will help us not only provide the basic necessities of life but also offer hope for a brighter future through our programs designed to transform lives.”

Chief Financial Credit Union has plans to make their Chief Cares contest an annual event and to use the contest platform in additional innovative ways in 2021.