Desert Financial Credit Union Gives More Than $135,000 to Arizona Nonprofits Through Annual Grant Program

2021 Grants Focus on Overcoming Learning Loss Due to Pandemic

PHOENIX--()--Desert Financial Credit Union is donating $137,500 to 12 Arizona-based nonprofits through its annual community development grant program.

“In 2021, we’ve seen a strong need to help children overcome some of the learning gaps that have resulted from the pandemic,” said Jeff Meshey, Desert Financial Credit Union president and CEO. “This year’s grants focus on organizations providing early childhood education, after-school or summer programs and programs for at-risk teens.”

The grant program at Desert Financial has provided more than $1 million in the past decade to local nonprofits focused on education, child and youth services, housing and human services, and hunger and food insecurity.

"Support from Desert Financial will impact the lives of more than 1,200 homeless children this year," said Greg Boone, chief development officer at Save the Family, a 2021 grant recipient. "Through programming in Save the Family's Little Kids Works drop-in daycare and our Youth Enrichment and Achievement (YEA) after-school and summer programming, Desert Financial is able to provide a safe and nurturing environment that allows children to heal, focus on school and improve their chances at graduation."

Organizations receiving grants from Desert Financial in 2021 include:

  • A New Leaf, Inc. – $15,000 for an early childhood education program serving 150 children ages 6 weeks to 5 years at Phoenix Day in south central Phoenix.
  • Candelen, formerly Association for Supportive Child Care – $15,000 to expand the organization’s Play & Learn program to Prescott. Play & Learn provides hands-on opportunities for brain development and school readiness as part of its literacy initiative.
  • Native American Connections – $15,000 for after-school and summer youth programming for families living in Native American Connections’ affordable workforcehousing communities.
  • St. Joseph the Worker – $15,000 for its Teen Workforce Initiative, which provides youth ages 16 to 24 with job-readiness workshops, professional clothing, job training and job opportunities.
  • The Launch Pad Teen Center – $15,000 to support after-school and summer programs provided to more than 500 youth in the Prescott area.
  • United Way of Yavapai County – $15,000 for the organization’s Student Ambassador program for high school students.
  • Save the Family Foundation of Arizona – $12,500 for learning resources for children ages birth to 5 and after-school and summer programming for children ages 7 to 17.
  • Arizona Sustainability Alliance – $7,500 to expand the organization’s Sow it Forward program to 10 additional schools. Sow it Forward uses school gardens to help schools provide fresh produce to students in food deserts.
  • Diocesan Council for the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Diocese Phoenix - $7,500 to support the Dream Center. The program supports and accelerates learning for about 130 children per night by keeping them on track with their schoolwork and supplementing their education.
  • Live the Solution - $7,500 for financial wellness education and coaching for college students.
  • Southwest Human Development - $7,500 for the organization’s Educare Arizona program, which provides year-round early education for at-risk children from birth to 5 years old.
  • Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center - $5,000 for the preschool program and the Southwest Autism & Resource Center Community School, serving 110 students.

Desert Financial, Arizona’s largest credit union, has given back more than $17 million in 2021 through its Member Giveback Bonus, Random Acts of Kindness, teacher appreciation, grants and community donation programs.

In addition, the credit union’s employees have volunteered nearly 8,000 hours of their time to community organizations so far this year. Desert Financial provides paid time off for employees to participate in community service projects that are meaningful to them.

To learn more about Desert Financial’s community development grants, visit

About Desert Financial Credit Union

Celebrating more than 80 years in Arizona, Desert Financial is the state's most trusted local credit union with over $7.5 billion in assets, 375,000+ members and 47 branches. Membership eligibility is open across most of Arizona with contactless solutions via eBranch, making it easy to click, call or come in. As a not-for-profit cooperative, Desert Financial takes pride in sharing success. In 2020, members received $14 million in dividends via the Member Giveback Bonus, and Desert Financial gave more than $5 million in COVID-19 relief plus donations, scholarships and Random Acts of Kindness to our members, community and team. Learn more at


Jessica Gonzalez | ANDERSON Advertising & PR
Cell: 623-256-3513

Release Summary

Desert Financial Credit Union is donating $137,500 to 12 Arizona-based nonprofits through its annual community development grant program.


Jessica Gonzalez | ANDERSON Advertising & PR
Cell: 623-256-3513