Our Annual Day of Service - Closing for Good - is an all-day service event where BECU closes to “do good.” Setting aside a day for us to serve is at the heart of who we are and embodies that commitment.
What is Closing for Good?
Closing for Good is an event where all BECU employees provide financial education to high school students. Teaching healthy financial habits to students before they embark on their adult lives helps teens develop awareness, and make educated saving and spending decisions.
A Little Background Info
The day started in 2015 as a way to celebrate our 80th anniversary. Now, we close our branches for an Annual Day of Service on Columbus (Indigenous Peoples') Day and ask our employees to conduct Financial Reality Fairs at local high schools in the Puget Sound and Spokane areas. All BECU employees take part in the event – and we do mean all employees – from member consultants to our President and CEO, Benson Porter.
Since we began Closing for Good, we have reached thousands of students. It is the biggest embodiment of our commitment to the importance of People Helping People, a philosophical part of our credit union's very fabric since opening our doors in 1935.
On October 9, BECU employees hosted financial reality fairs at 12 local high schools in Puget Sound and Spokane reaching more than 7,000 high school students. Moving forward, BECU will continue to hold an Annual Day of Service on Columbus (Indigenous Peoples') Day. The credit union is normally closed on this day, but schools are open, providing the perfect opportunity for our employees to give back without interrupting service to our members.
This year we went digital with our financial curriculum, allowing the tech-savvy students to utilize an app as they experienced the financial reality fair. The app-based program allowed us to reach more than three times the number of students we reached in 2016.
The Next Big Talk
We realize that we can't reach every student through Closing for Good, so we developed The Next Big Talk as a resource for parents looking for information and encouragement to discuss finances with their teens. We believe that talking with teens about money is as important as speaking to them about any other life challenges. We also know that not all parents feel equipped to have this conversation so we created a conversation guide focused on four areas of financial health: spending, saving, borrowing and planning. The guide is designed to spark conversation between parents and teens on the topic of managing money responsibly. It includes discussion questions, tips for healthy financial behaviors and activities to reinforce the four areas of financial health.
What is a Financial Reality Fair?
A Financial Reality Fair is a hands-on learning experience that teaches students to manage money, create a budget, and make smart financial decisions. Each student is given a profile with a job and a set income. Students then visit booths and make decisions about buying cars, living situations, pets, clothes, electronics and more – all the spending decisions that adults face every day.
The financial reality fairs allow students the opportunity to experience a simulation of what it is like to build and balance a budget, make tough financial choices, and live within their means. BECU employees help students balance their budgets and figure out limitations and savings plans.
How can Members get Involved?
First, we want to thank you, the members! Your unwavering support makes our Annual Day of Service, and other incredible community initiatives, possible. Because of your support, thousands of teens are building a foundation toward a lifetime of financial excellence.
We encourage you to make Columbus (Indigenous Peoples') Day a day of service as well and volunteer with your favorite local non-profit. We'd love to hear about your volunteer experience, share photos and stories with us on social media.
Frequently Asked Questions
What about Financial Reality Fairs for other schools?
Outreach to schools is important to BECU! We are interested in offering financial education to teens throughout our service area. Our team of financial educators offers BECU's Reality Check, a classroom version of a financial reality fair, to as many students as possible. Each year, we visit high schools all over western Washington and Spokane. BECU's Reality Check is free for schools.
Interested in having a BECU Reality Check at your school? Request it in through our classroom request form!
Why does BECU close?
Over 1,800 BECU employees help with the Closing for Good Financial Reality Fairs. When we say it's a company-wide Annual Day of Service, we mean it – it's all hands on deck.
I would love my teen to attend a similar event. Where do I sign up?
We offer Financial Reality Fairs for our members throughout the year; these free events happen periodically. Keep an eye out for our next event – we'll post it on our News page and on our social media channels. We also offer budgeting tools, articles, seminars and webinars appropriate for a variety of ages on our website, including The Next Big Talk conversation guide. Take a look and do an activity together as a family.
Why is it called Closing for Good?
We've named this event Closing for Good intentionally, to make sure our members and the community take notice. At this event, we will close our doors while we “do good” by providing much needed financial education to local high school students, all in one day.