Green is good for business

Grow Financial is committed to bettering the Tampa Bay community through the implementation of green initiatives, partnerships with charitable organizations, commitment to leadership programs, and more. This year alone, Grow Financial team members have volunteered over 340 hours of their time at over 25 local charitable organizations in Tampa Bay! Read below to see how Grow Financial is making a difference in the Bay area community, and learn ways you can get involved.

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Let's grow some salsa

On Wednesday, October 22nd, Grow Financial and the Tampa Bay Times gave away 25,000 seed packs at 21 stores across the Tampa Bay Area. The seed packets included cilantro, tomato, and jalapeño seeds - everything you'd need to grow your own salsa at home. Below, we've included some growing tips, growing stories, and a recipe to help you get started on growing your own salsa!

Growing tips

Here's a perfect mix for producing lots of tasty salsa in your own garden. The plants are easy to grow and very productive.

Plant: Separate the seeds and plant one to two seeds each in separate pots. For earliest harvest, sow seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before setting outside, keeping soil temperature in the mid 70's. Grow in full sun. Plant each seed 1/2" to 1/4" deep, cover lightly with soil and water.

Care: Water regularly and fertilize when 6" tall. Stake or cage tomato plants to save space. Tomatoes will germinate in 6 to 9 days and mature and fruit in 70 to 80 days.

Jalapeños can take 10 days to 6 weeks to germinate and will fruit in 70 days. Carefully cut peppers from plant when full size, whether green or red, but before they begin to soften.

Cilantro takes 2 to 3 weeks to germinate. Leaves can be cut from the plant in as little as 4 to 6 weeks. Pick cilantro leaves sparingly as plant grows. They may be used whole or chopped. Flavor is best when fresh.

Here's what your plants should look like after four weeks.


Growing stories

Share your growing stories and see how others are cultivating a better world with #growsomethinggood.

 

Let’s make some salsa!

Directions

In a medium bowl, mix tomatoes, green bell peppers, white onion, cilantro, lemon juice and jalapeno chile pepper. Cover and chill in the refrigerator until serving.

Source: allrecipes.com

Fresh Salsa

Prep time: 20 minutes
Ready in: 20 minutes
Servings: 32

Ingredients
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, diced
  • 2 green bell peppers, diced
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • ½ bunch fresh cilantro, for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 jalapeño chile pepper, diced

 

A Tree Grows in Tampa Bay.

(Actually, Lots of Trees!)

For the second year in a row, Grow Financial and The Tampa Bay Times teamed up for “Let’s Grow Together” to celebrate Earth Day, April 22nd. At every Grow Financial store, free Red Maple saplings were given away to everyone who walked in, and every tree went to a good home, either in a back yard or a local park. The infographic below details the terrific impact this initiative had on the Tampa Bay community.


Infographic

A Good Ride for a Good Cause.

Grow Financial and several other credit unions in West Central Florida teamed up with local businesses to sponsor the 9th Annual Credit Union Cruise for Kids on May 19th. This motorcycle poker run took riders along a leisurely route through Pinellas County and ended at the Quaker Steak and Lube, where they enjoyed live music, prizes and giveaways. Everyone who participated had a chance to win one of two $5,000 Visa® Gift Cards, and all proceeds raised benefited local children’s hospitals and charities, including All Children’s Hospital, the Make-A-Wish® Foundation and The Children’s Home of Tampa.

Building a Stronger Community.

Through the Real Estate Lending Department, Grow Financial supports the REALTORS® Care Foundation, the charitable foundation of the Greater Tampa Association of REALTORS® (GTAR). This non-profit organization works to make neighborhoods throughout Hillsborough County healthier and stronger by providing down-payment assistance, scholarships for those seeking to pursue higher education opportunities in real estate, and funding for community development and disaster relief programs. Recently, Grow Financial donated $7,500 to the REALTORS® Care Foundation, and is a key sponsor of the upcoming “Day at the Races” fund-raising event at Tampa Bay Downs.

Learning on the Job.

On February 1, Grow Financial hosted eight high-school students enrolled in the local Junior Achievement program for “Job Shadow Day” at the Corporate Office. The students learned how various departments come together to support Grow Financial stores in providing outstanding service, and also met with members of the senior management team.

Leaders Making a Difference.

This year, Grow Financial's internal People Development Group initiated a new training program, Step Up to Leadership, to help prepare selected team members for management positions within the Credit Union. One of the many challenges given to the class is to get involved in charitable causes, and our prospective leaders have definitely stepped up! Just a few of the efforts include participating in Relay for Life to support the American Cancer Society®; building homes for Habitat for Humanity; planting trees at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo; and working at a local food bank.

Tampa Bay Heart Walk®.

Saturday, November 15, Raymond James Stadium, Tampa. This is the signature fund-raising event for The American Heart Association® of Tampa Bay, one of Grow Financial's primary corporate charities. Last year, the Grow family came together to raise more than $28,000, which went to support local efforts in the fight against cardiovascular disease and stroke. We’re hoping you’ll lace up a pair of comfortable shoes and join us again this year.