First DE Day of Service makes a difference worldwide
Credit Union Development Educators (DEs) around the world worked individually and collectively June 15 to complete projects to improve members’ lives to celebrate the first DE Day of Service.
Earlier this year, the CUDE Advisory Committee suggested that National Credit Union Foundation hold a DE Day of Service to celebrate the DE designation and to make lasting changes within the communities served by their credit unions.
“DEs are passionate credit union advocates instilled with the knowledge and tools to make a difference in their members’ lives post-training,” said Christopher Morris, Foundation director of communications.
“When we put out a call for the very first DE Day of Service, we knew we’d get a good response, but the activities that took place were all impactful and inspiring,” Morris added. “Whether it was raising money, donating items and money, volunteering, teaching useful skills and so much more, DEs worked hard collectively to strengthen their communities.”
Here’s just a sampling of the DEs’ projects:
- In Nairobi, Kenya, DEs at ACCOSCA (African Confederation of Cooperative Savings & Credit Associations) visited and helped out at Happy Life Children’s Home, where they donated much-needed supplies and met some of the children.
- In Arizona DEs volunteered at Ben's Bells, a local nonprofit organization. They painted Ben's Bells pieces that are handmade and spread randomly throughout the community as a reminder to practice intentional kindness.
- At SchoolsFirst FCU, Santa Ana, Calif., DEs packed 680 boxes of food at the OC Food Bank for its Food for Seniors Program.
- Australian-born DE Mark Lynch made boomerangs for upcoming DE auctions. Proceeds from the auctions provide scholarships to individuals who otherwise would not be able to attend the DE training program.
The foundation's DE training provides critical lessons in cooperative principles, credit union philosophy and international development issues while incorporating challenges credit unions face today.
During the weeklong DE training, participants are involved in group exercises, field trips, encouraged to ask questions of visiting speakers, and are required to complete team projects proposing solutions for credit unions to help alleviate or eliminate challenging situations in any given area.
Since 1982, more than 1,500 credit union advocates from more than 35 countries have graduated from DE Training to become DEs.