Zia Credit Union Pays It Forward: Buy Gas, Lunch and Groceries For Random People At Española Businesses


Louise Naranjo said from Santa Clara Pueblo received free gas. “I am surprised and amazed. I do use Zia Credit Union for Sharebanking. I like credit union banking because it’s people I know and I feel like it’s a family.” Valley Daily Post image

Zia Credit Union Pays It Forward:
Buy Gas, Lunch and Groceries For Random People At Española  Businesses


ESPAÑOLA  – Zia Credit Union celebrated International Credit Union Day this past Thursday by making surprise purchases for people in select Española businesses. The people selected were then asked to “carry” the kindness forward at some point and help someone else out in the future.

Needless to say, it was a hit with everyone who was lucky enough to receive free gas, lunch or groceries. Zia Credit Union CEO, David Woodruff, was credited by branch manager, Amanda Duran and Annitte Lujan, Vice President/Chief Lending Officer with the idea to celebrate International Credit Union Day.

Amanda Duran and Annitte Duran act as car hops at the San Pedro Sonic during International Credit Union Day. They are serving Daniella L. lunch at the Sonic sponsored by Zia Credit Union. Daniella said it was "muy bien" (very good). He nephew, Bryan, added, "Thank them for giving us lunch today." Valley Daily Post image

The two Zia Credit Union management staff members were accompanied by a Valley Daily Post reporter who photographed and asked winners their thoughts on having purchases paid for them out of the blue. The San Pedro Shell, San Pedro Sonic, Renee’s Cuts, McDonald’s and Wal-Mart were visited. However, no one received a free cut at Renee’s as the business did not have a credit card machine.  Not all lucky recipients are included in this story due to space limitations.

The reactions of the more than 20 lucky recipients ranged from disbelief to surprise, cheers and tears. For a while it was “It looks like Christmas in October” someone quipped quite succinctly.

"This is wonderful," Gloria (no last name given) told the Valley Daily Post. The generosity of Zia Credit Union touched her heart so much that her eyes welled up in happiness. Valley Daily Post image

 “You  have no idea,” she said of the magnitude this meant to her, being one of the lucky ones selected to have items purchased for them at Wal-Mart. She didn’t elaborate, but suffice it to say, this was one very happy woman.

Zia Credit Union’s VP/Loan Processor, Annitte Lujan said, “I think it was awesome. It was cool.” Branch manager, Amanda Duran, said it was “beyond their expectations.” And added, “…seeing that lady so moved by it was really heartwarming. Almost made you cry.” 

“There may be more of it, random acts of kindness” the Zia Credit Union management staffers said as they left Wal-Mart. What acts of kindness? They wouldn’t say but if it is as successful as today’s, Zia Credit Union may just be onto something there.

See below for more images of this “Pay it Forward” activity.

John Lessen said “Nice gesture, and puts money back in the community.” Valley Daily Post image.


Susie Cata, of San Juan Pueblo as she called it said Zia Credit Union “did a nice thing,”  Susie Cata told the Post. She added that it was great that “someone finally bought lunch.!” Valley Daily Post image


Juan “JJ” Lopez, Pueblo, Colo. & Española  said “Nice, didn’t expect it to happen. I came from Pueblo (Colo.) three months ago for a job. This will make my decision easier when I open my account soon.” Valley Daily Post image.


Zia Credit Union Car Hops At The San Pedro Sonic. Amanda Duran and Annette Lujan pose with Sonic’s Diana Blanco. Valley Daily Post image.