A Proud Moment of Reflection: A Message from Jen Burke, League AVP – Communications & Outreach

Jen Burke

I’ve been fortunate. In my career, I’ve had several memorable interactions with some incredible people. But, last week, my experience at the Ending Hunger Results Luncheon was truly unlike any other. When I started working at the League nearly six years ago, I wanted to find purposeful work that would make a difference in the state I proudly call home. Fortunately, I found just that serving in the credit union movement and helping with Maine Credit Unions’ Campaign for Ending Hunger.

While it was a thrill to announce the record-breaking fundraising results the Campaign achieved last year, it was even more meaningful for me to witness the sense of shared accomplishment from the attendees in the room and to hear so many of them say, “we need to do even more this year!” Their enthusiasm inspires me and is one of the many reasons why I love being a part of the credit union system.

Maine credit unions didn’t raise $1.2 million in food and cash contributions for the accolades; they did it because they care for their communities and those they serve. And since hunger remains prevalent in all corners of the state, the commitment to combatting this problem isn’t waning. In fact, the Social Responsibility Committee immediately set an ambitious goal for the Campaign to raise another $1.2 million in 2024. While that is a big number, collectively we have already proven we can hit—and in fact surpass—this target.

I am not sure I have stopped smiling since last Tuesday. My only regret is not bringing my thirteen-year-old daughter to the event to experience the joy, drive, and sense of purpose felt in that room. I’m always reminding her about the importance of “leaving this world better than she found it.” That ballroom was full of people who carry out this sentiment every day. From the team at The Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital, the staff members from Good Shepherd Food Bank, and the representatives of your credit union—it was an assembly of people who help people.

I’m deeply proud of what we achieved for the Campaign in 2023 and excited about the milestones we’ll reach in the weeks ahead. I’m also grateful for the role your credit union, volunteers, and members have played in the Campaign’s cumulative success, and for shining a light on food insecurity. Raising awareness about hunger is just as important as raising dollars.

As you map out your fundraising strategy and activities for the remainder of the year, please know my team at the League and I are here to help every step of the way. I firmly believe there’s no limit to what we can do together!