MADISON, Wis. (3/28/11)--Credit unions nationwide continue to gather support for victims of the Japanese disaster. On March 11, an earthquake struck off the coast of Japan, causing a tsunami that swept over cities and farmland in the northern part of the country. Recorded as 9.0 on the Richter scale, it was the largest quake ever to hit the country. As the nation struggles with a rescue effort, it also faces the worst nuclear emergency since Chernobyl. As of March 25, the official death toll had been raised to more than 10,000, and in excess of 16,000 people are listed as missing, although there may be some overlap between the two groups. The final toll is expected to reach nearly 20,000 (New York Times
March 25). Among the credit union relief efforts are:
* Credit Union 1, Anchorage, Alaska, created an account to which members could make donations for Japan relief. Members could also donate their “One for All” reward points from the credit union; * Freedom CU, Warminster, Pa, donated $1,000 to the American Red Cross. Also, Freedom CU is offering members options for making safe donations. The credit union also has provided a quick payment link to the American Red Cross in its online bill pay portal. This link will allow members to have donations securely and immediately deducted from their checking accounts and sent directly to the Red Cross. Through its website, the Freedom CU is offering links to a list of trusted relief organizations’ websites. When members make a donation to one of these organizations using a Visa credit card or check/ATM card, Visa will waive any associated interchange fees; * The Pennsylvania Credit Union Association, Harrisburg, Pa., directed its member credit unions to forward donations to the American Red Cross, Save the Children or World Vision. (Use the links below.); and * University of Louisiana FCU, Lafayette, La., spread the word about Soles4Souls efforts to collect shoes for Japanese survivors.
Melanie Riedl, director of marketing at University of Louisiana FCU told News Now
, “We got a great response from people around the country who were happy to hear about another way to help everyone in Japan. I think people are looking to pitch in however they can.”