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St. Louis CUs reach out to Bosnian community
ST. LOUIS (11/3/08)--A group of 17 St. Louis-area credit unions are working with U.S. Rep. Russ Carnahan (D-3) to conduct outreach to the growing Bosnian community in the area.
From left, Mirela Seferovic, First Missouri CU, St. Louis; Sandra Jakovlejevic, staff member for U.S. Rep. Russ Carnahan (D- 3); Tim Stephens, Health Care Family CU, Richmond Heights; and Jana Wolfe, First Missouri CU, discuss ways credit unions can help the Bosnian community. (Photo provided by the Missouri Credit Union Association)
Many of the credit unions have tellers that speak Bosnian and have developed a brochure printed in both English and Bosnian (The Missouri Difference Oct. 29). Representatives from First Missouri CU, St. Louis, and Health Care Family CU, Richmond Heights, met Oct. 27 with Sandra Jakovlejevic, Carnahan’s Bosnian-speaking staffer, to discuss issues facing the Bosnian-American community and ways credit unions can help. Many Bosnians lost their savings during the war in their country. That means Bosnian immigrants are more vulnerable to the economic crisis, Mirela Seferovic, First Missouri teller and Bosnian immigrant, told the Missouri Credit Union Association. “If someone lives here in the U.S. now who had that bad experience in Bosnia, they might be more frightened than other people about the economic news,” Seferovic said. The credit unions provided Jakovlejevic with several hundred copies of the brochures, which highlight the credit union difference. The credit unions plan to participate in future Bosnian community events through Carnahan’s office. “I would estimate that 25% of new members at our credit union are Bosnian,” says Steve Ogolin, First Missouri president. “We want to make sure more people realize that credit unions are a financial option for them.”
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