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Redwood Credit Union Steps Up for Annual Secret Santa Program

December 27, 2023

KZST Recording Group

Talking about Secret Santa on air at KZST. Pictured left to right: Linda Jacobs, CEO of Center for Volunteer and Nonprofit Leadership; Bill Friedman (behind Linda), Friedman’s Home Improvement; Brett Martinez, president and CEO of Redwood Credit Union; Debbie Abrams, KZST morning show host.

Santa Rosa, CA – When Sonoma County’s annual Secret Santa program fell short of its gift drive goals this year, Redwood Credit Union stepped up to fill the holiday wishes of many people in need.

The Sonoma County Secret Santa program has been running for more than 30 years and works with over 125 county agencies, schools, and community nonprofit organizations to fill the wishes of people who might not otherwise receive holiday gifts. The requests are placed on red paper hearts displayed at businesses throughout Sonoma County, including RCU branches, for the public to adopt and donate gifts.

On December 21, when more than 5,800 Secret Santa hearts were at risk of not being adopted, Brett Martinez, President and CEO of Redwood Credit Union, along with Linda Jacobs, CEO of the Center for Volunteer & Nonprofit Leadership (CVNL) and Bill Freidman of Friedman’s Home Improvement, appeared on Sonoma County radio station KZST’s morning show with a last-minute call to action for the community to help fill these gifts. Martinez then announced that RCU would help address the Secret Santa shortfall which the credit union has done every year since 2017, following the devastating North Bay Fires.

This year, there were 1,500 more hearts to fill than in 2022, and each year the gap of unfulfilled wishes has continued to increase. By participating in the Secret Santa program, donors make a positive difference and help create a more compassionate and inclusive community.

Brett Martinez - President & CEO

Brett Martinez
President & CEO

"This is a very giving community, but the need is huge this holiday season," said Martinez. "Redwood Credit Union is about inspiring hope in our communities in good times and bad, one person at a time, and supporting this cause exemplifies that."

Eleven RCU branches were among the many drop-off locations for Secret Santa gifts, and throughout the course of December, RCU members and employees were generous in helping spread the holiday cheer, collecting more than 875 gifts.

Through the Secret Santa program, thousands of local businesses and donors work together to bring joy and hope to families in Sonoma County. Learn more about Secret Santa at

Xmas Tree Secret Santa

Secret Santa tree with gift donations at Redwood Credit Union’s Cleveland Avenue branch in Santa Rosa, CA.

About Redwood Credit Union

Founded in 1950, Redwood Credit Union is a full-service financial institution providing personal and business banking to consumers and businesses in the North Bay and San Francisco. RCU offers complete financial services including checking and savings accounts, auto and home loans, credit cards, online and mobile banking, business services, commercial and SBA lending, and more. Wealth management and investment services are available through CUSO Financial Services L.P., and insurance and auto-purchasing services are also offered through RCU Services Group (RCU’s wholly owned subsidiary). RCU has more than $8 billion in assets and serves 450,000 members with full-service branches from San Francisco to Ukiah. For more information, call 1 (800) 479-7928, visit, or follow RCU on Facebook, Instagram, X, and LinkedIn for news and updates.