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Volunteering pays off: Dupaco Credit Union employees reap the benefits of giving back

Dubuque, Iowa—Next week, April 21-27, is National Volunteer Week, and Dupaco Credit Union is celebrating the impact the financial cooperative has had on the communities it serves. Logging over 7,200 volunteer hours in 2023, Dupaco employees are choosing to make life better for others by helping build homes, teach in classrooms, plant trees, clean up parks, prepare healthy meals, shovel snow and much more.

“It feels good to get out in our community and use my skills to help other people who may not have the resources. In my own small way, I’m serving a need for our community, it’s fun and I’m happy I get the opportunity to provide the help I can for them,” says Kate Breitbach, senior financial analyst at Dupaco.

Breitbach chooses to help with Junior Achievement of the Heartland and most recently helped at a second grade classroom at Irving Elementary in Dubuque.

Dupaco employees don’t just walk the walk when it comes to volunteering. Their culture embodies it. Their policies promote it. And their actions add up to some impressive numbers.

In 2023 alone:

  • Nearly 700 Dupaco employees volunteered 7,260 hours (that’s 10.4 hours per team member!).
  • Dupaco employees served on 175 nonprofit boards and committees.
  • 294 Dupaco employees used a new paid benefit in 2023 called Volunteer Time Off, allowing them to take time off during the workday to lend a helping hand and volunteer in their community at an organization of their choice.

That “feel good feeling” mentioned by Breitbach is real, according to data from According to its studies, people who volunteer experience these benefits:

  • Improved physical and mental health: Volunteer activities keep people moving and thinking at the same time. Research also shows volunteering leads to lower rates of depression and anxiety.
  • Less stress and more positive/relaxed feelings: The release of the hormone dopamine contributes to feelings of lower stress. By spending time in service to others, volunteers report feeling a sense of meaning and appreciation, both given and received, which can have a stress-reducing effect.
  • Nurture new and existing relationships: Volunteering increases social interaction and helps build a support system based on common interests.

Michelle Becwar, partnership development supervisor, has spent the last 10 years of her career at Dupaco focusing on how the financial cooperative can create and foster community partnerships that benefit people inside and outside the organization.

“It’s exciting to see the impact team Dupaco is having throughout all our communities. We’ve been able to focus on partnering and connecting people together to make our mission come alive: To help members build a life worth loving. And volunteering in our communities is a big part of that.”

Breitbach adds that being part of an organization like Dupaco cultivates a powerful sense of satisfaction for her co-workers.

“When we work together, whether it’s in the office or in the community, we’re helping fulfill our mission for a brighter community for all. It benefits us too. We know it makes us feel better, more connected with our peers and communities and have a greater sense of well-being.”

Dupaco Community Credit Union is a not-for-profit, member-owned financial cooperative headquartered in Dubuque, Iowa. It is dedicated to the financial well-being of its members, and specializes in personalized financial counseling, money advice and education. It offers savings, loans, investments, insurance and wealth management products for individuals and businesses. Dupaco serves residents in 118 counties throughout Iowa, northwest Illinois and southwest Wisconsin. Founded in 1948 by 10 Dubuque Packing Company employees, membership has grown to more than 162,000 with assets exceeding $3.2 billion. It has nearly 700 employees and 22 branch office locations. Dupaco is a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). It is a Forbes Best-in-State Credit Union, Forbes America’s Best Small Employer and a Des Moines Register Top Workplace. Learn more at

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