MADISON, Wis. (3/31/15)--Wednesday is Financial Fitness Day--and also the start of National Financial Literacy Month and National Credit Union Youth Month.
To celebrate Financial Fitness Day, the National Credit Union Foundation invites credit union organizations to participate in the daylong fundraising activities.
To participate in the event, which raises funds for the foundation and for state credit union foundations in order to support their respective financial literacy initiatives, credit union organizations could hold one or more of the following fundraisers:
A jeans or casual day for staff, where staffers donate money to wear casual clothing to work;
A bake sale for staff or members; and
A "Deduct or Donate a Buck" event, where credit unions ask their staff and members to consider making a voluntary donation as they complete their transactions, or deducting a certain amount of money from their checking or savings account.
Resources for the fundraisers can be found at financialfitnessday.com. Donations made during the day will be split evenly between the foundation and state credit union foundations.
Responding to demand from credit unions for a month-long celebration, National Credit Union Youth Week grows into National Credit Union Youth Month in 2015. The month-long celebration extends the time in which credit unions can connect and convey to their members the importance of financial education at a young age.
The month's theme, "Wild About Saving," was chosen from ideas submitted by credit union staff nationwide.
Trish Fuller, loan officer at Abbeville (S.C.) Community CU, is prepared for National Credit Union Youth Month's "Wild About Saving" theme. (Abbeville Community CU Photo)
Abbeville (S.C.) Community CU has already decorated its branch with inflatable jungle animals in celebration of the theme.
CUNA will also sponsor its annual National Youth Saving Challenge during April. The contest will reward 25 savers with $100 cash prizes. Last year, 8,844 new accounts were opened, and 94,466 young members deposited more than $20.5 million into savings accounts during the month-long challenge.
Redwood CU (RCU), Santa Rosa, Calif., will celebrate National Credit Union Youth Month with two contests to promote good saving habits for children and teenagers.
RCU members ages 13 through 17 are invited to submit a 150-word description of their current saving plan and goal. One winner from each Redwood branch will be picked to demonstrate sound saving principles. Each winner will receive a $50 deposit to his or her savings account. An overall winner will also have his or her submission published in RCU's Jr. Partner Post, a quarterly newsletter for RCU's teen members.
Members 12 or younger can participate in a coloring contest by downloading and completing a "What Are You Saving For?" coloring sheet featuring RCU's mascot Reddy the Redwood. Each coloring sheet features a word bubble where kids can write or draw what they are saving for, and one winner from each branch will have $50 deposited into his or her savings account.
The credit unions of the Cornerstone Credit Union League's Pineywoods Chapter are giving free movie tickets to each member who opens a new youth account in April (Leaguer March 27).
Using images designed by CUNA specifically for National Credit Union Youth Month, the chapter developed a wrapper for Sunday's edition of the local newspaper.
As National Financial Literacy Month, April also provides credit unions with an opportunity to help their members understand that financial education is the first step toward financial independence.
The National Credit Union Administration plans to introduce new information resources, including a Financial Literacy Resources webpage and a video on understanding payday lending, during April.
"An educated consumer can make better choices to build financial security, and creating those educated consumers is an important part of NCUA's mission," NCUA Chair Debbie Matz said. "During Financial Literacy Month, we encourage credit unions to take advantage of NCUA's financial literacy resources and programing to help their members become more informed."
The agency will also host a webinar for credit unions, "Your Mission into Action: Developing Youth Financial Literacy and Savings Programs," April 22, beginning at 2 p.m. (ET.) On the same day, will moderate a financial literacy Twitter chat at 11 a.m. (ET).
NCUA will participate in the Financial Literacy Day event on Capitol Hill April 24 to educate lawmakers, congressional staffers, and the public about federally insured credit unions and the role of NCUA.
Recognizing National Financial Literacy Month, Justice FCU, Chantilly, Va., reminds its membership that it provides free access to money management and financial education services through ACCEL Members Financial Counseling.