The League of Southeastern Credit Unions & Affiliates (LSCU) and the Southeastern Credit Union Foundation (SECUF) put its resources and teams to good use in the past week since Hurricane Idalia crashed through Florida’s Big Bend Region and South Georgia.
More than 2,000 credit union branches and offices were impacted by the massive storm’s effects last week, though thankfully the vast majority escaped mostly unscathed. For those hit hardest by Idalia, LSCU and SECUF have begun delivering direct assistance to help them recover and rebuild.
Starting the day after Idalia made landfall, LSCU team members have made a half-dozen visits to hard-hit credit unions in the Perry and Valdosta areas. Thanks to the generosity of SECUF supporters, LSCU staff was able to deliver nearly 30 generators, countless gas cans, and numerous power cords, as well as dozens of cases of bottled water and truckloads of non-perishable food and essential items to the employees and volunteers of impacted credit unions.
In addition, LSCU team members brought a spread of hot Sonny’s BBQ to credit union staff in Perry on Friday, many of whom were overjoyed to receive a hot meal amid the devastation wrought by the storm.
"We hold fast to the credit union mantra of ‘people helping people’ in everything we do, but it’s in moments like these that those words really come to life and fuel our movement,” said Samantha Beeler, president of LSCU, who visited Perry-area credit union staff yesterday. “I am tremendously grateful for the generosity of our supporters and to our staff members who have helped deliver generators, water, and other critical items to credit union teams in their hour of need, and I continue to be inspired by the tenacity and resiliency of our credit unions. Know that LSCU is here for you, and that credit unions are the heartbeat of our communities.”
SECUF has established disaster relief funds for credit union staff and volunteers who require further assistance. These funds encompass necessities like food, water, shelter, and more, providing support for both immediate and long-term recovery. The grant portal for credit unions impacted by Hurricane Idalia opened on Sept. 1, and numerous applications have already been received.
"The Southeastern Credit Union Foundation is honored to provide disaster relief assistance, either through direct deliveries of generators and essential items or through grant funding, to our credit unions and their staff impacted by storms like Hurricane Idalia,” said Bobbi Grady, director of the Foundation. “We are incredibly grateful to our supporters from across the southeast and beyond for their generosity that allows us to make a significant impact on the lives and livelihoods of our credit unions, their team members, and the communities they serve, especially when they need us most."
In keeping with the credit union movement’s mantra of people helping people, LSCU and SECUF are honored to support our credit unions in their hours of need. We invite them to reach out to us for any guidance or assistance they may require so they can get back to doing what they do best – serving their communities. Numerous impacted credit unions have already applied for grant assistance, with more anticipated to apply in the coming days, and LSCU and SECUF appreciate the committed support of credit unions and community members alike.
More information on disaster relief efforts can be found here.