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Fostering a Vibrant Financial Future with Connie Tooker Nuñez, Del Norte LOV Foundation

Happy Financial Literacy Month! Hosts Andrea Klunder and Josh Stringer celebrate by introducing folks to Del Norte LOV Foundation, the independent charitable organization associated with Del Norte Credit Union.

What does philanthropic giving have to do with personal finance?

As LOV Foundation Director Connie Tooker Nuñez explains, the funding it provides directly impacts the lives of youth and families within the DNCU community, fostering a vibrant financial future for all.

Since its founding in 1954, DNCU has continuously extended its philosophy of “people helping people” beyond its menu of financial services to include outreach and scholarship programs. In 2017, however, a group of dedicated employees saw an opportunity to expand that legacy, and, in 2021, they launched LOV Foundation, which stands for living our vision.

“This region,” says Connie, “is beautiful and rich in diversity and culture. However, there’s a lot of underserved young people in our region.” LOV Foundation provides DNCU’s 200+ employees with a dedicated mechanism through which they can lend their time, talent, and treasure to the region.

LOV Foundation’s advocacy includes charitable payroll deductions, donations, and scholarships. The organization also supports DNCU’s financial literacy program and the dedicated youth accounts it offers. Additionally, LOV Foundation provides local nonprofits with various avenues for funding via sponsorships and grantmaking. “It’s a collaborative process,” says Connie. “We don’t just write checks. We provide them with other programming, so it’s a great working partnership.”

Although only a few years old, LOV Foundation has proven itself to be a vital community ally, allocating funds to support college aspirations, educational and cultural enrichment, and financial literacy. Connie agrees. “I live and work in this region, and so it’s wonderful in order to advance the wellbeing of this region through Del Norte LOV Foundation. It’s awesome to do this every single day.”

Financial Tea Hot Sip: Give the young person in your life a head start toward financial literacy by opening a DNCU youth account. Parents love the Baxter’s Bunch program for its $5 minimum and ease of use. Kiddos love it for the free prize and perks. Score! provides teens with eLearning resources to boost their financial acumen and the option to secure a Score! credit card. Free 4 Me is the perfect choice for 18-25-year-olds ready to take total control of their finances. Not in the DNCU service area? Explore youth account options through your local credit union.

Not the primary caregiver in a child’s life but still want to contribute to their higher education pursuits? Set up a 529 Plan naming them as the beneficiary. It’s a great way to help kids plan for (and afford!) the future they envision.


Connie Tooker Nuñez


Del Norte LOV Foundation


Financial Tea In The Morning s2e1 – Spring Cleaning: Securing Your Mortgage or HELOC

DNCU Scholarships

DNCU Youth Accounts & Resources

DNCU Personal Checking Accounts

Green Path Financial Wellness

Banzai Financial Literacy

Scholarship America

Santa Fe Youth Symphony Association

STEM Santa Fe

Teach For America – New Mexico

Santa Fe Area Home Builders Association 

Co-Op Park Los Alamos


“We’re a public charity; therefore, we raise money to give money away. And it’s been a joy being able to represent our employee’s interests and the community who we sponsor, who we support, what kind of community events we would participate in, in order to improve lives.”

“It’s a beautiful testament that our employees give back.”

“We really feel that everyone has their own path for higher education, so we endorse that. And so last year we provided ten scholarships at $1,000 each to 10 individuals who were DNCU youth members.”

“We advocate that your financial journey should start at an early age.”

“I’ve been a grant writer, so I was on that other side where I wrote tons of grant applications. And what I recommend is just follow the instructions. It’s really simple; follow the instructions.”

“I read all of the applications as well, in addition to the employee foundation committee members, and there’s some of them where I had tears in my eyes, and it was very impactful.”

“I love to connect people towards our mission of improving lives of youth and families; I’m so passionate about it. I love to talk about it almost every day and collaborate with different partners in order to achieve that.”


Financial Tea in the Morning is brought to you by Del Norte Credit Union.

Produced and Edited by Andrea Klunder at The Creative Impostor Studios

Technical Director: Edwin R. Ruiz

Recording Engineer: Kabby at Kabby Sound Studios in Santa Fe

Hosted by Josh Stringer and Andrea Klunder

Production Support from Kirstin Smith and Brian Sanchez

Theme music by Ricardo Lambert


Del Norte Credit Union is Federally insured by NCUA and is an Equal Housing Opportunity Lender, NMLS ID 500583. Content in this episode is for entertainment purposes only and not financial advice.