BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (4/22/08)--Responding to an appeal by the National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF), credit union supporters from across the country have reallocated over $180,000 in California wildfire relief donations to help credit union people wherever and wherever a major disaster strikes. The appeal enabled NCUF to use CU Aid to make 17 more grants so far totaling over $87,000 for credit union employees and members who lost their homes after tornadoes ripped through Alabama. “Thanks to the generosity of CU Aid donors in 31 other states, we were able to make meaningful grants of up to $10,000 to credit union families in Alabama,” reported NCUF Executive Director Steve Delfin. Limited grant dollars are still available for credit union people who suffered unrecoverable losses from the Alabama tornadoes and the California wildfires. Speaking at the Alabama Credit Union League Annual Meeting last week, Delfin noted that June 1 marks the official beginning of Hurricane Season. “Now we are encouraging credit union supporters in every state to consider donating through CU Aid before the next major disaster, wherever it may hit,” Delfin emphasized. “A critical component of disaster preparedness is disaster relief fundraising,” explained Delfin, a former disaster relief fundraiser for the American Red Cross national headquarters. “While it is human nature to want to give in response to a disaster, we encourage credit unions to consider making disaster relief contributions now in advance so we can push funds out the door as soon as a disaster strikes.” Delfin said the most important aspect of disaster relief fundraising is to build the capacity to do it into the credit union’s disaster preparedness and business continuity plans. “CU Aid provides the tools to do that if your interest is helping credit unions affected by major disasters.” NCUF has restructured the CU Aid donation form so it can channel relief money efficiently to any major disaster area that impacts credit unions, employees, volunteers and members. NCUF dedicates 100% of disaster relief donations to grants. It does not use disaster relief donations to pay for the cuaid.coop Web platform, travel to disaster areas, or any of the foundation's costs to administer the national disaster relief program for credit unions. CU Aid was developed by NCUF in cooperation with state credit union foundations, state credit union leagues, and the Credit Union National Association’s Disaster Preparedness Committee.