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CUAid More than 100K raised as CUs help with Sandy relief
MADISON, Wis. (11/7/12)--State credit union leagues, individual credit unions and the National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) have raised more than $100,000 to provide relief for credit unions and their members since activating the online disaster relief system, CUAid.coop, after Hurricane Sandy swept along parts of the East Coast causing devastating damages.

Also, the New Jersey and New York credit union leagues have made information available for their member credit unions to obtain relief grants, Christopher Morris, NCUF director of communications, told News Now.

"The devastation in New Jersey has impacted millions of people's lives. We continue to deal with a gasoline shortage, lack of basic necessities for those who have lost their homes and many are still without power. With the temperature dropping and a Northeaster approaching later this week, we need resources to ensure basic needs are met for those most impacted," said Paul Gentile, president/CEO of the New Jersey Credit Union League. "I have been touched by the outreach we have received from credit unions and credit union system organizations throughout the country. It is so valuable to have a fund like CU Aid available to concentrate fundraising efforts."

"The damage from Hurricane Sandy continues to impact many New York credit unions, their employees and members. Countless remain without power, heat and other basic necessities, while some have completely lost their homes," said William J. Mellin, president/CEO of the Credit Union Association of New York. "The need for financial assistance is great, which is why I am asking everyone to open your hearts and give whatever you can. To those that have already donated to help our credit union family, thank you!" 

"In just seven days, we've raised over $100,000 with donations ranging from $10 to $10,000," said Morris. "It's inspiring to see so many credit unions stepping up yet again to help those in need."

Credit union supporters in every state can now make donations at www.cuaid.coop.

As donations are posted through CUAid.coop, NCUF is coordinating with the New Jersey Credit Union League and the Credit Union Association of New York 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. In the event that all donations are not used for Hurricane Sandy relief, NCUF will transfer any and all unused funds to its "General Disaster Relief fund" for future disaster relief efforts.

Mellin sent out a video message asking for the New York credit union community to provide financial support to New York's 150-plus credit unions and two million credit union members impacted by Sandy. To view the video, click on the embedded link.



Among the contributors, the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association (PCUA), Pacul Services Inc., and the Pennsylvania Credit Union Foundation made a combined $6,000 donation to CUAid (Life is a Highway Nov. 6). "Our hearts go out to the people and credit unions that were impacted by this historic storm," said Jim McCormack, PCUA president/CEO. "It is in the spirit of cooperation and people helping people that we send these donations to help the victims recovering from this latest disaster."

Other than massive power outages, Pennsylvania was spared major damage, PCUA said.

The Texas Credit Union Foundation (TCUF) Board of Trustees has approved a grant of $5,000 for hurricane relief efforts (Professional Service Close-up Nov. 6).

"When Hurricanes Ike and Rita struck southeast Texas, the credit union movement came to our aid," said TCUF Executive Director Courtney Moran. "The support we received from credit unions across the country allowed us to respond to the immediate needs of credit union employees affected by the devastating hurricanes. That is one of the many wonderful things about the credit union movement, we are a family that helps and supports one another in good times and in bad."

Individual credit unions nationwide are helping out as well.

For instance, Peninsula Community FCU, with $134 million in assets and based in Shelton, Wash., has chosen to donate to CUAid because it realizes credit unions and their members have all been stricken by the loss and ongoing struggle of the victims of Hurricane Sandy on the east coast, the credit union said in a release Monday. As people work together to dig out from the devastation, it is imperative that they are able to access financial services, Peninsula Community said.

"Credit Unions support their communities and, when devastation hits, reach out to those communities too," said Jim Morrell, Peninsula Community president/CEO. "One of our staff saw this opportunity to donate through CUAid as one way we could live out the 'people-helping-people' philosophy that we are all about."

And from as far away as California, to help with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, which affected states from Florida to New England, Los Angeles FCU (LAFCU) donated $1,000 to CUAid. LAFCU is collecting Hurricane Sandy donations from members and employees in their branches during November.

LAFCU's donation is given on behalf of the Los Angeles Charitable Association, Inc. (LACA), the credit union's nonprofit that financially supports the philanthropic activities of charitable organizations in the Greater Los Angeles area.
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