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CU System
North Jersey FCUs green machine put into action in flood
PATERSON, N.J. (9/12/11)--After Hurricane Irene, North Jersey FCU went to the aid of Paterson, N.J., which was hard hit by flooding from storm, by offering its Green Machine to ease things for residents needing financial services. Paterson and surrounding towns in Passaic County were left without much in the way of financial services, according to the New Jersey Credit Union League (The Daily Exchange Sept. 9). North Jersey FCU, based in Totowa, has its largest branch in Paterson. The credit union rallied its staff, who walked two miles to open its branch and provide financial services to the community, said the league. "We had no phone or power services for six days," James Griffin, vice president of business development at the $198.2 million asset credit union, told the league. This meant the credit union had limited electronic capabilities. "But we quickly responded to the needs of our members and did all we could to make sure people could access their cash," he added. The credit union requested a parking space from the city and offered The Green Machine, its 40-foot mobile biodiesel-fueled branch. It became part of the credit union's disaster recovery plan and is now stationed near the credit union's building. The Green Machine has an ATM and two teller windows, which handle hurricane victims' cash transactions and other financial needs. North Jersey Federal employees handed out ice cream sandwiches and frozen fruit bars to people waiting in line to get cash since the machine offered the only functional ATM for blocks because of extensive power outages, said the league. "We believe in our motto of 'People Helping People' and the hurricane put our motto to the test," said North Jersey Federal President/CEO Lourdes Cortez. "Not only did we provide much-needed services to our community, we were able to ease their burden during these trying times."
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