MADISON, Wis., and WASHINGTON (10/17/13)--Today is the big day, where credit unions and their members around the world celebrate the 66th annual International Credit Union Day with the theme, "Credit Unions Unite for Good," and promote awareness of the credit union difference.
"International Credit Union Day is a great opportunity to celebrate everything that makes credit unions different," said Credit Union National Association President/CEO Bill Cheney.
"This year's theme is 'Credit Unions Unite For Good,' reminding us of all the excellent work that credit unions do for members and their communities. With over 200 million credit union members worldwide and growing, this day is also a great reminder of how far the credit union movement has come. We encourage all members to participate, and share their own personal story."
International Credit Union Day, celebrated on the third Thursday of October since 1948, often brings proclamations recognizing the value of credit unions to their members and community. Gov. Terry Branstad of Iowa and Gov. Mark Dayton of Minnesota have signed proclamations making today Credit Union Day in their states.
The proclamations say in effect that credit unions embrace the "people helping people" philosophy by pooling personal resources and leadership abilities for the good of the cooperative, "empowering members to improve their financial futures and untied to help those in need."
"On this day in Iowa, and all over the world, credit unions celebrate their common roots, the cooperative spirit and their community service achievements," said Iowa Credit Union League CEO/President Patrick S. Jury. "This is the day to celebrate credit unions as a robust alternative to for-profit banks," he said, noting that at credit unions, "people are more important than profit."
"For credit unions in Minnesota and around the world, International Credit Union Day is a time to recognize what the industry has achieved and to highlight the difference credit unions make in their communities. Credit unions truly unite for good wherever they are," said Minnesota Credit Union Network President/CEO Mark D. Cummins.
The Pennsylvania State Senate and State House of Representatives issued resolutions recognizing this week as Credit Union Week in Pennsylvania. Sen. Don White (R-Indiana), chairman of the Senate Banking and Insurance, sponsored Senate Resolution 215, while Rep. Robert Matzie (D-Beaver), a member of the House Consumer Affairs Committee, sponsored House Resolution 464. The resolutions recognize Pennsylvania's 499 credit unions as cooperatives, and their commitment to providing their 23.7 million members with low-cost financial services.
The World Council of Credit Unions has posted a Youtube video on its website with a "Happy International Credit Union Day" message from World Council Chair Grzegorz Bierecki and President/CEO Brian Branch inviting the world to join in the celebration. Use the link to view the video.
The National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions is celebrating its member CDCUs' "commitment to expanding financial inclusion to low-income families, new immigrants, young people, and an ever-growing number of Americans seeking alternatives to mainstream banks," said a message from Deyanira Del Rio, federation board chair, and President/CEO Cathie Mahon.
In the United Kingdom, the Archbishop of Canterbury has written to all clergy in the Church of England urging them to become "actively involved" in supporting credit unions. (Express & Star
Some credit unions have reported what they are doing today:
Bay Winds FCU in Charlevoix, Mich., will host member appreciation events and accept donations for a local domestic violence shelter. It has invited members to stop by its branches from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. today for refreshments and gifts.
Shell FCU, Deer Park, Texas, will be up early, hosting a free gas giveaway at the Wilson Road Shell gas station in Humble beginning at 7 a.m. The first 100 vehicles in line will receive $30 of gas pumped into their vehicle free. Also, all Shell FCU branches will offer the chance to win a $50 Visa Gift Card to anyone who stops by today.
Everett (Mass.) CU has invited its members to visit and celebrate the cooperative spirit today. "The credit union movement is a united force based on camaraderie, cooperation and collaboration," the credit union said in the Everett Independent (Oct. 16).
Royal CU, Eau Claire, Wis., has invited its members and members of the community to enjoy free cookies and coffee at all RCU offices while supplies last.
In the United Kingdom, Darlington CU is highlighting some of its work in the local community through a junior savings program and is urging members to sign up for holiday loans program which helps members save money. "We want to use International Credit Union Day to get the message out there in Darlington that the credit union is very active and vibrant and we welcome all new members," said Tony Brockley, coordinator at the Darlington branch (The Northern Echo Oct. 16).
Many will be sharing their activities through social media. If tweeting about your activities, use the hashtag #ICUDay. For more information on using social media to celebrate, see News Now's story, Tomorrow's ICU Day will Connect With Social Media, by using the link.