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Navy Federal ‘Movie Nights’ donates $60k to nonprofits across the country

Jessica Manfre Avatar
Photo provided courtesy of Navy Federal Credit Union.

As America and the world continue to recover from the impacts of the devastating COVID-19 pandemic, Navy Federal Credit Union is going all out for the military community in a big way. 

This fall, NFCU is hosting 12 free movie nights near its branch locations throughout the country. Family fun and connection aside, it’s more than a night out. The organization took it a step further with its commitment to donate $5,000 to a local nonprofit organization whose mission aligns with the Credit Union’s on serving military service members and their families.

“I’m leading our global strategy around philanthropic giving, community partnerships, volunteerism and other ways that we can focus on mission causes that matter. I’m proud to be working with our branch team closely given that they really are the heartbeat of it all,” Jennifer McFarren, Manager of Corporate Social Responsibility explained. 

Organizations receiving the grants through those branches include Camaraderie of Courage, Making A Difference Foundation (Homes for Veterans program), House of Heroes, Colorado Veterans Resource Coalition, ForcesUnited, Down the Road Thrift, Servicemember Agricultural Vocation Education (SAVE Farm), Operation Homefront, Brothers and Sisters in Arms Dog Training, Hope for the Warriors, Military Child Education Coalition and USO Arizona.

An important thing to note is that despite its name, Navy Federal Credit Union is open to members of all branches of service. “I am the branch manager here at Patrick Air Force Base which is now the Patrick Space Force Base. We have been hosting movie nights for several years now,” Amy McGuinness shared. 

The COVID-19 pandemic halted all events in 2020. But now they are back. “We all have a huge footprint in the local community and we do a lot of outreach. We are so glad to be finally getting back into that…This has been one of the most exciting years we’ve had,” McGuinness added.

Navy Federal Credit Union movie nights have become a hit over the past few years but more than a good time, it’s become a connector. “It was just a great effort from a grassroots level generating awareness and engagement and over time became a community. Our branches have become the instrument for family friendly event opportunities for our members to make memories,” McFarren said.

For both, it’s more than a job. 

“My husband is a retired Marine so I have been all over the world with him and working with Navy Federal. My oldest son spent five years in the Air Force and my younger son spent five years in the Army,” McGuinness shared.

Located in Pensacola, Florida, McFarren is surrounded by the Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard. But it’s also a family affair, too. “I’ve had a number of cousins and extended family members actually that served in the Army and Navy so the military really has become part of my DNA,” she said.  

Their work with the credit union is deeply rooted in purpose, both said. “Personally I think about how we as a team wake up every single day focused on serving our members and how we extend that focus on ensuring they have all the financial tools and resources they need into other domains of how we support our community,” McFarren explained. “Navy Federal is an organization that has a clear purpose and lives in every facet of how we operationally support our members.”

Photo courtesy of Navy Federal Credit Union.

It was also important for the credit union to allow the branches to pick the local nonprofits who’d receive the donations. “They really know the greatest needs in those communities with nonprofits. We can support more broadly that way and I think it’s our social responsibility,” McFarren added.  

Hosting the family movie nights while also donating to nonprofit organizations supporting the military community was one way to dig in roots and elevate a commitment to serving those who serve. “It’s just such a wonderful feeling to be able to help them [military members] and guide them through their journey,” McGuinness said.

To learn more about Navy Federal Credit Union and its commitment to honoring those who serve, click here.