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In 1844, a small group of weavers from Rochdale, England created the blueprint for how their newly-formed cooperative would operate and serve the local community. These values, known as the Seven Cooperative Principles, serve as the operating guidebook for credit unions and cooperatives throughout the world. This blog was created to honor that legacy and to showcase the everyday efforts of credit unions in the Carolinas that embody the cooperative mission and purpose.


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Miracle Jeans Day: credit unions dress down to help kids

Posted By Jeff Hardin, Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Local Government FCU employees combined to raise more
than $2100 on their Miracle Jeans Day event, which was held
August 30. 

Six Carolina credit unions participated in Miracle Jeans Day in 2017. The annual event, which allows staff at participating credit unions the opportunity to wear jeans to work in exchange for a $5 donation to the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. 

American Partners FCU, Carolina Trust FCU, ElecTel Cooperative CU, Local Government FCU, Greenville Health Systems FCU and Telco Community CU employees all supported their local children's hospital through the event, which was held Wednesday, September 13 across the country. Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals treat millions of children across North America. This treatment is given regardless of the patient’s condition or ability to pay. 

If your credit union is interested in supporting CMN Hospitals through efforts like Miracle Jeans Day, the next event is Shop for Miracles Day Thursday, October 19. Co-op Financial Services will offer its Miracle Match if your credit union signs up for Shop for Miracles Day by September 30! Complete program resources and registration links are available here

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The latest CUaware Podcast is all about the Protégé Competition. Listen here!

Posted By Jeff Hardin, Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, September 19, 2017

CUaware Podcast hosts Paul Narcisse and Phil Kadzielawski discussed a program near and dear to their hearts in their second episode. The dynamic duo discussed the CUaware Protégé Competition with CCUL Director of Communications Courtney Jackson. 

Jackson, who piloted the program and serves as its coordinator, shared the impact the program has on young professionals, and the springboard it can represent for contestants at the credit union, chapter and finals level. Participating in the competition opens the door for further engagement in programs like the CUaware Protégé Mentor Program, and gives young professionals a chance to participate in leadership opportunities in the CUaware Councils.

"It connects you with peers you would not have met otherwise," Jackson shared of the program. She added that while the top three finalists receive scholarship opportunities to enhance their professional development, anyone participating in the program will experience professional and personal growth. 

Kadzielawski and Narcisse are both past participants in the program, and Narcisse is the reigning CUaware Protégé. Both shared the impact the program has had on their careers and lives. 

For more information on the CUaware Protégé Competition, please click here. If you have a podcast topic or suggestion, please contact Paul, Phil or Jeff Hardin using the email links on the podcast page.  

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Getting the most out of the CUaware Protégé Mentor Program

Posted By Jeff Hardin, Monday, September 11, 2017
Updated: Monday, September 11, 2017

Applications are now being accepted for the CUaware Protégé Mentor Program. The program pairs a young professional with a mentor from another credit union for a period of one year. Mentors and Protégés are invited to apply between now and the end of the year. 

The free program is designed to be flexible in order to account for the demands of work and life for both protégé and mentor. However, there are some steps you can take now as a protégé in order to enhance the benefit you receive from the program.

"First and foremost, people who would like to be mentored should consider carefully what they hope to gain from the experience," said Jeff Hardin, who coordinates the program. Hardin noted that each year, people coming into the program identify a variety of needs and set very different goals.

"Some employees envision a different role in their organizations, while some might have long-term career goals they would like to build a foundation around," Hardin said. "The CUaware Protégé Mentor program can meet just about any need, but the protégé has to come into the process with a clear understanding of what they want to accomplish."

In order to assist the protégé in setting goals, and both the protégé and mentor get off to a strong start, a resource page for the program provides tips and tools. For the protégé some general tips to consider are included, as well as SMART Goal tips and a personal SWOT analysis tool among other resources. "These can be great to work through before submitting an application," shared Hardin.

After the protégé and mentor pairings are announced, further resources include guidelines for getting the relationship off to a great start and some DISC profile tools (either free and fee-based) that may further support the relationship. "The strength of our program will always be its flexibility since credit union staff get pulled in so many directions," Hardin said "but these tools are provided as a way of putting some thoughtful structure into the very early parts of the process. We've found tools like these to be a great in setting folks up for success in the program."

If you have any questions about the program or need more information, please contact Jeff Hardin (919-457-9063). 

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Just three spots left for Principles & Philosophy: register today!

Posted By Jeff Hardin, Monday, September 11, 2017
Updated: Monday, September 11, 2017

UPDATE: the conference is now sold out. Please contact Jeff Hardin (919-457-9063) if you would like to be added to a waiting list, or to be contacted about the 2018 conference, to be held October 23-25 in Sophia, NC.

The 2017 Principles & Philosophy Conference is fast approaching and as of this week, just three spots are open for this year's class! Staff and volunteers interested in attending are encouraged to register very soon in order to secure a spot at this unique event. 

Now in its eighth year, the Principles & Philosophy Conference educates credit union staff about the history of the cooperative and credit union movements, shares the key differences between credit unions and banks, and offers participants a chance to learn about the changes in the financial services industry.

The conference is a "deep dive” into the Seven Cooperative Principles, as well as the social purpose of co-ops and credit unions. Participants leave with a greater understanding of just how special credit unions are, and how the Seven Cooperative Principles are at heart good business practices.

The event is perfect for younger professionals, as well as more seasoned employees who have come to your credit union from the banking industry. "The products and services and their delivery may look and feel very similar at credit unions and banks," said Jeff Hardin, conference coordinator for the League, "but the business models are fundamentally different from one another. It is vital that staff understand and apply those differences in order to maintain our cooperative nature in the long-term." 

If you have any questions about the conference, please contact Jeff Hardin (919-457-9063). To register, please click here


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Wear jeans, help kids. Miracle Jeans Day is September 13

Posted By Jeff Hardin, Tuesday, August 29, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Miracle Jeans Day is less than a month away—on Wednesday, September 13! Have you registered yet? We want to make even more miracles this year by having your credit union join the fun! 

Celebrating Miracle Jeans Day is an easy way to connect your credit union employees with your members as well as help kids in your community. When your staff donates $5 to your local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital, they are able to wear jeans to work on September 13. Visit today for more information. Let’s dress to make miracles!

Already Wear Jeans to Work?
Mark the day with something lively. You can always create your own fun theme that is uniquely you. For a $5 donation, your employees can dress with purpose in unique ways. Other credit unions have had a Miracle Cake Day, Miracle Flip Flops Day, a Miracle Hat Day, or even a Miracle Jersey Day. Or take advantage of the weekend and hold a Miracle Car Wash Day.

Every Dollar Counts
Medical treatments and equipment can get expensive quickly. At every Children’s Miracle Network Hospital, every cent makes a difference.

Did you know?

  •  62 children enter a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital for treatment every minute.
  • Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals treat one in ten children in North America annually.
  • Children’s Miracle Network Hospital emergency rooms treat 16,000 children every day.
  • Your entire donation will go directly to your local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital.  

A Big Thank You!
Thank you to the participating credit unions already registered: American Partners FCU, Carolina Trust FCU, ElecTel Cooperative FCU, Greenville Health Systems FCU and Local Government FCU. 

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