Several companies in the collectio and debt-buying industries made large contributions to charities in 2009 and, specifically, during the holidays. The following is the start of a roll call listing those companies and their efforts. This list, with the detailed information following, will grow as more information is sent to Collections & Credit Risk. Contact Darren Waggoner at

United Recovery Systems, Houston
Portfolio Recovery Associations, Norfolk, Va.

United Recovery Systems Makes Charitable Contribution to Women's Shelter

Employees at United Recovery Systems, a Houston-based accounts receivable management company, donated more than $27,000 to the city's Mission of Yahweh women's shelter, a home for women and children in crisis.

An anonymous donor then agreed to match the company's donation, bringing the total contribution to the shelter to more than $50,000.

JoAnn Snook, a United Recovery collections manager who spearheads the effort, says the company's relationship with women's shelter began when a co-worker agreed to be a big sister [through the national program] to two boys from the shelter.

"Some people started buying the boys Christmas gifts, and it just grew and spread around the company from there," she says.

Snook said that while the donation effort is based in the Houston office, contributions arrived from five of United Recovery's six national offices representing some 1,400 employees.

"I feel really touched by the generosity of our employees," she says. "We are very lucky and comfortable compared to so many who have nothing, and this outpouring just warms my heart."

Betty Godso, a mission volunteer development manager at the shelter, adds, "[United Recovery's employees] help us throughout the year with food and clothing, but this gift is a real blessing when we need it most."

Godso says the Mission of Yahweh provides clothes, food and other support for more than 1,600 "residential stays" each month - donating food, school supplies and other essentials to several thousand individuals. The shelter also focuses on training and rehabilitating women to help them become "self-sufficient, productive members of society."

Portfolio Recovery Employees Donate More Than $500K

Monetary donations from debt buyer Portfolio Recovery Associates' employees totaled an estimated $525,000 in 2009, the Norfolk, Va.-based company announced this week. The contributions came from employees located in the company's offices nationwide.
"We work with people in difficult financial situations each and every day," says Donna Long, vice president of Human Resources at Portfolio Recovery. "We know how important charitable organizations can be in providing social and other support services to those in tough circumstances. I'm very proud of the generosity of our staff. Their efforts on behalf of those in need are even more noteworthy given the very difficult economy that characterized the year just passed."

The company's efforts included: $188,000 of employee funds donated and collected on behalf of the United Way; $21,000 donated to Junior Achievement; 3,500 lbs. of food provided to local food banks; more than 200 pints of blood given to the Red Cross at company-sponsored blood drives; 100 turkeys donated to local food banks and shelters; 150 toys donated to the U.S. Marine Corp's Toys for Tots program; and 300 children's books collected for United Way Raising a Reader.

Many employees also served on boards of directors or participated in leadership roles to various charitable organizations.

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