The Credit Union Foundation of Maryland and the District of Columbia has established the COVID-19 Response Fund to help member credit unions provide support for those affected by the pandemic.
“Credit unions now have another promising tool available to help relieve the financial stress many members are experiencing during the COVID-19 crisis,” says John Bratsakis, president/CEO. “In the spirit of our people helping people philosophy, the Foundation's Emergency Response Fund provides an opportunity for donors to directly support their community and offer relief to those struggling financially.”
Efforts are underway to encourage charitable support for the fund. Donations will allow the grant phase to proceed.
The board of directors of the Mountain West Credit Union Foundation recently made $250,000 available to assist affected communities in the three states it serves. The funds will provide relief for food insecurity, community stabilization, and mental health services.
“On behalf of credit unions in Arizona, Colorado, and Wyoming, the board of directors at the Mountain West Credit Union Foundation stands ready to assist our communities in this time of need,” says Dr. Dan Santangelo, executive director. “We’re working to ensure a better way back for many of those suffering as a result of this pandemic.”
Foundation Chair Todd Pearson has appointed three statewide committees to direct and deliver these funds to community organizations in the three states.
The Heartland Credit Union Charitable Foundation (HCUCF) is supporting credit unions through financial wellness and community development grants for member credit unions.
“In the midst of uncertainty, our credit unions are rolling up their sleeves and responding to the critical and emergent needs of communities in Kansas and Missouri,” says Andrea Robinson, executive director. “They are tackling very difficult challenges with the certainty that our industry will persevere and credit unions will serve people during every season.”
HCUCF has received several requests for financial wellness grants, including one that would help unbanked consumers by fighting predatory lending ahead of government stimulus payments. Another grant might be used to provide financial education to at-risk members.
Through HCUCF’s community development grants, credit unions are asking for support for local organizations, including helping school districts provide free lunches, funding healthcare workers and first responders, and providing emergency funding to members.
The Foundation invests in and through credit unions to enhance their ability to serve their members and their community, and is currently evaluating what additional relief efforts might arise as the pandemic evolves.
The Illinois Credit Union (ICU) Foundation has allocated $160,000 in funds for its new COVID-19 grants.
It's offering grants up to $2,000 to help small credit unions (up to $100 million in assets) offset unexpected COVID-related expenses. The focus for the grants is to help credit unions create and maintain a safe and healthy office environment, and the goal is to ensure the health and safety of credit union staff and members.
The ICU Foundation is also sponsoring CUNA’s Financial Counseling Certification Program to enable credit unions to train staff as financial counselors. This includes offering an accelerated program to enable participants to earn their credentials by the end of July and conducting train-the-trainer sessions so credit union staff can teach financial literacy using remote or online tools, such as reality fairs for teens.
The Northwest Credit Union Foundation is partnering with Philanthropy Northwest to run a fast, zero-interest emergency loan program that will reach low-income and undocumented workers across the Northwest.
The National Credit Union Foundation continued its new "Together Tuesday" video series this week. Hear what inspires Maurice Smith, CEO of Local Government FCU & Civic Federal Credit Union in Raleigh, N.C.
These are just a few examples of how state foundations are supporting communities and helping people through the crisis. There are 23 state foundations and the National Credit Union Foundation, all of which have programs and resources making a positive difference in our communities.