With West Virginia floods resulting in 26 deaths and thousands of homes and business destroyed, the West Virginia Credit Union League (WVCUL) and local credit unions have launched efforts to support relief. A total of $35,000 will be donated to West Virginia native Brad Paisley’s GoFundMe account for the flood victims.
“Before Paisley’s public announcement, we had been in contact with Sen. [Joe] Manchin’s staff who have been working in the flooded areas and are aware that immediate needs are being met by a generous outpouring of support. They emphasized that a sustained effort will be needed in the coming weeks,” said Ken Watts, WVCUL president. “The senator’s staff suggested we reach out to Brad’s team since they have successfully raised and distributed flood relief funds in the past.”
WVCUL has allocated $25,000 from the West Virginia League Designated Fund of the National Credit Union Foundation. In addition, a $10,000 grant from the Credit Unions Care Foundation of Virginia was also used for relief.
“There has been so much devastation in numerous parts of our state leaving many people with nothing except the clothes on their back,” Watts said. ‘We are grateful to the Virginia credit unions for their generous gift, and, paired with our $25,000 contribution, we will put it to good use."
Paisley tweeted a thanks to the WVCUL Friday to his more than 3.88 million followers.
Thank you @wvcul for the 35k donation! Mountaineer pride.— Brad Paisley (@BradPaisley) July 1, 2016
To date, 10 West Virginia counties have been designated as federal disaster areas by the federal government.
The WVCUL is currently aware of one credit union employee, Scott Schoolcraft of Star USA FCU, Charleston, W.Va., who lost his home and most of his possessions in the flooding.
“We will be making a direct donation to Scott and his family very soon to ease their burden during this stressful time, while distributing additional funds to service organizations helping with flood relief,” Watts said.
The WVCUL reached out to credit unions in the state, explaining that credit unions and others who wish to contribute to the disaster relief fund can do so in one of two ways:
As of Wednesday, June 29, credit unions in West Virginia had not reported any flood damage or interruption of operations.
The League Designated Fund of the National Credit Union Foundation is governed locally, and typically provides scholarships to credit union staff and volunteers, and provides aid in times of natural disasters.
In the event of a natural disaster, the National Credit Union Foundation works with the local credit union league to see if the need warrants a national CUAid campaign activation and fundraising efforts.