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ICU Day Proclamations Ring Out As CUs Tell Their Stories
MADISON, Wis. (10/18/13)--
Click to view larger image Click for larger view
While political officials proclaimed yesterday as the 66th annual International Credit Union Day, credits unions and leagues "United for Good" by telling their stories, educating the public about credit unions, and celebrating with nearly 200 million members in nearly 100 nations worldwide.
National Credit Union Administration Board Chairman Thursday urged credit unions across the country to reach out to the next generation of credit union members. ICU Day "is an ideal occasion for credit unions to highlight their traditions of stability, personal service and community involvement to attract new and younger consumers," she said.
Click to view larger image Teams of employees, members and friends of Wichita, Kan.-based Meritrust CU worked assembly style to package 20,000 meals in 90 minutes for a South Africa orphanage as part of Meritrust's International Credit Union Day activities. The ICU Day theme "Credit Unions Unite for Good" helps leverage the credit union initiative of working together to better the lives of individuals, families, communities and countries around the world, said the credit union. (Photo provided by Meritrust CU)
"Credit unions should use this day to evaluate how they are engaging young people, and if they are providing the products, services and conveniences that younger generations have come to expect," Matz said.  "With effective outreach to America's youth, credit unions can ensure the industry's future viability, and in so doing, meet the financial services needs of the next generation of Americans."
Messages proclaiming the day from the Credit Union National Association and the World Council of Credit Unions were reported in News Now Thursday.
Governors of several states--Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Connecticut among them--added their proclamations or statements acknowledging credit unions' day and the work they do.
Click to view larger image Staff at Telcoe FCU, Little Rock, Ark., formed a hexagon on the floor of the credit union in their International Credit Union Day T-shirts that display this year's theme, "Credit Unions Unite for Good." (Photo provided by Telcoe FCU)
Many leagues offered messages, too.  Association of Vermont Credit Unions President Joe Bergeron and his staff recorded ICU Day greetings on video, said Newslines Express (Oct. 17). Use the link to access the video.
Georgia Credit Union Affiliates noted the theme with a statewide Switch to Save campaign to encourage Georgia residents to stop by a credit union for a loan review and to see how credit unions can save them money on loans.
Cornerstone Credit Union League CEO Dick Ensweiler shared stories in the Leaguer Thursday about Western Sun CU's "Choose My Wish" initiative in Broken Arrow, Okla.; Abilene (Texas) Teachers FCU employees participating in the March of Dimes; and VA Hospital FCU CEO George Bujarski in Little Rock, Ark., participating in financial education workshops at a local high school.  "Whether it's reaching out to youth via financial education, helping to solve a social concern in the community, or raising funds for a good cause, credit unions rise to the occasion," Ensweiler said.
Credit unions themselves celebrated a number of ways, including by sharing photos and messages in #ICUDay tweets. To get a flavor for the enthusiasm and creativity credit unions displayed during the day, check out Credit Union Magazine's ICU Day page (Use the link).
Click to view larger image Star of Texas CU celebrated International Credit Union Day in Austin, Texas, by inviting members for refreshments (The Advocate Oct. 17). From left are Sherry Han, vice president of operations; Frances Laurel, CEO; Ruben Hernandez, assistant vice president consumer lending; and Carla Trager of the Cornerstone Credit Union League. (Photo provided by the Cornerstone Credit Union League)
Some credit unions celebrated by helping others. In Wichita, Kan., Meritrust CU's members, employees and friends assembled 20,000 meals for international hunger relief organization Numana on Saturday. The meals will be shipped to an orphanage in northern South Africa, the Tabitha Ministries.

"This event was meaningful to the community focus of credit unions in two ways," said Meritrust President/CEO James Nastars. "One, we joined with our co-workers and friends, coming together as a community to make a difference in the lives of those in need. Two, in our globally connected world, community encompasses groups or persons both near and far. It's the credit union way to reach out to those in need, wherever they might be."
Some raised awareness in the media of credit unions. Thursday's Harrisburg, Pa. Patriot-News featured an eight-page credit union-sponsored insert with ICU Day graphics and articles about the history of credit unions, the benefits of membership and services provided, said the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association (Life is a Highway Oct. 17). It included a Unite for Good coloring page. In addition to a PCUA-placed iBelong ad, sponsoring credit unions included Hersehy FCU, Members 1st FCU; New Cumberland FCU, and PSECU.
Also, the Northeast PA Chapter of Credit Union sponsored its annual newspaper greeting with 10 Credit Union History Facts, which point out how credit unions originated, the pioneers who brought the idea to North America and more.
Pacific Marine CU, Oceanside, Calif., and Lakota FCU on the Pine Ridge Reservation in Kyle, S.D., used the day to tell members and nonmembers who they are and the services they provide as well as what credit unions are in articles in and Indian Country (Oct. 17).
ICU Day has been celebrated on the third Tuesday of October since 1948.

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