Before the CUNA Lending Council Conference attendees learn about the latest trends and updates in the world of lending, they got their hands dirty transforming a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., woman’s home.
The CUNA Lending Council partnered with the city of Fort Lauderdale’s Neighbor Volunteer Office on an Adopt-A-Neighbor program, which helps low-income, elderly, or disabled homeowners bring their properties into compliance.
The event took place Sunday in advance of the CUNA Lending Council Conference in Fort Lauderdale.
The volunteers completed landscaping tasks—such as trimming trees and bushes, pulling weeds, and raking debris—and painted the exterior of the bungalow.
With a team of 45 people, Frankhouse says the group was able to accomplish the same amount of work it would have taken on person five weeks to complete.
This type of volunteer event “gives back to our host city,” says Dale Frankhouse, CUNA Lending Council executive committee member and director of business services at $480 million asset Sun Federal Credit Union in Toledo, Ohio. “We try to leave something behind.”
Claire Ippoliti, chief lending officer at $460 million asset People First Federal Credit Union in Allentown, Penn., was the driving force behind establishing the first volunteer event at the CUNA Lending Council Conference eight years ago.
Ippoliti organized the effort after seeing the impact out-of-town volunteers had on the Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005.
“We are always challenged with awareness and getting the word out about what credit unions do,” Ippoliti says, adding that volunteer events give credit unions the chance to work with people in the community and share what we’re all about. “We’re not just financial institutions; we’re about people helping people.”
Liz Burt, a volunteer with the Neighbor Volunteer Office, says she was impressed with the credit union volunteers. They were self-motivated to make a difference in the Fort Lauderdale homeowner’s life and knew exactly what needed to be done to transform the home, which the elderly woman’s parents built years ago.
“This means a lot to her to see her daddy’s house being brought back to its former glory,” Burt says.