Merck Employees Credit Union Meets Betty White Challenge with $10,000 Donation to Pennies for Puppies


February 3, 2022



Credit Union News

Back in 1995 Merck employee Reed Ziegler asked for the Merck Employee Federal Credit Union’s help in counting coins for “Pennies for Puppies”, a program from The Seeing Eye, Inc., a nonprofit based in Morristown, NJ that develops seeing eye dogs for the blind and visually impaired.

That small request more than 20 years ago has turned into a longstanding relationship between The Seeing Eye and MEFCU. The credit union raises money for The Seeing Eye from its generous members and employees at its branch locations and the credit union itself provides direct and matching contributions.

The team of the credit union presents a $10,000 donation to The Seeing Eye’s “Pennies for Puppies” program. Look closely on the left side to see Robbie, the puppy who someday will make a big impact in someone’s life as part of the program!

The team of the credit union recently presented The Seeing Eye with a $10,000 donation to support their efforts in developing the guide dogs who bring independence and dignity to those with vision impairment. The credit union’s most recent donation was in response to the now viral Betty White social media challenge to donate to animal causes in honor of her passing. White was a fervent support of animal charities and herself has visited The Seeing Eye in Morristown on numerous occasions and was a dedicated supporter of the organization.

MEFCU President Paul Gentile, Puppy Robbie, and MEFCU Kenilworth Branch Manager Karen Willow. Willow is holding a picture of her grandson Jackson who was born blind due to Sept-optic dysplasia.

As part of its donation, the credit union has adopted a Seeing Eye dog to put through the training program. The credit union’s sponsor dog will be named “Jackson” in honor of the grandson of longtime employee Karen Willow, whose grandson Jackson was born blind due to Septo-optic dysplasia. Jackson is indicative of the type of people The Seeing Eye is dedicated to serve. “I am so excited to have the credit union puppy named after my grandson Jackson and I appreciate all the many members who have helped support this cause at the credit union for the last 20 years,” said Willow.

True to the credit union spirit of promoting savings and sound financial habits, the credit union raises money for this program literally one penny at a time with members and employees who contribute often spare change at the Seeing Eye donation bins at the credit union, proving once again that small acts of kindness done collectively can make a large impact. Any one interested in making a donation, can simply stop by the credit union. For more information about The Seeing Eye visit

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