Facebook News | Direct Federal Credit Union surprises 24 local heroes with $11,000 in recognition of the good happening during these challenging and unprecedented times.


Direct Federal Credit Union surprises 24 local heroes with $11,000 in recognition of the good happening during these challenging and unprecedented times. 08/07/2020

Direct Federal Credit Union announced today the 24 winners of their Acts of Kindness Awards Program introduced this Spring.

As part of the credit union’s initial response to COVID-19, Direct Federal used this program to highlight positivity happening in the community and reward and recognize selfless, hardworking, and compassionate individuals throughout Norfolk and Middlesex Counties. During a time of increased financial hardships, the credit union wanted to spread kindness by setting aside $10,000 for deserving individuals. 

Direct Federal solicited nominations through social media for people who were deserving of a random act of kindness. The response from the community was overwhelming and nominations from all over Norfolk and Middlesex Counties were received and reviewed.

The credit union selected 23 winners and were so moved by one of the nominators, they rewarded her as well. In total, Direct Federal distributed $11,000. The nominators of each winner assisted in the coordination of surprise presentations done during the months of June and July. Winners of the Acts of Kindness Awards are as follows:

  • Caroline and Elle Conquergood, Needham
  • Nathan Warner Dorval, Newton
  • Susan Altman, Boston
  • Jessica Nizzari, Wellesley
  • Ronal Slager III, Cambridge
  • Laquisha Gebhard, Lowell
  • Pat Flaherty, Norwood
  • Patricia Doyle, Needham
  • Jean Higgens, Needham
  • Julie Gage, Woburn
  • Kerri Moore O’Leary, Westwood
  • Tilly Appiah, Boston
  • Heidi Scott Wolfe, Needham
  • Jenn Shambaugh, Salem
  • Alicia Santamaria and Gemma Joyce, Needham
  • Maxwell Surprenant, Needham
  • Pamela Wohl, Wellesley
  • Mikey Fanning, Needham
  • Jennifer Briggs, Braintree
  • Dan Mcmann, Needham
  • Cara Soulia and Kristen Collins, Needham


“We are thrilled to recognize these 24 outstanding, selfless members of our community. Along with many others during this pandemic, these people embody the notion that a life spent serving others is a life well spent,” said Joe Walsh, President and CEO of Direct Federal Credit Union.

Visit direct.com/kindness for an overview of each winner’s story.

Tilly Appiah Winner

Tilly Appiah is the Sunday school teacher for her church. Since COVID-19, she has been driving around on Sundays to the houses of her Sunday school children. She encourages them to sing one or two songs with her while maintaining social distancing. This puts lots of smiles on the children's faces and brings them some comfort in this time of confusion and uncertainty.

Caroline + Elle Conquergood Winners

The two sisters were nominated by their mother, Aubrey. Caroline, a 2020 graduate of Needham High School, has been making an active effort to give back to the community during COVID-19. Every week, Caroline and Elle shop for groceries and supplies then deliver them to at least one family in need.