KELOLAND News Story: Credit Union’s Gas Giveaway

Posted Jun 05, 2015

SIOUX FALLS, SD - A federal credit union in Sioux Falls is being nationally recognized for its generosity in the community.  Voyage Federal Credit Union celebrated its 75th anniversary by giving away $75 every day for 75 straight days. One of those giveaways took place at a gas station.

Some Sioux Falls Shop N Cart customers received a pleasant surprise at the pumps in March.  They could get their fill of gas courtesy of Voyage Federal Credit Union.

Jeff Schmidt: “How would you like a free tank of gas?”
Woman: “Oh my God!!! I got gas!!!”

Voyage Federal Credit Union not only paid for the gas, the chief operating officer even pumped it himself.

“People like free gas.  It was kind of awkward at first.  You wonder what it's like walking up to a stranger and say hey, do you want gas, free gas?  A lot of people questioned whether it was legitimate, what's the catch,” Voyage Chief Operating Officer Jeff Schmidt said.

But there was no catch.  No strings attached.  Just a longtime Sioux Falls business reaching out to the community like it always has.

Actual receipts from the gas giveaway show that back then, the price of regular was $2.29 a gallon. But some of the lucky customers upgraded to a more expensive blend at $2.89 a gallon.

“We thought it'd be a fun little segment where we could just walk up to random people and do nice things for them, and that's what that was about.  In our other parts of 75 Days of Giving, we gave to all sorts of different organizations.  I think we bought diapers, we bought flowers for nurses, we bought some things for firefighters and police officers,” Schmidt said.

Those random acts led to Voyage receiving a second-place Dora Maxwell Award for outstanding community service among credit unions across the country.

“That's very exciting that we can do a lot in the community and be recognized by our fellow credit unions around this nation for doing such good work in our community,” Voyage CEO Darla Erb said.

A credit union celebrating its 75th anniversary through an outpouring of generosity, by the tank-full.

“It's a nice feeling.  Yeah, it's nice to help people.  I'd like free gas sometime, too,” Schmidt said.

Voyage Federal Credit Union is also a longtime supporter of both Habitat for Humanity and the Sioux Falls Area Humane Society.

Voyage executives received their prestigious award during a national credit union meeting in Washington, DC.

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