The Grind Coffee House
Making Coffee While Making A Difference
Limestone Federal Credit Union is dedicated to our community, and for over ten years we have enjoyed providing financial education opportunities to our children, youth, and adults.
In recent years, LFCU has shifted towards more unconventional methods of financial education. The most significant example of this is the student-run coffee shop, The Grind Coffee House. A collaboration between LFCU and Manistique High School, the coffee shop operates as a work-based learning class, where the students learn various aspects of owning and operating a small business. Conducting inventory, researching market trends, and pricing out products are just a few of the many skills the students learn in this engaging and hands-on entrepreneurial course.
Who Does it Benefit?
After all operating costs are covered, the revenue generated by The Grind Coffee House is awarded to teachers at area schools who apply for funding for various projects, classroom resources, and educational materials. In the past three years, The Grind has awarded 32 educators from three area schools, $13,309.06. These awards have provided educators with funding for tools such as Accounting Software, Dry Erase Desks, Gardening Beds, Mathematical Calculators, and Cookware Sets.
Additionally, tips earned while in work-based learning classes are awarded as scholarships to students at the end of each academic year. To date, we have awarded $4,619.93 in student scholarships and in 2020-2021 we have $5,474.43 to award to this year’s students.
The Grind: Year 2
Two Grind students, Richard Parker and Mark Block along with Student Education Coordinator Alycia Kaiser, presented to the LFCU Board of Directors an overview what they’ve been learning and how The Grind has been doing so far in 2019.
Awards & Accolades
Throughout 2016-17, The Grind has been featured in numerous television news stories on TV6, ABC10, Local 3, as well as the cover of Cloverland Magazine. In 2017, LFCU received the Innovation Award from the Michigan Credit Union League. You can find out more about the Innovation Award here.
Awards & Accolades Cont.
Additionally, in 2018 Limestone Federal Credit Union received the Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Community Service Award from the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) at the state level, then went on to compete for the award at the national level. LFCU won at the national level and received the award in 2019 at the Governmental Affairs Conference in Washington, D.C.!
Youth Education Programs & Events
Youth Education Programs & Events
Since the beginning of our Youth Financial Program in 2004, LFCU has been committed to spreading financial literacy and job skills to our area youth. With the cost of daily living on the rise and the job market becoming more competitive each year, it has never been more imperative for students to learn the basics of money management and to develop a good work ethic.
The Explorer Store
The 5th grade students at Emerald Elementary School have been able to get hands-on business experience operating their very own spirit store since 2009! The spirit store sells many items, such as apparel, school supplies, toys, tricks, and more! The spirit store is meant to provide the 5th grade students will the opportunity to run a store, order inventory, learn best practices in customer service, and count money.
Financial Reality Fair
For almost five years, Limestone Federal Credit Union has put on an annual Financial Reality Fair at Manistique High School and is open to all juniors from Manistique, Rapid River, Engadine, Big Bay, and Munising. The purpose of the fair is to show students what a day in the life of a high school and/or college graduate looks like. Renting an apartment, buying a car, and choosing between cooking at home or fast food are among the selections the students choose from. This hands-on experience is a real eye-opener and gives the students insight on the importance of responsible financial decisions and creating a budget!
In the summer of 2019, Technology Analyst Ally Stoll put together LFCU’s very first girls coding camp, Girl Code. The camp lasted for two weeks and was opened to girls from grades 9-11. Over those two weeks the girls learned coding language, etc. At the end, the two groups each presented their completed apps to a crowd.
Girl Code Mini
After the success of Girl Code, Ally Stoll wanted to offer another camp for younger girls. During this one-week course, girls ages 6-12 learned to code songs, dance moves, and lego mazes. At the end of the week, they gave a presentation of all that they had learned to a crowd of almost 30 people!
“Everyone can be great, because everyone can serve.”
– Martin Luther King, Jr.
Volunteering is important to Limestone Federal Credit Union and its employees. Whether it be helping tourists at the Welcome Center, planning and executing the annual Salmon Derby, or supervising at The Grind being out and about in the community is something we all take pride in. Several staff members also serve on local boards and committees, such as Habitat for Humanity, Schoolcraft County Community Foundation, Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital, Rotary Club of Manistique, St. Francis de Sales School, and Schoolcraft Tourism & Commerce.
In June of 2018, during the devastating flood in the Copper Country, Limestone Federal Credit Union wanted to find a way to help. Within a week, and many generous donations from members of our community, a U-Haul was filled to the brim with much-needed supplies such as water, clothing, and food.
In October of 2019, the Tri-County Safe Harbor (which provides services to men, women, and children who have been victims of domestic violence) was in need of food and clothing for their pantry. The staff saw this and immediately wanted to help. They took up a collection and raised a little over $500 to stock the pantry as much as they could.
LFCU recently volunteered with Habitat For Humanity Hiawathaland. Staff members showed their skills by building walls, installing insulation, sealing windows, and more.
LFCU was able to volunteer their time at the Manistique Senior Center. Staff members cleaned, power washed, and assisted in other projects needed.
Credit Unions For A Cause
There are many issues facing credit unions today. As we close out 2019, our concerns center around protection against debit card fraud, preventing data breaches, burdensome regulations, and finding ways to make the lives of our members better.
Every year, credit union professionals have the unique opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C. and walk up to Capitol Hill to speak to their local representatives on important issues facing credit unions and our members. On two occasions in 2019, several of our Limestone staff members got to travel to D.C. and meet with several State Representatives such as Rep. Jack Bergman and discuss cannabis banking, debit card fraud, cyber security, and more.
The staff also had the opportunity to tour the Credit Union House while in Washington, D.C. According to their website, the concept of Credit Union House “took shape during a major legislative battle in 1998 and a resolution to increase credit unions’ political involvement and advocacy efforts at the national level. This was the beginning of a giant step in credit union history”. During the Hike the Hill in October 2019, Senator Debbie Stabenow and Rashida Tlaib visited and expressed support for credit unions and the efforts to make their communities better.