Credit union foundations, with support from leagues and credit unions, are providing relief assistance throughout the states they serve as the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic touches every corner of the nation.
The Iowa Credit Union Foundation (ICUF) launched a new Emergency Relief Fund to assist Iowans during the pandemic, which has caused a major disruption to the state’s economy, the income of many Iowans, and the health of small businesses across the state.
Under the leadership of Executive Director Jaimie Miller, the fund has raised more than $675,000 with donations still streaming in.
“Founded during the devastating floods of 1993, the Foundation is here to help again in this time of economic uncertainty,” says Miller. “This emergency fund was created with generous donations from credit unions, businesses, and individuals, enabling us to do more to help vulnerable Iowans and communities across the state.”
ICUF received more than 11,000 grant applications in 72 hours, 10% of which were from small businesses that may not qualify for other financial assistance, before closing the application process.
The Southeast Credit Union Foundation (SECUF) invited League of Southeastern Credit Unions (LSCU) credit unions in Georgia, Florida, and Alabama to join the #CreditUnionsCareChallenge. By doing so, credit unions commit at least $25 per employee, which the employee will use to carry out a good deed while supporting a local business of their choice.
To double the impact, SECUF will match every dollar contributed by member credit unions up to $25 per employee. The credit union will choose a local organization or charity to receive these matched funds as a donation.
SECUF’s contributions are made possible in part by industry donors, including CUNA Mutual Group and premier donor Corporate America Credit Union, which donated $100,000 to the effort.
“Credit unions are integral parts of their local communities,” says Patrick La Pine, LSCU CEO. “We’re excited to see what deeds employees carry out and local businesses they support. This effort lines up perfectly with the credit union motto of people helping people.”
SECUF began the initiative to answer the challenge put forth by First Commerce Credit Union, Tallahassee, Fla., in its ambitious #LocalStrong campaign. The credit union distributed more than $4,000 to local businesses through the initiative.
The Carolinas Credit Union Foundation activated its Disaster Relief Aid Program to support credit union employees in the Carolinas with COVID-19 Relief Grants. In week one, the foundation disbursed nearly $12,000 in grants, and it expects to process more than 100 grants during the second week, says President Lauren Whaley. The foundation has roughly $400,000 available to disburse due to contributions from member credit unions.
Grants are available to credit union employees experiencing significant financial hardships due to loss of household income related to the pandemic, she says. “We are offering grants up to $1,000 to help credit union employees pay for essential living expenses such as rent or mortgage, utilities, and food.”
In partnership with the Carolinas Credit Union League, the foundation also provided a grant to cover the expense of two webinars for credit unions with less than $100 million in assets.
“We recognize that all organizations are watching expenses and making tough decisions,” says Dan Schline, Carolinas League president. “Hopefully this will help, at least a little, as you continue to give your team members the education and training opportunities they need to be successful.”