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CUs in Project 100 to give back
LIVONIA, Mich. (9/2/10)--For 100 days, 100 people will have the opportunity to “pay it forward” to their communities with $100 bills--for the second time. CO-OP Services CU, Livonia, Mich., recently announced its second consecutive Project 100, launched by the $375-million-asset credit union last year to encourage giving in Southeast Michigan, an area hit hard by economic troubles, according to Project 100’s website. The credit union will give $100 to 100 random people and ask the receivers to use the money to help their communities. Greg Wohler, president of Edge Creative Group, came up with the idea for the project. Edge Creative is the credit union's agency. E & A CU, Port Huron, Mich., also is participating in Project 100. Some recipients used the money last year to help others who were unemployed. Kate S., from Livonia, said she received the money after being out of work for most of the year. “Just days after winning, [I] was laid off from the part-time job that I had for only six weeks,” she said. “Project 100 came at a great time, just before the holidays. As a way to give back to the community, my daughter is going to have a Charity Christmas party that will benefit three or four different charities. I’m very proud of her and hope that I have instilled in my children the importance of giving to others.” Denise F., from Romulus, helped a homeless family after receiving $100. “I had helped a family that my son and his girlfriend had found living in a park,” she said. “They had nowhere to go and no food. We contacted some churches and one of them brought food and clothing. The woman found a circumstance where she could help an elderly gentleman in the area, and her children and she are staying with him now. The [gentleman] went to live at his mother’s. He was not the children’s father, but wouldn’t leave them until they were in a safe place. The family was with me for a weekend. “In this time of economic hardship, there is no doubt that many people could use an extra $100. My own circumstances are very tight,” she added. “To say the least, I am very grateful to have been given the money. It allowed me to repay others who have helped me.” Project 100 also was featured on National Public Radio. Wohler spoke to the station last week. “It’s an amazing feeling to see people and see how they react. And we’ve had people break down in tears,” Wohler told NPR. “We had one woman last summer who told us that day they were going to shut her gas off, and she was going use this money to make sure that it’s not shut off and pay some of the bill.” The Michigan Credit Union League also featured the project in a podcast last year. For more information, use the links.
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