news.cuna.org/articles/115262-a-family-refuge
A family refuge
Community members participate in Hawaii First FCU’s financial wellness activities at the Ohana First event. “Ohana” means “family” in Hawaiian.

A family refuge

Hawaii First FCU’s Community Resource Centers help families meet financial and social challenges.

January 4, 2019

Hawaii First Federal Credit Union’s two Community Resource Centers enable families to address financial and social challenges.

The centers provide home ownership and job counseling, computer access, income tax preparation, personal financial education, credit counseling, and elder abuse prevention.

The $41 million asset credit union in Kamuela opened its first center in 2008 in the midst of the Great Recession, “when lots of people were in despair,”says President/CEO Laura  Aguirre.

The credit union’s designation as a Community Development Financial Institution provided the impetus for the center, she says. The second center opened in 2011.

Aguirre says the community views the centers as a refuge. “We never put limits on how we help people,” she says. “People helping people means more than just their finances.”