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Kansas CUs Give Away 23K In Make a Difference Campaign
WICHITA, Kan. (10/11/13)--Seventeen Kansas credit unions gave away cash, gift cards and free gas totaling 23,000 to 900 Kansans at 10 locations Wednesday as part of a statewide Make Difference event.
 
Click to view larger image Adrianne Basham, Central Star CU, Wichita, receives a hug after giving away a gift card at the Kansas credit unions' 2013 Make a Difference Event.
"We don't do any advance promotion for these events," said Susan Dyer, Kansas Credit Union Association communications director. "We feel our efforts have the greatest impact when it's unexpected. We just want to brighten someone's day, and hope that those on the receiving end pass it on, so it has a ripple effect in the community."
 
This is the third event in the Kansas Credit Union Association's Make a Difference campaign. The first event was a gas giveaway.  The second event was a giveaway that included gift cards, cash, free coffee or free lunches.
 
Representatives from the participating credit unions throughout the state volunteer and coordinate their respective locations for the event. Initial consumer reactions have been positive with lots of smiles, "thank yous," and even a few hugs.
 
"These events are a great way for credit unions to put the 'people helping people' philosophy in action," said Dyer. "Credit unions exist to serve their members and support their local communities, and these events illustrate the credit union difference."
 
The giveaway did indeed make a difference to beneficiaries. Dyer reported "countless thumbs up, handshakes and high fives," and at least three hugs at one location. Some recipients cried, she said.
 
Click to view larger image A consumer in Wichita, Kan., can't believe his luck after Christy Bales of Cessna Employees CU gives him $25. (Photos provided by Kansas Credit Union Association)
At one location, a man initially took the money but returned it and asked that it be given to some more in need.
 
One credit union received a call from nonmember to thank the credit union for helping her daughter, who was down to her last $5 until payday, said Dyer.
 
The Make a Difference campaign prompted on giveaway recipient to visit the credit union and open a share account.
 
The 17 participating credit unions in the Make a Difference giveaway included:
  • Ark Valley CU, Arkansas City;
  • Central Star CU, Wichita;
  • Cessna Employees CU, Wichita
  • Educational CU, Topeka;
  • Emporia (Kan.) State FCU;
  • EquiShare CU, Wichita;
  • Kansas State University FCU, Manhattan;
  • Mainstreet CU, Lenexa;
  • Medical Community CU, Wichita;
  • Meritrust CU, Wichita;
  • Mid American CU, Wichita;
  • New Century CU, Topeka;
  • Quest CU, Topeka;
  • Reliance CU, Kansas City;
  • TECU CU, Wichita;
  • United Northwest FCU, Norton; and
  • United CU, Ness City.
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