Desert Financial Shares Success With More Than $11M in Funds Invested Back Into Communities in 2019 Alone

Credit union invests profit into the community through non-profit donations, annual bonuses, Random Acts of Kindness and more

PHOENIX--()--On a crisp Arizona morning in November, volunteers gathered at St. Mary’s Food Bank in Phoenix to pack holiday boxes for a Thanksgiving food bank drive. The annual drive, which ‘gives Arizona families the chance to enjoy the comforting tradition of the holiday year,’ was relying entirely on community donations.

10,000 turkeys were needed to meet the need in 2019. But by November, St. Mary’s was substantially short of its goal.

Luckily, Desert Financial stepped in. The credit union announced a Random Act of Kindness, promising to match every turkey donation made by the public to St. Mary’s Food Bank through Thanksgiving Eve.

The match was a resounding success, and with the help of Desert Financial, hundreds of Valley residents, and donations, thousands of families got to enjoy the warm feeling Thanksgiving brings.

The St. Mary’s Food Bank Holiday Drive was only one example of Desert Financial’s 2019 efforts in the Valley, which followed a $7M “Year of Giving” in 2018.

“Our 2018 ‘Year of Giving’ was so successful, it inspired us to beat our own records and share even more success with our community,” says Desert Financial’s President & CEO, Jeff Meshey.

And they did. In 2019, which was also Desert Financial’s 80th anniversary year, the credit union distributed more than $11M in profits back into the community it serves, including $8M in annual bonuses, more than $2M given to Valley nonprofits and nearly $1M through its Random Acts of Kindness, Teacher Appreciation programs and sweepstakes.

This included:

  • Random Acts of Kindness, a program that shows appreciation to Valley residents and organizations with efforts like:
    • Surprising a mother of three who was struggling to make ends meet with cash and gift baskets
    • Gifting movie tickets to hundreds of dads at Father’s Day
    • Handing out 3,580 Random Acts of Kindness gift cards totaling $80,000 at the Desert Financial Fiesta Bowl Parade
  • The Teacher Appreciation Program, which provided more than $100,000 in assistance, including:
    • A new washer and dryer for a gym teacher in Mesa
    • A weeklong celebration of Teacher Appreciation week with dozens of teachers gifted items they needed for their classrooms
  • A Stuff the Bus Drive, where Desert Financial employees gathered at their annual conference and volunteered to pack 4,000 school readiness kits with:
    • 1,000 Teacher ‘Thank You’ Kits
    • 1,000 Job Interview Kits
    • 3,120 Weekend Hunger backpacks
  • Sweepstakes Offers, totaling $500,000 of funds provided to local residents for different sweepstakes, such as:
    • Welcome Home Sweepstakes: $25,000 cash prizes
    • Love My Home Sweepstakes: $75,000 cash prizes
    • PAID4 Sweepstakes: $100,000 cash prizes

“Desert Financial was founded on giving back; it is what we are passionate about,” said Meshey. “As we reflect on 2019’s success, it’s impossible not to get excited about 2020. We have every intention of making it an even bigger year and breaking our own records yet again.”

For more information on Desert Financial Credit Union, along with interviews or images, contact Melissa Forbes at

About Desert Financial Credit Union

With more than 80 years in Arizona, Desert Financial is the state’s largest homegrown credit union with $5 billion in assets, more than 320,000 members and nearly 50 locations across the Valley. As a not-for-profit cooperative, Desert Financial prides itself on sharing success with its members, its team and the wider community. In 2019, Desert Financial gave nearly $11M to Valley nonprofits, the community and members. Learn more at


Melissa Forbes


Melissa Forbes