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Community Involvement, News, Uncategorized

SIU Credit Union Volunteers Bring Joy to Herrin House of Hope Patrons

SIU Credit Union Volunteers Bring Joy to Herrin House of Hope Patrons
By Rajvee Subramanian
Piping hot food on a plate, mouth-watering desserts, and a glass of your favorite beverage, all served with a dash of love. This is the staple for patrons at Herrin House of Hope, a soup kitchen that has been a place of compassion in the community since its inception in 2013. For over a decade, it has provided more than just meals; it has offered dignity and spiritual nourishment to those in need.Six dedicated staff volunteers of SIU Credit Union took a break from their usual roles to volunteer at this beloved local institution at Herrin.
From the CEO to the VPs, everyone pitched in, demonstrating that giving back to the community is a vital aspect of their corporate ethos.

Avengers Ensemble from SIU Credit Union ready to serve at Herrin House of Hope.

John Steve, the founder of Herrin House of Hope, explained the unique approach of the soup kitchen. “We aim to serve people with dignity, not just feed them physically but also spiritually. We operate like a restaurant, greeting people, taking orders, and serving their meals to make them feel validated and their individual needs met,” he said. He also emphasized the crucial role of community support, particularly highlighting the contributions of St. Louis Food Bank and organizations such as SIU Credit Union. “SIUCU has been a vocal supporter from our initial days, providing financial support and now, their time and effort.”

Leading by example, one meal at a time. Proud to see CEO of SIU Credit Union serve our community alongside with our staff volunteers.

For SIU Credit Union volunteers, the day was a departure from their usual work environment. Mike Lantrip, the CEO of SIU Credit Union, who started his career as a teller and has been with the organization for over 40 years, took on the task of bussing tables. Initially thinking it would be an easy role, he soon found himself on his feet for over two hours, clearing dishes, cleaning tables, and scraping food off plates. “This was the hardest second job I’ve ever done,” Mike remarked. “Our goal at SIU Credit Union is to help people in the community and make a positive impact. Today, our staff from the Carbondale and Energy branches volunteered to show that we care.”

Kim Babington, VP of Community Outreach – Bringing joy to every plate served with a side of smiles.

Brian Maurizio, VP of Information Technology – Bytes to Bites. Serving up kindness

Mark Dynis, VP of Marketing. Fueling souls with caffeine and care

Every patron who walked through the doors was greeted with smiles and an invitation to sit at a table, enjoying a meal prepared with love and warmth. Kim Babington, the VP of Community Outreach, enthusiastically played the role of a waitress for a couple of hours, taking orders and serving patrons. “This is a great program for our community. It helps people in need, especially the elderly and children,” Kim said. “The things they do here and how they give back is just in abundance to these people.”

Kim Babington, Sara Williams and Leah Myers getting prepped for service.

Sara Williams, Member Service Representative from Energy Branch and one of the volunteers, added, “It was a great experience to run around and make people smile. Knowing you made at least one person smile is a blessing. I love being able to volunteer here to help! We all had a blast, and we all know we touched at least one person that day. You never know who needs that!”
The best moment came when one of the patrons remarked to Kim that she made his day with her smiling service, noting it was probably the only smiling face he would see for the rest of that day. This event was a heartwarming example of how local businesses can make a significant difference in their communities. The staff of SIU Credit Union not only helped serve over several meals but also brought a sense of joy and community spirit to the soup kitchen.

From Boardrooms to Soup Kitchen – A day well spent.

As the day came to an end, the volunteers left with a sense of fulfillment and a renewed commitment to community service. The collaboration between SIU Credit Union and Herrin House of Hope is a shining example of how giving back can create a ripple effect of positivity and hope.
For more information about volunteering at Herrin House of Hope, visit their website or

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