NAPERVILLE, Ill. (5/6/10)--The Illinois Credit Union Foundation recently awarded $50,800 in Small Credit Union Development (SCUD), Community Service, Marketing and Business Development, and Financial Independence & Revitalization Effort (FIRE) grants, and $22,000 in scholarships. SCUD grants totaled $33,000 and were awarded to 16 credit unions. The grants are used for computer hardware and software/upgrades, new office furniture and other operation equipment, and help to pay for new disclosures and applications to comply with the new Visa Reg Z. The foundation also awarded $3,800 in Community Service Grants. The program to encourages and rewards chapter or credit union participation in local community projects. Credit unions and chapters can qualify for grants by hosting an established event, creating an event, or volunteering at an established event. Five credit unions and one chapter and the World Council of Credit Unions received community service grants. Also, four credit unions received Marketing and Business Development grants that totaled $8,000. The grants were established in 2006 to help credit unions with assets of up to $30 million to start or expand outreach efforts. The maximum grant award is $5,000 per credit union per year. Two credit unions received FIRE grants totaling $6,000--Sherwin Williams ECU, South Holland, and South Side Community FCU, Chicago. The FIRE program provides assistance to credit unions to expand their ability to build and maintain viable communities by providing credit and financial services to residents and businesses in low-income and underserved areas of Illinois. Sherwin Williams used its FIRE grant to partner with the Center for Economic Progress to continue the Volunteer Income-Tax Assistance program for people in the south and southwest suburban Chicago area. South Side received FIRE grant funds for starting a Second Chance program with debit cards. Finally, $22,000 was awarded in scholarships. Individuals and groups (as a chapter or group of credit unions) can apply. Scholarships may be used toward ICUL’s educational opportunities and Credit Union National Association schools. There are two more grant request deadlines during 2010--July 31 and October 31. In addition, scholarships are reviewed on an ongoing basis while funds last. Online and downloadable grant request forms are available on the Illinois league’s website. Eligibility is limited to Illinois credit unions and chapters.