FARMERS BRANCH, Texas (9/17/08)--The Texas Credit Union League (TCUL) has been contacting every credit union in the area hit by Hurricane Ike last week and has learned that dozens of credit union employees' homes are destroyed. “They've lost everything," said Texas Credit Union Foundation (TCUF) Executive Director Jill Pharr. "Hundreds are facing significant out-of-pocket expenses to repair the damage caused by Hurricane Ike, and still others haven't even been able to return to their homes to assess damage; instead they are relying on the kindness of friends, family members or shelters for the basic necessities," Pharr said. “Countless more have had to deplete their checking and savings accounts just to get themselves and their families out of harm's way, with expenses piling up,” she added. The TCUF is urging the state's credit unions not affected by the hurricane to come to their aid. About 200 credit unions are in the affected area, and over the next several days and weeks, Pharr anticipates the foundation will receive several hundred grant applications. “These are our friends, colleagues and even family members who have been affected. Many are modest-income earners who, despite severe personal losses and emotional trauma, are bravely trying to get back to work while coping with this disaster,” Pharr said. “I'm confident that credit unions all over state will heed this call and come to their aid. We are a direct life line and often one of their first sources of emergency relief.” Credit unions from outside of Texas are encouraged to donate through CUAid.coop, the National Credit Union Foundation's (NCUF) online disaster relief platform, said Steve Bosack, NCUF deputy director. The platform directs 100% of donations to disaster relief grants for credit union people. Bosack noted that in the first two business days since NCUF activated the Gulf Coast hurricane relief appeal through CUAid.coop, NCUF has received $16,080 in donations and pledges. More information about CUAid.coop is available at the resource link. Credit unions in Texas are encouraged by TCUF to donate directly to to the TCUF Disaster Relief Fund, either by mail, 4455 LBJ Freeway, Suite 1100, Farmers Branch TX 75244-5998, or wire to Southwest Corporate FCU, ABA 311990511, Texas Credit Union Foundation, Account # 311900048, Reference: Disaster Relief funds. More information about emergency grants and donations is available at TCUF's website, www.tcuf.coop, on the Disaster tab. TCUL, Credit Union Resources Inc. and TCUF have contributed a total of $30,000 to the Disaster Relief Fund. TCUF has received pledges of donations from leagues and state foundations, as well as credit unions. Credit unions are encouraged to post on their website the CUAid link, www.CUAid.coop/Texas. This online donation tool can be used by members and credit union employees to make secure online donations to the disaster relief fund. As with credit union donations, 100% of these donations go directly to credit union disaster victims. “I implore our Texas credit unions to open their hearts and contribute to the Foundation's Disaster Relief Fund. Our credit union family needs us and we need to make sure they know they are not alone,” said TCUL CEO Dick Ensweiler.