2023 Golden Apple Educator Awards

Golden Apple Awards

We are now accepting entries for this year’s Golden Apple Educator Award! Entrants must be a Freedom Member* and an employee at a Harford or Baltimore County school (public or private).

1. TWO First Place – $2,000 Awards
2. TWO Second Place – $1,000 Awards
3. TWO First Runner-Up – $500 Awards
4. TWO Second Runner-Up $500 Awards

To enter, submit an entry form and essay. The essay must describe how you would use the funds and why you should be the one to win! Scoring favors proposals demonstrating the greatest impact on local schools, classes, students, and/or the community at large.

Freedom Federal Credit Union is pleased to offer EIGHT Annual Educator Awards of $2,000, $1,000, $500 and $500, four each to Harford and Baltimore County Education Employees who may be a deserving teacher, school administrator or school support employee.

Scoring favors the idea with the greatest impact on local students, classes, schools, and/or the local community.

To enter, complete the entry form and submit an essay that explains why you deserve the award. Your essay may address any or all of the following questions:

  1. What is your plan to benefit your students, your class or your school? How will this money help you implement your plan?
  2. Will you take a continuing education class or classes to improve your own education and expertise? (Please be specific.) How will your education improve your students’ learning?
  3. Will you purchase supplies for your school or classroom? How will the supplies help improve student learning? (Please provide as many quantitative details as possible.)
  4. Will your plan, training, or purchases affect the Harford County Community? If yes, how so?

Please submit your Golden Apple – 2023 Educator Award Entry Form and essay to [email protected] by May 31, 2023.

All entries will be reviewed by a panel of Freedom employees, volunteers and community partners.

  • Entry deadline is May 31, 2023 (NEW EXTENDED DEADLINE!)
  • Submit by email to [email protected]
  • We will announce the winner by June 20, 2023

LEARN ABOUT THE EXCLUSIVE BENEFITS OFFERED TO HARFORD AND BALTIMORE COUNTY EDUCATORS- EXPLORE THE REST OF THE GOLDEN APPLE PROGRAM!

 

*New members are also welcome to apply!

Freedom Federal Credit Union Announces New Philanthropic Foundation

The Freedom to Help Foundation was Established to Further Expand the Credit Union’s Efforts to Support Baltimore and Harford County Communities and Charitable Organizations

Freedom to Help Foundation Logo

January 18, 2023  Bel Air, MD – Freedom Federal Credit Union announced today it has established The Freedom to Help Foundation to further its commitment to community support and to give back to the people, the organizations, and the communities it serves within Baltimore and Harford Counties.

Going forward, all community outreach and financial support will now flow through the Foundation.  The Freedom to Help Foundation will collaborate with organizations and community partners who align with Freedom’s mission and community focus areas. Additionally, all existing financial support, like sponsorships, grants, donations, scholarship programs, to name a few, will be funded and managed as programs of The Freedom to Help Foundation.

“As Freedom has continued to grow, so too has our commitment to the people and organizations that do so much good in our shared communities”, said Mike MacPherson, President and CEO of Freedom Federal Credit Union. Establishing The Freedom to Help Foundation takes our commitment to do good in the community to another level.  And it also allows others to share in the good we do. The Foundation creates an opportunity for our business and community partners, members, and employees to take part and join us in our philanthropic initiatives.  Together, we can accomplish more, and do more, for those in need”.

The Freedom to Help Foundation has been incorporated as a 501 (c)3 non-profit, separate from the Credit Union, whose mission is to enrich the communities we serve, empower individual success through education, provide resources for health and wellness, and to support our military and their families.

The Foundation is governed by a separate volunteer Board of Directors, functioning independent from the Credit Union. This Board will oversee the review and approval of all financial support considerations on how funds are distributed for community support based on the needs of Baltimore and Harford County communities and their philanthropic organizations.

Additionally, the Credit Union’s Community Outreach Committee, which oversees all volunteer efforts, will now be a part of the Foundation.

“In the last five years, Freedom Federal Credit Union has supported over 80+ organizations annually with over $1.0M of financial support during that time”, said MacPherson.  “The Freedom to Help Foundation will allow us to grow that support in ways we could not even dream before”.

The Freedom to Help Foundation will officially launch this month, and there will be more information to share very soon regarding some great initiatives that are planned for 2023.


About The Freedom to Help Foundation

The Freedom to Help Foundation supports Freedom Federal Credit Union’s commitment to the people and communities of Baltimore and Harford Counties. Established in January 2023, the Foundation’s mission is to enrich the communities we serve, empower individual success through education, provide resources for health and wellness, and to support our military and their families. Learn more at freedomfcu.org/foundation.

About Freedom Federal Credit Union

Freedom Federal Credit Union is a community-chartered federal credit union offering consumer financial services to those who live, work, volunteer, worship, attend school, or have family in Harford and Baltimore County.  Additionally, Freedom offers a full-line of banking services for all businesses, associations, and other organizations that are based in Harford or Baltimore County.  Freedom has been in business since 1953 and has six locations throughout Harford and Baltimore County. To learn more, visit freedomfcu.org.

 

MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center Opens New Gym for Associate Wellness

Thanks to long-standing philanthropic partner, Freedom Federal Credit Union for $30,000 pledge

MedStar Health Check Presentation
Freedom Federal Credit Union representatives (L to R) Carmen David Mirabile, Freedom Senior Vice President of Marketing, Patrice Ricciardi, Senior Director Business Development, and Michael MacPherson, President and Chief Executive Officer present a check to MedStar Health’s Stuart Levine, MD, FACP, President and Senior Vice President, and Leah Murray, MHA, Director of Philanthropy Education.

BALTIMORE – (December 29, 2022) A $30,000 pledge by Freedom Federal Credit Union has made possible the opening of “Square Fitness,” an associate gym at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center, to support the emotional and physical well-being of hospital employees.

Michael MacPherson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Freedom, along with Carmen David Mirabile, Freedom Senior Vice President of Marketing and Patrice Ricciardi, Senior Director Business Development, presented a giant check representing the commitment on Sept. 7th to hospital President and Senior Vice President of MedStar Health, Stuart Levine, MD, FACP.

“This means so much to me and my family,” said Dr. Levine, whose family also contributed to the costs of the gym. “But more importantly, it means so much to our associates, and to our learners, our residents, and our medical students. This is something that our internal community has asked for, for years. It far predates when I came here as president. I couldn’t be more pleased to celebrate the opening of this facility for our care providers.”

The gym, open to all MedStar associates, is located on the second floor of the hospital. It features two treadmills, ellipticals, bikes, strength-training fusion trainers, weight benches, along with one rower, a set of free weights, and a water bottle filling station. All equipment is from NordicTrack’s commercial line and will be linked to iFIT® technology, allowing access to fitness classes, structured workouts, and instruction.

“This type of endeavor, this gym, it’s more than just the physical equipment, it’s about the emotional health, the mental impact on members of our community. This was an opportunity to do something meaningful for MedStar associates, and that’s what this partnership is all about,” MacPherson said.

Freedom Federal Credit Union provides financial products and services in Harford and Baltimore County and is a long-time philanthropic partner to MedStar Health. The not-for-profit previously supported patient-centered initiatives at the MedStar Health Bel Air Medical Campus.


About MedStar Health

At MedStar Health, we use the best of our minds and the best of our hearts to serve our patients, those who care for them, and our communities. Our 30,000 associates and 4,700 affiliated physicians are committed to living this promise through our core SPIRIT values—Service, Patient first, Integrity, Respect, Innovation, and Teamwork—across our more than 300 locations including 10 hospitals, ambulatory, and urgent care centers. As the medical education and clinical partner of Georgetown University, MedStar Health is training future physician leaders to care for the whole person and is advancing care through the MedStar Health Research Institute. From our telemedicine and urgent care services to the region’s largest home health agency, we’re committed to providing high-quality health care that’s also easy and convenient for our patients. At MedStar Health—It’s how we treat people. Learn more at MedStarHealth.org.

 

About Freedom Federal Credit Union

Freedom Federal Credit Union is a community-chartered federal credit union offering consumer financial services to those who live, work, volunteer, worship, attend school, or have family in Harford and Baltimore County.  Additionally, Freedom offers a full-line of banking services for all businesses, associations, and other organizations that are based in Harford or Baltimore County.  Freedom has been in business since 1953 and has six locations throughout Harford and Baltimore County. To learn more, visit freedomfcu.org.

 

Stronger Than Steel

Yin and Yang. Good and Evil. Positive and Negative. There are two sides in every situation.  Sometimes you have to look very hard to see these opposite forces at play and sometimes, especially in times of difficulty, they are as clear as day.  People say one cannot exist without the other; that you cannot know good unless you know bad, that you can’t experience joy without knowing sadness.  There is a balance to nature and there will always be those dichotomies.  Yet, I am ever hopeful that the balance will always weigh more heavily on the positive and we will see more similarities and good amongst ourselves than differences even though it is the differences that seem to be made more visible and given to louder, crueler voices.  Such is life these days, I guess.  However, in times of adversity, such as these recent days at Freedom, my hope has been renewed.

I have seen employees put everything aside, go above and beyond, to help those in need, quell fears, and answer questions.  I have met members who have remained supportive, showed great understanding and patience because of the reputation we built and the trust we earned over the years.  We have had numerous messages showing appreciation for our efforts, but I know that does not mean this situation wasn’t difficult or that it didn’t cause frustration.  Every member of my family, myself included, experienced the same.  However, one detour on the road does not stop the journey or end the mission. It simply emboldens us to carry on and strive harder.  Even in the face of adversity and when others outside of Freedom or our membership use this as an opportunity to build up their own image by tearing us down, when they convey false information despite being told the facts; we persevere, we remain steadfast, professional and committed to our members and our community.

They say the strongest steel is forged by the hottest fires.  It is pounded and struck repeatedly before it’s plunged back into the molten fire. The fire gives it power and flexibility, and the blows give it strength.  Freedom is that steel.  We are not defined by the trials we face but by how we come through them.

We greatly appreciate the support we have received.  We appreciate the recognition that in 70 years nothing has tested us like this.  We appreciate the opportunity to continue to serve and to earn your patronage and trust every day.  We are a community institution, a not-for-profit cooperative committed to, and reliant upon, our members, our employees and our community.  That will never change.  So, as you stay the course with us, as you turn from negative emotions, as you ignore those opportunistic voices that would try to convince you otherwise, you will see that we are who we have always been; we are your partner, we are your advocate, we are your Credit Union.

We are Freedom.

Branch Closings

2023 Branch Closings Schedule

Please take advantage of our digital services when branch closings are in effect.

New Year’s Day 2023—Monday, January 2, 2023

Martin Luther King Jr. Day – Monday, January 16, 2023

President’s Day – Monday, February 20, 2023

Memorial Day – Monday, May 29, 2023

Juneteenth – Monday, June 19, 2023

Independence Day – Tuesday, July 4, 2023

Labor Day – Monday, September 4, 2023

Columbus Day (Indigenous Peoples Day) – Monday, October 9, 2023

Veterans Day – Saturday, November 11, 2023

Thanksgiving – Thursday, November 23, 2023

Christmas – Monday, December 25, 2023

 

 

It’s Your Choice

I was on social media the other day.  Yes, I know what it is and even how to use it.  I came across several postings about what Freedom is doing in the community and the partnerships we are forging.  It reinforced for me that the direction we set for Freedom, the priority we place on people helping people, is the right path.

At Freedom, we do not aspire to be a multi-billion-dollar organization, put our name on a stadium or be on every street.  We aspire to be in our community, serving, educating, volunteering; doing good because it’s the right thing to do.  Of course, as a business, we want to grow and need to be financially successful, but those are a means to an end.  Real success is our ability to give back and put people first.  That’s the choice we made to answer the question, “who are we?”

In the end, it’s all about choices; those we make, and those you and our community partners make.  I don’t think people realize that something as simple as their choice of where to bank, and who they deal with, matters.   How just normal banking and other interactions with Freedom benefit them and their community.

The cooperative spirit on which we were founded is alive and well here.  It can be seen in our people, our volunteerism, our philanthropy, even our investments in Freedom itself. Therefore, it’s up to each of us to let you know.  Not by just saying it, but by showing it.  After all, actions speak louder than words; louder than ads and clever slogans.  We should encourage you to choose to be part of Freedom; to be part of something bigger, not just something big, because the benefit of doing so is more than meets the eye and goes farther than you may realize.

#FreedomToHelpChallenge 2022

 

#FreedomToHelpChallenge 2022

Win $1,000 for your favorite local charity!

Freedom Federal Credit Union believes in people helping people and we are challenging Harford and Baltimore County volunteers, companies, and non-profits to participate in the award-winning 5th annual #FreedomToHelpChallenge photo contest this holiday season. Showcase volunteerism in Harford or Baltimore County for the chance to win a $1,000 charitable donation for your local non-profit of choice and other weekly prizes.

HOW TO ENTER:

1. Like or Follow Freedom Federal Credit Union on Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)

2. Post public photos showcasing volunteerism in Harford or Baltimore County from November 4th through December 8th, 2022

3. Include a description of the volunteer effort along with the searchable hashtag, #FreedomToHelpChallenge on every post (Remember to make entries public)

4. Visit us on Facebook every Friday to participate in public voting to increase your chances to win! (Every like equals a vote!)

On Instagram? Tag Freedom @FreedomFedCU or DM us to follow you if your account is private.

IN 2021, The #FreedomToHelpChallenge was recognized by THE MARKETING ASSOCIATION OF CREDIT UNIONS WITH THEIR TOP CAMPAIGN AWARD AND RECEIVED A TRAILBLAZER AWARD IN SOCIAL MEDIA BY THE MD|DC CREDIT UNION ASSOCIATION.  THE CHALLENGE IS ALSO A PAST RECIPIENT OF The Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Community Service Award by THE CREDIT UNION NATIONAL ASSOCIATION.

 

Read Full Contest Rules and Details Here

Grand Prize Info: The Final Showdown

Public Voting for finalists will be available on Freedom’s Facebook page on Tuesday, December 13, 2022 at 10:00 am for 24 hours from the start of the voting period. Every like equals a vote. Share with your friends to increase your votes. The Grand Prize Winner will be announced via Freedom’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram page on December 14th, 2022.  The Grand Prize is a $1,000 charitable donation.*

*Selected charity must be a registered 501(C)3 with a proven focus in Harford or Baltimore County.

Applause For A Cause

Applause for a Cause

Are you a Freedom fan? Have you had a recent experience that left you feeling glad to be part of our Credit Union? It’s Member Service Week, and we want to hear from YOU!

This year, Freedom was recognized as one of the best Credit Unions in both Harford and Baltimore County. We are excited to see that our focus on Members over profits is paying off, and want to know what we do that you appreciate.

When you share the love, we pass it on. This week only, if you leave us a compliment for our employees on our Applause for a Cause Social Media Post, we’ll donate a pair of winter gloves to someone in need at the Harford Family House and Welcome One Emergency Shelter*. Your applause will be shared with our team members, and we’ll donate gloves as our thank you just for helping us celebrate our amazing staff.

Click the link below to share your Freedom love with our team!

SHARE THE LOVE!

No Social Media? No Problem. Email your compliment to our team!

*Submit your comment by Friday, October 7th at Noon to earn a donated pair of gloves. 1 pair of gloves can be earned by each individual who comments.