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.
Posted By Jeff Hardin,
Tuesday, July 01, 2014
Updated: Tuesday, July 01, 2014
Principle Seven: Concern for Community. Since credit unions are locally owned financial institutions, they are committed to investing in the community.
Seven staff members at Georgetown Kraft Credit Union accepted the cold water challenge, raising $210 for Victory Junction Gang in the process.
With the weather heating up in South Carolina's Low Country, employees and members of Georgetown Kraft Credit Union (GKCU) found a nifty way to beat the heat and raise funds for a great cause! Early in June, employees at the GKCU Georgetown branch accepted a “cold water challenge” from co-workers at the nearby Pawleys Island office.
The cold water challenge was a Facebook donation experiment that went viral in the community. If someone did not accept the challenge they had to donate money to a charity chosen by the person who challenged them. If they did accept the challenge, they paid towards the charity of their choice.
"We had seven people accept the challenge, and along with other gifts and a matching donation from the credit union, we raised $210 for Victory Junction," shared Nikki Ewing, GKCU's marketing director. Ewing was one of the staff members who had a cooler filled with chilled water poured over her head to fulfill the challenge.
"People helping people is the credit union philosophy, one that GKCU puts into action both with our members and outside our offices in the communities we serve," Ewing noted in a donation letter to the camp in Randleman, NC. "We have been a long time supporter of Victory Junction Gang Camp and we are so happy to be able to make this donation on behalf of all the kids and families you help every day," she concluded.
Posted By Jeff Hardin,
Thursday, May 15, 2014
Updated: Thursday, May 15, 2014
Principle Five:Education, training, and information. Credit unions provide financial education to their members as well as the communities they serve.
Credit Union recently held a "Kid’s Outdoor Movie Night” to culminate
its National Credit Union Youth Week celebration. The event was held on April
25th at the Candler, NC branch, located at 1453 Sand Hill Road, with
lots of pizza, popcorn, candy and soda for everyone.
This year’s Youth Week theme was Catch the $ave Wave™, in
hopes of harnessing the excitement for beaches, sand and surfing and to show
younger members how they can benefit from visiting — and saving at — their
credit union. The credit union also got their members involved by asking them to
go online and vote for their choice of four movies that fit the week’s theme
and the movie "Finding Nemo” received the most votes. This event was open to
credit union members and non-members alike.
businesses were also involved and supported by agreeing to sponsor certain
elements of the event. These businesses included Coca-Cola of Asheville, Fletcher
Car Care, Clean Streak Inc. of Mills River and Sam’s Club of Hendersonville. Biltmore
Baptist Church provided an inflatable bounce house as well as the audio / video
equipment and local radio station, 99.9 KISS Country, was on site doing a live
remote during the two hours leading up to movie time.
"We want our community to know that kids are
important to us and this is a fun way to show it,” said Chris Angel, Business
Development Director. "Our Youth Financial Education tools are a great way to
engage kids, including my two daughters, in realizing the importance of savings
also encouraged children to print out and color their choice of two coloring
pages that were returned to their local branch for display. Our branches were
decorated with a fun, beach theme throughout April and each one gave away
several fun prizes, including several cash prizes valued at up to $50.
Allegacy in 2011, the Center for Smart Financial Choices provides financial
education to help people make healthy choices in dealing with money. A holistic
viewpoint is encouraged through the Center’s hands-on approach which
incorporates the individual’s strengths, knowledge, values and goals.
CUaware group learned about the non-profit agency’s youth financial education
programs, the Center offers educational opportunities covering every aspect of
a person’s life cycle. Betty Ann Falkner, who oversees the programs and
outreach of the center, directed the lunch & learn event with the 20 credit
union staff in attendance.
our first lunch and learn event and we were thrilled to hear about the programs
of the center,” shared Jessica Dillon (Piedmont Advantage CU) of the
CUaware-Triad group. "The Center invites credit unions to partner with them to
help provide financial education to the community. We had a few people sign up
to volunteer at upcoming Center events, so there was obviously a lot of
excitement about the message.”
attendees to volunteer with the Center, and then engaged the group in a short
youth financial education exercise. "We appreciated this opportunity to spread
the word about the Center’s programs, goals and mission,” said Falkner. "The
group had a little fun at the end with the Adult
for A Day experiential learning program we do with middle and high school
students as well.”
Adult for A Day puts students in the place of
their parents, with each participant given a job, income level and credit
score. They must then navigate through a series of life choices in key areas of
budgeting in adult life, including housing, transportation, and utilities.
to experiential learning exercises like Adult
for A Day, the Center offers workshops and other classes designed to help
people make better choices about money. The Center was envisioned by retired
Allegacy FCU CEO Ike Keener as a community resource and touch point for
enhanced cooperation among credit unions in Winston-Salem/Forsyth County.
programs are available for members and non-members of credit unions to attend.
For more information about the Center for Smart Financial Choices, please go
to their web site.
You may also keep up with the Center’s activities by liking its Facebook page.
Posted By Jeff Hardin,
Monday, March 31, 2014
Updated: Monday, March 31, 2014
Principle Seven: Concern for community. Since credit unions are locally owned financial institutions, they are committed to investing in the community.
Self-Help Credit Union announced a partnership with Bank of America and the Tory Burch Foundation to provide loans to female entrepreneurs in North Carolina and three South Carolina counties. The initiative is part of a two-year, $10 million lending effort in selected regions & cities across the country.
Called Elizabeth Street Capital, the funding initiative will provide loans of $1,000 and up to women-owned businesses. Loan recipients will also benefit from mentoring and networking opportunities. Self-Help will administer the loans.
Posted By Jeff Hardin,
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Updated: Tuesday, March 25, 2014
(Editor's note: Amanda Crawford, the marketing manager at Carolina Foothills FCU, attended the Winter DE program in Chapel Hill, NC in January. Amanda shares her thoughts about CUDE and the role of credit unions in the financial system.)
Amanda Crawford (second from right) is pictured at her CUDE graduation with Lois Kitsch (National CU Foundation), Sue Douglas (State Employees' CU) and Gerry Singleton (CUNA Mutual Group).
"Amanda, do you want to go to CUDE
training?” "Sure” I said with hesitation in my voice because I didn’t really
know what DE was. But that would change
my whole outlook on how I do my job and how I look at the credit union industry
as a whole.
My DE experience was amazing, fun
filled, enlightening and something I will never forget. I went in not
knowing what I had gotten myself into but came out with a brand new outlook on
what we are here for as credit union professionals! Learning the core operating principles of why credit unions were created changed the way I look
at day-to-day practices. I was fortunate enough to have Sue Douglas from
State Employees' CU as my mentor. She
was a great mentor and a wealth of knowledge.
She drove our group to really think outside the box and to look at the credit union movement with different eyes.
Credit unions were created with a social purpose and if we lose that, we
lose our identity as credit unions. I believe that everyone from the
tellers to CEOs should experience DE so that they can witness the real
differences of a credit union and bank. Unfortunately, I think we as CU
professionals rest on the statement of "we have lower loan rates, high dividend
rates and great service” when people ask what is the difference in credit
unions and banks; an as credit unions we are so much more than that!
Another highlight was learning the "secret DE handshake” (my other DE
counterparts will get that)!
Amanda Crawford was born in Greenville, SC on July 31, 1982. Raised in Taylors, SC, Amanda graduated
from Greenville Technical College in 2006 with a AA in Graphic Design. She began
working for Liberty Federal Credit Union right out of high school in 2000,
found her way to Carolina Foothills FCU in March of 2001, and while finishing her
degree worked as a teller. After finishing her degree, Amanda was
hired in the marketing department as the marketing assistant and in 2008 was
given the opportunity to become the marketing manager.
Amanda says she loves being involved in the community and providing financial
education. She is currently involved with Junior Achievement in the
Upstate and American Cancer Society. Amanda participated in the 2013
SCCUL (now CUaware) Protégé competition as the Upstate Representative. Amanda currently serves as CUaware’s Communications Director. She received her CUDE designation in January 2014! Amanda says she loves her credit union, the
movement it represents ... as well as the Clemson Tigers!