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CUAid activates relief efforts CUs rally in Irenes wake
MADISON, Wis. (9/1/11)--Credit unions are rallying to provide assistance to colleagues and credit unions along the East Coast impacted by Hurricane Irene, and the National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) has activated the online disaster relief system to raise funds for credit union people affected.
Click to view larger image Extreme flooding hit Hightstown, N.J., after Hurricane Irene swept through the area. East Coast states from North Carolina through New England are struggling with the afteraffects of the storm. (Photo provided by the National Credit Union Foundation)
Certain areas on the East Coast have been devastated by the impact of the storm. For instance, Paul Gentile, president/CEO of the New Jersey Credit Union League in Hightstown, N.J., described the situation in his state this way: "New Jersey has been crippled by Hurricane Irene. Rivers in New Jersey have crested and washed out highly populated towns. Thousands of people are displaced and struggling just to get their bare necessities.” “I am thrilled CUAid is being activated. Joining together cooperatively to help those in need is the heart and soul of the credit union movement,” Gentile added. Some credit unions in the state were still without power Wednesday and have experienced minor damages caused by flooding, said the league's newsletter (The Daily Exchange Aug. 31). The NCUF announced Wednesday that credit union supporters in every state can now make donations through CUAid’s secured website, which accepts credit cards and wire transfers. (Use resource link below.) CUAid is a unique program 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. “We encourage credit union leaders all across the country to use as a channel to collect donations from their employees, volunteers, and members,” said NCUF Executive Director Bucky Sebastian. “Everyone who supports CUAid is helping affected credit union people directly with critical needs, longer-term recovery needs, operational needs, and assisting credit union members.” As donations are posted through, NCUF will coordinate with the state credit union leagues in the disaster-struck states to distribute money to affected credit union employees and members. CUAid 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 in 2006. So far in 2011, NCUF has raised more than $250,000 in disaster relief donations that were disbursed as grants to credit union employees and members who suffered losses from tornadoes in Alabama and Missouri, as well as from flooding in North Dakota. Meanwhile, credit unions in the area are offering help to members. New Jersey credit unions that have offered help to others include ADP FCU, Roseland; Central Jersey FCU, Woodbridge; McGraw-Hill FCU, East Windsor; and Raritan Bay FCU, Sayreville, said the league. In Portsmouth, N.H., Service CU is providing disaster relief loans to qualified members facing hardship caused by the storm. The loan features a 5.49% annual percentage rate, 60-month maximum term, up to $40,000 and no payment for 90 days. The loan requires proof of loss, such as a photo of damage, professional third-party assessment/bid, or insurance claim. "It's our goal to help those in our community by offering a low-cost loan to help people quickly get back on their feet," said Gordon Simmons, president/CEO of Service CU. "Dealing with the hurricane or tropical storm damage is bad enough. Worrying about how to pay for it just adds to their stress levels. Service CU is endeavoring to alleviate that stress," he added. Service CU serves members in most of New Hampshire, four towns in Cape Cod, Mass., and all branches of the U.S. military and Department of Defense employees and their families.
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