WASHINGTON and MADISON, Wis. (1/25/10)--As the U.S. Senate Friday approved a rapid tax deduction for Haiti relief contributions, credit unions and their organizations ended the week by contributing more than $384,563 to disaster relief efforts for credit unions and their members in earthquake-torn Haiti. Friday afternoon, the U.S. Senate by voice vote approved legislation to allow taxpayers who make contributions to the Haiti earthquake relief effort between Jan. 12 and Feb. 28 to take a deduction on their 2009 income tax return for those contributions. Any contribution related to the Jan. 12 7.0 magnitude earthquake's victims will be counted as if such a contribution were made on Dec. 31, 2009, under the bill. The Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions, which is the charitable arm of the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU), and the National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF), activated their disaster relief fund, with U.S. credit unions contributing through NCUF's CUAid.coop fund. They're hoping that should an early deduction measure pass, this might be even more incentive for contributions. Valerie Breunig, executive director of the Worldwide Foundation, said as of Friday afternoon, it had collected $183, 042, and Jill Stevenson, marketing and communications coordinator for NCUF, announced that U.S. credit unions and related organizations and individuals had contributed $201,521 through CUAid.coop. Seychelles Credit Union, located on a set of islands off the coast of Africa, contributed $10,000 to the credit unions' effort, Breunig said. In the U.S., PSCU Financial Services, a credit union service organization serving more than 1,300 financial institutions nationwide, announced it has donated $15,000 to WOCCU's Disaster Relief fund for Haiti. In addition, the St. Petersburg, Fla.-based cooperative set up a payroll deduction program that allows employees to give to the Salvation Army's Haitian Earthquake Victims Relief Fund, and it will match those contributions up to $100 per employee. It also is collecting donations for a special casual dress week in February. "We view situations like this as a responsibility to help those in need both in the U.S. and around the world," said David J. Serlo, PSCU Financial Services president. "Our employees personally feel this way as well, and we want to make it easy for them to give, so we support their efforts with matching contributions, "We sincerely believe that generosity to those less fortunate or in need is aligned with the spirit of the credit union industry, which is why we often choose to give through credit union organizations," Serlo said. On Tuesday, the Texas Credit Union League's Blog Talk Radio program, "Your Money, Your Matters," will host Breunig and Major Ward Matthews, CEO of the Salvation Army, at 11 a.m. CST to talk about Haiti relief efforts and how consumers can get involved. To tune in, use the resource link and click "play/chat." To support Haiti's credit unions and members through the international credit union disaster fund, make payments, via check, credit card or wire to:
Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions Inc.
5710 Mineral Point Road
Madison, WI 53705, USA
Donations also can be made online with a credit card at www.woccu.org/give. For wire transfer information, contact Valerie Breunig, Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions at 608-395-2055 or via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
. Please indicate the donation is designated for the Haiti Disaster Relief Fund. U.S. credit unions also can support WOCCU's relief efforts by donating through the NCUF at www.CUAID.coop.