As part of its strong commitment to social and environmental responsibility, Great Lakes Credit Union (GLCU) teamed up with the environmental organization Alliance for the Great Lakes earlier this month to sponsor a beach cleanup event at Waukegan North Beach. The philanthropic initiative, which was held on June 5 and aimed to better the environment for those in the community, made quite an impact. In just two hours, volunteers from GLCU and the public removed over 33 lbs. of litter from the Lake Michigan coastline, helping to conserve the area many GLCU members and employees call home.

Approximately 31 volunteers supported the community giveback effort by picking up debris and logging it onto data sheets. At the end of the event, Juliann Krupa, Engagement Manager from the Alliance for the Great Lakes, weighed the total amount of trash the group had collected and tallied up the separate pieces and types of pollutants, before sharing the findings with the groups.

In roughly two hours, the volunteers collected 33 lbs. of debris, comprised of 1,844 separate pollutants – 707 pieces of plastic, 300 cigarette butts, 111 plastic bottle caps, 107 pieces of foam, and 93 pieces of glass.

The successful initiative saw many volunteers work alongside their families and kids at the shoreside. One volunteer, Maria Hernandez, Senior Loan Servicing Specialist at GLCU, commented: “I would love to do this again. My eight-year-old daughter learned a lot. She learned that cleaning up the beach makes a difference to animals and drinking water. We had a great time.”

Waukegan has historically dealt with extensive pollution and GLCU hopes its recent initiative can help push forward environmental advocacy for families in the surrounding areas. To further this aim, the not-for-profit organization is already planning a similar community giveback program for the fall.

With the International Coastal Cleanup Day coming up in September, the credit union is looking into opportunities to partner with the Alliance for the Great Lakes to observe the holiday with another beach cleanup.

About Great Lakes Credit Union
Founded in 1938 and headquartered in Northern Illinois, GLCU is committed to financial empowerment for you. As a not-for-profit financial cooperative with over $1 billion in assets, GLCU is proud to serve more than 80,000 members in the Chicagoland and surrounding areas. Learn more about GLCU’s accounts, educational initiatives and community development programs at

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