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Mountain America CU is Paying it Forward

Salt Lake City, UT - Jan 14, 2021 - In the winter of 2011, Mountain America Credit Union began paying it forward to individuals and organizations who give back to others in need. This winter marks the tenth year that Mountain America has partnered with Salt Lake City-based KUTV to spotlight those in the community who are making a positive impact in the lives of others with the Pay it Forward program.

In the article, "Prosocial Spending and Happiness: Using Money to Benefit Others Pays Off,” the authors argue that while those who have more money may report being happier to some degree, those who spend money on others reported more happiness. Ultimately, it concludes that the act of giving to others has the power to make both the giver and the receiver happier overall.

The idea was simple—help those who are giving to others by recognizing them for making a difference in their communities. And, best of all, those featured in the stories are surprised with $500 cash!  Every week for the past decade, Mountain America and KUTV have paid it forward to a unique variety of causes, from animal rescues to quilters to feeding the hungry. So far, the initiative has surprised over 500 individuals and organizations have been shown gratitude with a surprise of $500 cash, giving away over $250,000. 

In 2015, Pay it Forward expanded into Idaho. Mountain America partnered with CBS2 News in Boise, and Local8 News in Pocatello. Over the past six years, 140 Pay it Forward segments have been produced in Idaho, giving away over $70,000. In that time, the project has helped a wide assortment of individuals and organizations, such as groups who assist families with children undergoing cancer treatments, suicide prevention, disabled veterans, and more. 

“Giving back is an integral part of Mountain America’s culture. One good deed can inspire another, and hopefully start a chain of positive events spreading through the community,” says Sterling Nielsen, president and chief executive officer at Mountain America Credit Union. “The people we recognized weren’t doing these things because they wanted to get something out of it for themselves. They were giving back because it was the right thing to do, and that’s why we pay it forward to them.  We hope others have been as inspired by these stories of selflessness as we are.”

KUTV Producer, Maren Jensen, who has worked on the segments since 2016 adds, “every week, I come away from these stories inspired and wanting to change for the better and I know viewers feel the same way. It is amazing to see people come together in their own way to change the world, whether the effort is big or small.”

To nominate someone for a Pay it Forward in Utah, click here
For Boise and the Treasure Valley, click here.
For Eastern Idaho, click here

About Mountain America Credit Union

With more than 950,000 members and $11 billion in assets, Mountain America Credit Union assists members on the right path to help them identify and achieve their financial dreams. Mountain America provides consumers and businesses with a variety of convenient, flexible products and services, as well as sound, timely advice. Members enjoy access to secure, cutting-edge mobile banking technology, over 95 branches across five states, and more than 50,000 surcharge-free ATMs. Mountain America—guiding you forward. Learn more at macu.com. 


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