Synergy Credit Union says helping students is one way they’re giving back to the Lloydminster community through their Synergy Shares program.

As part of this program, the Credit Union unveiled a $71,150 donation split between the Lloydminster Catholic School Division and the Lloydminster Public School division. Lloydminster Branch Manager Gord Thiel says contributing to the community is why credit unions were made in the first place, and that’s why they’re proud to give back wherever they can.

“It was quickly decided that we were going to free up approximately $100,000 overall for the 30 plus schools that are in the communities that we serve. Rather than just make the money available to the schools and tell them how to use it, we also very quickly decided we wanted to leave that decision in the hands of the actual schools.”

The announcement was made Thursday at the Holy Rosary High School Synergy Vault. From here, the school divisions will get to decide what to do with the funds. LCSD Director of Education Nigel McCarthy says they’ll be looking to put this money into ongoing programs for the mental and physical wellbeing. McCarthy notes that this wellbeing was why The Vault was first developed and has become especially in focus due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“It just really gives us the comfort, that we have room to roam, with all of our sports and physical education programs, and we all know through the COVID-19 process some students didn’t get the physical activity that they wanted. So the return to school is also a return to what’s good for children.”

Both school divisions will be meeting with the principals and staff in their schools in the coming days as to how best to implement this funding. LPSD Director of Education Todd Robinson says that the funding comes at a welcome time, and helps them provide things that they may not be able to do without it.

“We’ll take a look at what might work best in their school context and help them move forward the agenda about ensuring the kids have access to activities to promote physical health as well as mental health aspect that’s so needed during the COVID-19 period.”

The Synergy Shares program gives a portion of the credit union’s profits back to the community through things like education or healthcare. They’ve also recently made donations to the Lloydminster Native Friendship Centre for a new van, the Lloydminster Rescue Squad for new equipment and $10,000 to STARS Air Ambulance.