MADISON, Wis. (11/6/14)--The sweet taste of success. Credit unions in the states that participated in last month's CU Lunch Local event to celebrate International Credit Union Day know all about it.
CU Lunch Local, formed three years ago by the Michigan Business Connection, is a type of cash mob where, on a specific day, credit union employees fan out into their communities and eat lunch at locally run businesses.
This year, credit unions from a baker's dozen of states spent more than $100,000 munching locally, according to in-Fusion Group.
"Individually, credit unions are doing amazing things. Collectively, it speaks volumes," said Anne Cochran, president/CEO of the Louisiana Credit Union League. "To say that Louisiana credit unions were able to give back to local communities in the amount of $30,000 is something we should be extremely proud of."
The participation rate from credit unions in Louisiana this year climbed by 36%, according to the league, but the Bayou State wasn't the only one with credit unions lunching out on the town en masse.
In Michigan, 44 credit unions participated, spending more than $45,000 at local businesses this year.
Illinois saw a number of credit unions participating in the event as well, and in various ways.
Abri CU, Romeoville, Ill., with $313 million in assets, for example, traveled to local restaurants and paid for people's coffee or soft drinks.
And Valley Bell CU, Elgin, Ill., with $14 million in assets, went to a local pizza place and bought pizza for its entire staff. The credit union also provided each staff and board member--14 in all--a $5 gift card to Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks to give to someone in line at a grocery story as a random act of kindness.
The full list of states that participated in this year's CU Lunch Local event were Michigan, Louisiana, Ohio, Delaware, North Dakota, South Dakota, Illinois, Florida, Pennsylvania, Nebraska, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.
"The seventh cooperative principle is concern for community, and CU Lunch Local is a perfect showcase for our shared cooperative values," said Jeff Hardin, director of cooperative initiatives for the Carolinas Credit Union League, which also reported strong activity. "With International Credit Union Week happening in October, CU Lunch Local gives credit union members, employees and volunteers the chance to combine forces and show their community spirit in a very visible way."
Next year's lunch local event is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 13. Anyone interested in learning more or getting involved can contact Jessica Richardson-Isenegger at firstname.lastname@example.org