2021 Donation Recipients
In 2021, American Eagle donated a total of $105,364 to 12 nonprofit organizations through Cash Back to the Community.
American Eagle Financial Credit Union announced the recipients of $23,166 in donations from the first quarter of its participatory funding program, Cash Back to the Community. Congratulations to Silk City Chorus of Manchester, Connecticut Gold Star Families Memorial (future site in Berlin), and the Police Athletic League of Hartford. These nonprofits each received a donation of $7,772 as the top three vote recipients from members and the general public.
Silk City Chorus of Manchester has performed for audiences throughout the state and is consistently ranked as the best-performing barbershop chorus in Connecticut, as well as one of the best choruses throughout New England. “On behalf of the Manchester Connecticut Chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society we extend our very special thanks to American Eagle Financial Credit Union for all they do in support of our local communities,” said its president, Scott Tibbo. “This donation comes at a vital time during the pandemic and will help fund critical aspects of our operation, including the purchase of sheet music and learning tracks, uniforms, props and staging for our performances, targeted outreach, and other volunteer efforts.”
The Connecticut Gold Star Families Memorial Monument organization is a chapter of the Hershel Woody Williams Medal of Honor Foundation, which was created by Medal of Honor Recipient Hershel “Woody" Williams to remember those families who have lost a loved one to preserve our freedom. “The Connecticut Gold Star Families Memorial Monument organization is grateful to American Eagle for this donation and their community assistance,” said chairperson Gary Roy and honorary board member Marianne Mihalyo. “This donation will be a tremendous help in our efforts to build a memorial in Veterans Memorial Park in Berlin, which will pay tribute to all the Connecticut families whose loved one paid the ultimate sacrifice while in military service to our country.”
The Police Athletic League (PAL) of Hartford is an organization that empowers the youth of Hartford to realize their potential and develop positive relationships with police officers through free mentoring, sports and educational and art programs. “PAL is extremely grateful for this generous donation,” said Vincenzo Marfella, programing and operations coordinator for PAL. “This funding will be used to enhance our spring and summer programing, which will allow us to provide Hartford youth with opportunities to participate in sports programs and other recreational activities not normally afforded to them, at no cost to them or their families.”
American Eagle Financial Credit Union announced the recipients of $23,166 in donations from the second quarter of its participatory funding program, Cash Back to the Community. Congratulations to Around the Words, That Newfoundland Place, and Creative Living Community of Connecticut. These nonprofits each received a donation of $9,187 as the top three vote recipients from members and the general public.
Around the Worlds “It’s a tremendous honor to have been selected as one of the Cash Back to the Community Q2 donation recipients,” shared Stephen Schirra, Founder of Around the Worlds. “Our free-of-charge soccer programs have provided children a welcome and much-needed escape from lives filled with immense trial and uncertainty. Our programs afford our young beneficiaries opportunities to learn, dream, and play—while allowing us to provide a safe space for them to do so. A contribution of this magnitude will foster that learning, amplify those dreams, and restore play during a time children need it most.”
That Newfoundland Place “Winning American Eagle’s Cash Back to the Community program is beyond exciting,” shared Catherine Derench, President of That Newfoundland Place. “Throughout the pandemic we been following our normal protocols of rescuing, vetting, rehabbing and placing dogs—and this generous donation will help us continue to provide these important services for our local community. We are grateful to American Eagle Financial Credit Union for their opportunity, kindness, and generosity.”
Creative Living Community of Connecticut “This generous donation from American Eagle will enable Creative Living Community of Connecticut (CLCC) to expand our highly successful Greenhouse and Farming Vocational Program on our 10-acre farm in Coventry,” said Patrick Byrne, Executive Director of Community Living Community of Connecticut. “Our program provides training, educational opportunities, and engaging horticultural experiences for adults with Autism and intellectual or developmental disabilities. These funds will be used to grow and maximize our growing space in order to employ more adults with developmental disabilities and further serve our community.”
American Eagle Financial Credit Union announced the recipients of $25,842 in donations from the third quarter of its participatory funding program, Cash Back to the Community. Congratulations to Southington Girls Softball League, Our Piece of the Pie, and Asnuntuck Community College Food Pantry. These nonprofits each received a donation of $8,614 as the top three vote recipients from members and the general public.
“One of the few things that compares to the excitement of announcing our Cash Back to the Community winners throughout the year is witnessing how this program is helping local organizations grow and continue their important work in our service area,” said Dean Marchessault, President & CEO of American Eagle Financial Credit Union. “Congratulations to our winners, both past and present, and thank you to all those who were nominated and voted. We hope you’ll stay involved, as our last round of the year will commence in the coming weeks.”
Southington Girls Softball League "We are very appreciative of American Eagle Financial Credit Union for this donation,” said Mike Konopka, President of the Southington Girls Softball League. “This money will go a long way to help us make improvements to our fields and continue our mission of inclusivity. A portion of this donation will be made available to families who can't afford the league entry, as we never turn away a player for financial reasons. We are also looking to expand our free off-season programs, and this generous donation will help fund that growth."
Our Piece of the Pie, Inc. “We’re very thankful for American Eagle Financial Credit Union’s support, which will allow us to better assist our youth in navigating life’s challenges, while helping them explore and prepare for their future education and career paths,” said Hector Rivera, President and CEO of OPP. “This donation will provide our youth more opportunities to develop themselves, while also contributing to their community—a win for us all.”
Asnuntuck Community College Food Pantry“ Asnuntuck Community College is honored to have our food pantry selected for American Eagle Financial Credit Union’s Cash Back to the Community program,” said Dr. Michelle Coach, CEO of Asnuntuck Community College. “Food insecurity has been a struggle for many of our students, and it was exacerbated by the pandemic. This donation will make an immense difference in a significant number of our students’ lives—and they are our community.”
American Eagle Financial Credit Union announced the recipients of $28,794 in donations from the fourth quarter of its participatory funding program, Cash Back to the Community. Congratulations to Connecticut Cat Connection, Cans-4-A-Cause, and Angel of Edgewood. These nonprofits each received a donation of $9,598 as the top three vote recipients from members and the general public.
“The past year was another challenging one for many nonprofits in our region because of the ongoing pandemic, so we’re thrilled that we were able to provide needed financial assistance to twelve deserving organizations in 2021 through Cash Back to the Community,” said Howard Brady, President & CEO of American Eagle Financial Credit Union. “American Eagle is excited to announce that we will be continuing this successful program for a third year in 2022. We encourage eligible organizations and their supporters to get involved.”
Connecticut Cat Connection "Connecticut Cat Connection is incredibly grateful for this donation,” said Marianne Vieweg, Founder and President of Connecticut Cat Connection. “We are entirely volunteer run and we rescue many stray cats living in unsafe situations outdoors and offer sanctuary for cats that would otherwise be euthanized for treatable conditions. We also take in surrenders from families who can no longer give their cat the support and attention they need. We are a No-Kill shelter and the medical care required to prepare these cats for adoption comes at a high financial cost. This donation will help us to assist many more cats in need in our community."
In 2021, the organization placed over 700 cats for adoption and currently has over 60 kittens and cats available at their Adoption Center in Windsor.
Cans 4-A-Cause “This donation from American Eagle will enable us to expand our program by reaching out to communities beyond the Greater Middletown area,” said Jeff Myjak, Founder and President of Cans 4-A-Cause. “We will be able to set up more locations for people to drop off their bottles and cans, which will allow us to put more money back into the community. It will also allow us to look into renting a space next winter so our volunteers won't have to sort in the cold. It will give us the opportunity to buy some recycling bins that can be used at events and businesses as well."
In 2021, the organization redeemed over 750,000 containers and donated over $35,000 to local charities. Since 2018, they have redeemed 1.4 million containers and donated $64,000.
Angel of Edgewood Jendayi Scott-Miller, a community leader in North Hartford, started cooking meals for hungry seniors out of her kitchen when COVID-19 hit. With the help of volunteers, community organizations, and other funding, Jendayi, her husband Vincent Miller, and daughter Olivia Covington expanded the operation into a building capable of serving meals to hundreds, then thousands of residents. Now, Angel of Edgewood is relocating to a storefront on Blue Hills Avenue in Hartford which will be the home of a food pantry and community cafe. Angel of Edgewood is a resource of food security to the Greater Hartford community, regardless of anyone's circumstances. Its mission is to feed the hungry…period. Elderly, disabled, veterans, unemployed, underemployed, poor, migrants, and homeless women, men, and children all are welcome.
“We are beyond grateful to receive these funds from American Eagle,” said Jendayi Scott-Miller, Founding Executive Director of Angel of Edgewood. “With this donation, Angel of Edgewood can continue its efforts in dismantling hunger. Many food pantries are facing tough times right now, food donations are extremely low and gaining access to quality healthy food is almost impossible in this community. These funds will replenish essential items that are always needed in our pantry. In addition, restocking diapers for our diaper bank, and formula for our formula bank. We are grateful and forever indebted to the entire American Eagle family, and our voters who believe in us, and wholeheartedly support our work. Your commitment to smaller organizations, such as ours, truly increases the impact of nonprofits statewide."