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82000 raised by CUAid for hurricane victims
MADISON, Wis. (11/5/12)--As of 2 p.m. Friday, the National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) had raised more than $82,000 through CUAid.coop, the credit union movement's Disaster Relief Fund, to aid credit union staff, volunteers and members directly impacted by Superstorm Sandy's assault last week on the East Coast and Mid-Atlantic states.

"The outpouring of support and assistance from credit union organizations in just a few days has been inspiring and amazing to behold," said Christopher Morris, NCUF's director of communications.

"I even heard from a mid-size credit union across the country in California today that is planning on holding a 'jeans day' for staff starting next week to raise funds specifically for CUAid," he told News Now Friday afternoon. "The 'people helping people' philosophy is thriving this week."

Credit union supporters in every state can donate at www.cuaid.coop (use the link). CUAid is the only program of its kind that enables credit union employees, volunteers, and members, as well as credit unions and credit union organizations across the U.S., to contribute directly to support other credit union people.

NCUF will coordinate with the credit union leagues in the disaster area to distribute money efficiently to affected credit union employees and members. One hundred percent of the donations through CUAid goes to credit union disaster relief. If all donations are not used for Hurricane Sandy relief, NCUF will transfer unused funds to its "General Disaster Relief fund" for future disaster relief efforts.

The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), since activating its disaster relief policy on Tuesda,  is monitoring 2,000 credit unions in the region and has  list of known credit unions impacted by the storm on a special Hurricane Sandy Information page on its website. Use the link. Last week its consumer assistance hotline (800-755-1030, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday) experienced a higher-than-usual call volume. (See related News Now story: "Hurricane: NCUA reminds CUs, members help is available.")

The agency has established grants of up to $7,500 for low-income credit unions to help restore operations and make repairs and approved its first grant application last week for New York University FCU.  For more information, use the grants link. New York University FCU was the first credit union to apply to NCUA for its emergency grants to restore service. It applied on Wednesday and approval was made Thursday, said NCUA.

The New Jersey Credit Union League has posted the grant application and procedures for assistance for those affected. Use the link for more information.

Other efforts to provide aid for Sandy's victims related to credit unions include a statewide Disaster Relief Fund reactivated by the Credit Union Association of New York through the New York Credit Union Foundation to assist credit union employees, staff and members in that state.See the link. Association President/CEO William J. Mellin said credit unions will get a toolkit soon to help them with the relief effort.

A number of organizations, including state credit union foundations are working with NCUF for CUAid.coop.  CO-OP Financial Services gave $10,000 as soon as the fund was activated. CU Direct Corp., a lending solutions provider for credit unions, said Friday it has donated $10,000 as well.

Individual credit unions, in addition to providing funds for credit union folks, also are collecting for immediate disaster relief agencies such as the American Red Cross. Redwood CU in Santa Rosa, Calif., said its branches are collecting contributions for the Red Cross. The Credit Union National Association urged staff at its Madison, Wis., offices to give blood at the American Red Cross.

The NCUA is also launching a clothing drive for credit union members and employees affected by the hurricane, which will be delivered to the New Jersey league office in Hightstown next week, said the league's updates.

The assistance is needed. The New Jersey league said that hurricane deductibles for Sandy-related claims will not be applicable. The New Jersey Department of Banking & Insurance said the hurricane deductible trigger will not apply in the state because the National Weather Service had downgraded Sandy from a Category One hurricane to a Post-Tropical Cyclone just before it reached landfall. The department has issued guidelines. Use the DOBI guidelines link.
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