Navigating a life-changing diagnosis

Everence helped family find options

Will Gibbs checking is blood sugar shortly after being diagnosed in 2015.

In 2015, Bethany Gibbs learned that her then-3-year-old son, Will, had Type 1 diabetes.

 

His preschool teachers mentioned that he would wake up in the middle of his nap, crying for water. Bethany noticed Will was drinking a lot – around six to eight water bottles a day.

 

“There definitely were some red flags that I tried to excuse because you assume it’s something that will pass.”

 

Suddenly, she was responsible for counting carbs, measuring insulin and checking sugar levels around the clock – basically just keeping her son alive.

 

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease where the pancreas stops functioning.

 

“It’s all the time,” Bethany said. “It’s an all-day disease.”

 

Now Will has an insulin pump, which means no more syringes, and a glucose monitor that connects to his parents’ phones. This has proven to be “a game-changer” and infinitely more convenient than taking the readings manually all day and all night.

 

As if the daily care Will requires wasn’t complicated enough, the diagnosis has taken a financial toll on the family.

 

“We left the hospital with thousands of dollars of bills,” Bethany said. “I knew it’d be expensive, and it wasn’t going to stop.”

 

The family is covered by a health plan through Steve’s job at Eastern Mennonite University. Dealing with prescriptions and medical supply companies is an overwhelming but necessary task for the family.

 

The Member Services staff at Everence® Financial, which administers the prescription coverage plan, helped the family find options.

 

On behalf of the health plan, Everence acts a go-between for the family and the plan partners to manage costs and choices for Will’s care, making their day-to-day lives easier.

 

Talk with an Everence financial professional or visit everence.com/groupcare to find out about health insurance plans for your business or organization.


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Praxis aids energy efficient housing effort

Carbon footprint, residents’ utility bills reduced

CA affordable housing

Praxis Mutual Funds®, a fund family of Everence®, is supporting an effort that’s making thousands of multifamily housing units more energy efficient, strengthening its commitment to environmental and social impact.

 

Praxis purchased $3 million in Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. certificates, aiding a program that reduces carbon emissions and water usage in housing units financed by FHLMC, more commonly known as Freddie Mac.

 

Freddie Mac is a government-sponsored enterprise that supports homeownership and rental housing for residents with low and moderate incomes. It does this by buying, guaranteeing and consolidating mortgages for sale to investors.

 

A Green Advantage program that Freddie Mac launched in 2016 addresses two important issues – environmental sustainability and affordable housing.

 

The program requires multifamily housing borrowers to reduce energy and water consumption by a total of 30% through improvements to existing properties.

 

More than 1,600 properties have been financed through the Green Advantage program so far, leading to projected savings of 4.7 billion gallons of water per year and 1.8 billion kBtu per year in energy.

 

The savings from these projects will reduce utility bills by an estimated $138 per year for tenants, many of whom have low incomes.

 

Freddie Mac notes that more than 77% of rental housing in the U.S. was built before 2000. Older rental housing is usually less energy efficient, and tenants pay higher utility bills.

 

Praxis Mutual Funds, advised by Everence Capital Management, is a leading faith-based, socially responsible family of mutual funds designed to help people and groups integrate their finances with values.

 

Do you want your investments to support renewable energy projects, low-income housing, education and other initiatives that benefit the world? Check out the Praxis Impact Bond Fund. Contact your Everence financial professional or call us at 800-977-2947 for more information.


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How one church helped another

Everence video highlights agency’s grant program

 

A video Everence® Financial prepared for release by Mennonite Men highlights a grant program that helps newer congregations acquire their first church building.

 

The video tells a story about a building expansion at Assembly Mennonite Church in Goshen, Indiana, and how that work relates to a younger church in North Carolina buying the building it formerly rented.

 

The Mennonite Men grant program is called JoinHands. Steve Thomas, U.S. Coordinator for Mennonite Men, explains the essence of the program in the video, Building places of faith.

 

JoinHands provides a way for churches launching building projects to share money with congregations that hope to purchase a church building but don’t have the resources to carry that out.

 

Everence helped with the video after Thomas expressed interest in showing how Assembly Mennonite provided a tithe of its own construction fundraising effort to JoinHands.

 

Lora Nafziger, Pastor of Christian Formation and Congregational Life at Assembly Mennonite, talks on the video about Assembly needing more space to do the work of the church.

 

Susan Nelson, project coordinator at Assembly Mennonite, expressed her gratitude to JoinHands for finding a church that would benefit from Assembly’s tithe.

 

Shwe Htewng of Mara Christian Church near Charlotte, North Carolina, talks about being able to acquire and renovate a church building vacated by a previous congregation with the help of a JoinHands grant.

 

A church loan from Everence Federal Credit Union aided the Assembly Mennonite expansion project.

Everence can offer your church a loan that fits your unique situation. Visit an Everence Federal Credit Union office near you or give us a call at 877-295-2664 for details.


members

Sharing Fund helps people like Ryan and Jacob

Brothers said they needed more food at school

Two brothers smiling in a tree

The Everence® Sharing Fund provides matching money to churches so they can extend their reach as they help people in need in their congregations and communities.

 

We recently helped one of our partner churches provide food for a couple of hungry brothers.

Ryan and Jacob (not their real names) qualify for free lunches at school because of their family’s income level, but they were asking cafeteria workers if they could have more food at lunchtime.

 

School administrators learned that Ryan and Jacob don’t get much food at home, with lunch their main meal of the day.

 

Someone from the school asked a friend if their local church might provide some money to help the boys.

 

The church responded, providing money for Ryan and Jacob to get extra lunch portions at school, aided by a matching grant from the Everence Sharing Fund.

 

In 2019, we awarded about $875,000 in Sharing Fund grants to help individuals and families, on top of over $1.2 million given by congregations, member chapters and employer groups.

 

Find out more about the Sharing Fund and how you can help more churches make a difference at everence.com/sharing-fund


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MyNeighbor generating donations for nonprofits

Credit card users decide where the money goes

Hand swiping MyNeighbor credit card

Everence® Financial donated over $386,000 in January 2020 to 497 charitable organizations and congregations through its MyNeighbor program.

 

“The MyNeighbor program is just one way we are helping our members spread generosity in our communities,” said Ken Hochstetler, President and CEO of Everence.

 

“In only two and a half years, we’ve donated nearly $1 million to local and global nonprofits that our members care for – that’s the kind of work I am passionate about!”

 

As the program grows, so do the involvement and impact of our nonprofits. For example, this year, one nonprofit received nearly $18,000 generated by 68 different MyNeighbor cardholders.

 

Since its inception in April 2017, the program has generated nearly $1 million for congregations, schools and other types of nonprofits.

 

With the MyNeighbor program, individuals and businesses generate reward dollars for their favorite nonprofits every time they use their MyNeighbor credit cards from Everence Federal Credit Union. 

 

Each time you buy groceries, pay bills or make other purchases with your card, Everence will donate 1.50% of the purchase total to the charity of your choice.

 

Apply for your own personal or business MyNeighbor credit card by visiting your local Everence Federal Credit Union office or on our website.


members

Everence joins Philly neighborhood

Financial services office located in Esperanza Health Center

A new Everence® Financial office in Philadelphia is offering a variety of financial services, including a new loan program.

 

The office will be at Allegheny and Kensington avenues in North Philly, in a former bank building owned by Esperanza Health Center.

 

The new loan program includes credit builder loans to help establish new credit or build on existing credit history; home improvement loans to help with small repairs; and opportunity micro loans to help people pay off previous small loans while building credit scores.

 

The new Philadelphia office also offers financial education and coaching, checking and savings accounts, and other financial services.

 

The Philadelphia operation is part of a commitment to “grow who, how and where we serve,” said Everence President and CEO Ken Hochstetler.

 

“We’re starting to engage folks with financial services – people who’ve been left out of that world,” said Leonard Dow, Stewardship and Development Specialist for Everence in Philadelphia.

Dow said, “The underbanked community can also be underinsured,” so those needs are being addressed as well.

 

Esperanza Health Center is a multi-cultural ministry that provides holistic health care to the Latino and underserved communities of Philadelphia.

 

Everence has been a neighbor of another Esperanza Health Center location since spring 2018, when Everence opened an administrative office in the Hunting Park neighborhood. That office is within 3 miles of the new Kensington branch.

 

Bryant Keal is Community Development Officer for the credit union in Philly. Kevin Gil is Financial Wellness Manager for the new branch.

 

Are you interested in learning more about the Everence offices in Philadelphia? Contact Leonard Dow at 215-519-6353, Bryant Keal at 267-541-4832 or Kevin Gil at 267-968-1233.