“You’ve made my day.”
That was a common reaction during the Kansas Credit Union Association’s (KCUA) third annual “Make a Difference” event Oct. 9, when 17 state credit unions distributed $23,000 worth of gas, gift cards, and cash at 10 retail locations— all while promoting the credit union difference.
The effort, which took place during International Credit Union Month, was part of KCUA’s statewide Make a Difference awareness campaign, which puts into action credit unions’ “people helping people” philosophy.
Recipients reacted with surprise, tears, and profound gratitude.
“One man initially took the money, but then asked us to give it to someone more in need than he was,” recalls Angie Reed, marketing/ business development manager at Kansas State University Federal Credit Union in Manhattan, which gave individuals $25 in cash.
“Sometimes we don’t realize what other people are going through,” says Adrianne Basham, a business development staff member at Central Star Credit Union, Wichita, after one recipient gave the gift card to her son who had recently lost his job.
Credit union volunteers coordinate activities at each location, and do not promote the events in advance. Only the association, credit unions, and the partnering businesses know when and where each event will take place.
“Our efforts have the greatest impact when they’re unexpected, says Susan Dyer, KCUA communications director. “We want to brighten someone’s day, and we hope people on the receiving end pass it on so it has a ripple effect in the community.”
“Teasers” were posted on Facebook and Twitter, such as, “People, not profit. It’s #theCUway. Wichita will live it on 10/9.”
To date, Kansas credit unions have given away $45,000 through three Make a Difference events.
More events are in store for 2014.
Unite for Good on ICU Day
International Credit Union Day, celebrated the third Thursday in October, brings out dozens of stories related to the national Unite for Good campaign—examples of credit unions removing barriers, creating awareness, and fostering service excellence. The campaign continues to rally credit unions to work toward the goal in which Americans choose credit unions as their best financial partner.
Share your stories at uniteforgood.org.