Soon after a devastating line of tornadoes hit Kentucky and other states Dec. 10, credit union leaders and the Kentucky Credit Union League came together to determine how to help storm victims.
“We’ve been through other events, but not anything near as devastating as how this impacted Kentucky,” says Ray Springsteen, president/CEO of $1.9 billion asset Abound Credit Union in Radcliff, Ky. “When something like this happens, we all come together to help each other.”
Credit unions mobilized across Kentucky. For Abound, the tornadoes’ biggest impact came in Taylor County and Warren County, where the credit union has branches in Campbellsville and Bowling Green.
No Abound employees were directly impacted, but credit union members and family members saw significant property damage.
Abound announced it would match up to $5,000 in donations made by Dec. 31, 2021, with the funds being split evenly between the Warren County Public Schools Synergy Relief Fund and Taylor County Schools’ Caring for Kids Tornado Relief Drive.
Within three days, members donated $15,000.
“It’s amazing to see our members—and even our vendors—come together to help Kentuckians through this,” Springsteen says.
Abound is also offering two storm-relief loans. Storm victims may apply for personal loans up to $25,000 or personal lines of credit up to $15,000. The personal loans offer quick approval, flexible payments, and up to 90 days until the first payment is due.
In the immediate aftermath of the tornadoes, the highest demand for the storm-relief loans has been from members who already have loans with Abound.
“We handled this similarly to the way we handled relief for members with loans at the beginning of the pandemic,” Springsteen says. “We put that program right back into place, helping members in need to provide temporary relief.”
Other credit unions also showed their support for those affected by the storms.
Greater Texas Credit Union in Austin donated $15,000 in Visa gift cards to people across the five affected states the credit union delivered 250 gift cards—in denominations of $50 and $100—to the Austin Disaster Relief Network.
The non-profit organization is working with a sister relief agency in Kentucky to distribute the gift cards to people who lost their homes during the storms.
“Our hearts and our prayers are with each person affected by these tornados,” says Howard N. Baker, president/CEO at the $876 million asset credit union. “Their lives will never be the same, but we hope these gift cards will be an encouragement to them and allow them to buy the things they need most during this devastating time.”
University of Kentucky Federal Credit Union in Lexington has teamed up with the American Red Cross Bluegrass Chapter for a $25,000 donation to help people struggling with the tornadoes impact. The $1.2 billion asset credit union is also matching donations up to $45,000 for a maximum donation of $70,000.