Helping Out a Great Cause

Hi folks,

As your local community credit union in Licking County, we always do our part to help the Licking County community. From our annual cell phone drive, which is coming up in October, to Elves in Action, Give With Us, Adopting Families, Cleaning up the Bike Path and much more … but when one of our own employees’ volunteers themselves to go out and raise money for a cause they believe in-well, I think that’s pretty special too.

Tina Six, an employee here at Hopewell Federal, is on a one-woman quest to raise money to help in the fight against blood cancers, like Lymphoma and Leukemia. She’s been at it for a few months now-and working hard. She is raising money to run a 13.1  mile race in Columbus on October 18th. Her goal is to raise $1700 and she’s got quite a ways to go, to achieve it. She needs your help!

This is all part of Team In Training, she’s never actually been a full fledged “runner” before, she’s been training for several months. Now, I run, only when chased, just kidding… but seriously, the thought of taking on a challenge like this is pretty remarkable. And, I know so many of us, have been touched by cancer. So, I thought it would be appropriate to post her  efforts-and ask for your assistance in helping our employee, REACH HER GOAL!  She’s even recruited some of our other employees to help out with a big fundraiser this weekend!

So, it’s been raining a lot this week-and we all probably need our cars washed… well, say NO more! This Saturday, at our North 21st street office-Hopewell Federal employees will be hosting a CAR WASH from 1 to 4 p.m. It would be great if you could come out and support this worthwhile cause-if you don’t have time to get it washed-donations are always accepted.

The Licking County community is always so willing to help those in need, won’t you take the time to support this great cause? If you or someone you know has been touched by blood cancer, stop out and see the crew on Saturday, from 1 to 4 p.m on North 21st street. Remember, it only takes one person to make a difference, but with many, we can do so much more!

You can follow Tina’s journey on twitter and her blog-tinasixtnt.info.

Thanks and have a great weekend! 

 -Al

CU’s Make NY Times Blog

I’d like to send kudos out to Nancy Folbre, an economics professor at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

She recently posted in the NY Times blog, Are Credit Unions Superheroes?

Check it out for yourself here: http://tinyurl.com/ladky4

Along those lines, you know I’ve always said, that credit unions are the best kept secret in America. And of course, given our current economic state, I’m not sure why more people in the media aren’t shining a bigger, bolder spotlight on credit unions. This is our time to shine.

We’re often asked the difference between banks and credit unions-and of course-it’s in the details. As a CU member, you can own your credit union. Do you own your bank? With talks of bailouts and mergers and stockholders, it’s nice to see that Professor Folbre took the time to give credit unions a second look and I hope more people do too.

For a fun, cool way to get to know the difference between banks and credit unions, I’m not sure that anyone said it better than larissawalkiw who was the original spokester for Young Free Alberta.com at Servus CU in Canada.  Take a look at her clip here, part one of her three part series:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cawzTSVTP2M

Discover the difference for yourself.

Have a great week!

-Al

Working Cooperatively to Build a Better Community.

Hi folks,

You know it never fails … whether it’s daily or weekly, no matter how long I’ve been in this field, someone always asks me, “what’s the difference between a bank and a credit union?” or “what makes a credit union different from a bank?” 

Well, I’ve written numerous entries as to what the differences are … so this time, I thought I’d take a different approach and talk about the three local credit unions in Licking County, who are participating in the Bet You Can Save challenge.

Ten credit unions located throughout central Ohio are working together to challenge 10 families, to improve their financial situation and save money over the course of 2009.  Each family works with a financial coach who meets with them to help them accomplish their goals over a five month period. The family coming closest to … or exceeding their established goals will be declared the winner and receives $10,000! Runner-up families will receive $500!

I think this challenge is fantastic. There really couldn’t be a better time for it, because in this economy, people have increasingly become concerned about their future and meeting their day-to-day bills, and forget about saving. This kind of real life experience will give each family such an advantage in the long run. Because, it teaches them that they can’t borrow their way out of debt and in an effort to save money, they really have to make some tough choices and sacrifices.

That being said, what I think makes it even more unique as that three local credit unions, right here in Licking County, are participating. Harvest, Fiberglas and of course, Hopewell Federal.  Now it might sound strange, why is one credit union’s CEO, touting the efforts of the other two. That’s easy, because we’re working cooperatively. Working together, all three credit unions, plus the other seven located throughout central Ohio, are helping change the lives of families, three of which are located right here in Licking County. And that’s a BIG difference between credit unions and banks. We can work together to help make a difference in the lives of our members, and like I always say, help them get ahead financially!  When was the last time you saw your local community banks working together to help change the lives of families in your area?

Our Hopewell family, the Bebout’s, were in just yesterday for their monthly meeting. They struggle with just one income and three kids, but they are determined to meet these goals and stay the course to pay down their debt and save money.

I encourage you to visit the site betyoucansave.com, follow them on twitter and of course, cheer them on when you see them! Win or lose, each family deserves a tremendous amount of credit for putting themselves out there, sharing their stories and working hard to help themselves get ahead financially.  In my book, that makes them all winners!

Have a great weekend!

Back in the Saddle Again

Hi folks-

Okay, so it’s been a little over a week since I’ve posted-due to some vacations around here-and promotions, we’ve been a little busy-this might be the longest time I’ve actually gone without posting something-so I do apologize. But make no mistake, I’ll do my best to not do that again.

I’m proud that we were featured in an article in our local paper, The Newark Advocate, last Saturday for our use of Twitter and my blog. The article highlighted several businesses including our local chamber of commerce. You can read it for yourself here. http://tinyurl.com/kuowv8

That being said, social media isn’t something that’s new to us, we’ve been exploring the values of it since 2007, when we first created our blog. I’d like to encourage all of you-that if you haven’t been following us, and if this is your first time, feel free to check our blog again-the purpose is to keep you informed-answer any general questions-and stay connected with what’s happening at HFCU and the financial industry in general.

You can find Hopewell Federal on twitter, youtube and my blog is obviously available on wordpress. I get asked from time to time, why do we use these methods to connect with our members. It’s pretty simple actually, any touchpoints that we can use, especially free ones-I think are fantastic. I like to make us as accessible as possible to our members.

Now, I also get asked, why aren’t we on Facebook? Well, while I do personally, think Facebook has it’s time and place, I’m not sure people want to be a CU’s fan. Maybe I’m wrong? But we don’t use social media to be “hip” with the kids, we use it as a means of communication. Perhaps I’m wrong-if you want to be a fan-maybe we’ll add it in the future.

In any case-you can always call us or stop in to discuss your personal account. In any event, we are here for you, at home or on the go. And…it’s good to be back!

Embrace Your Independence

With Independence Day just around the corner, I thought now would be a gooda time to talk about your freedom to choose where you do your banking.  Sure you have options and people will try to entice you to go to their facility-here lately, it seems that they throw everything but the kitchen sink at you to get you to switch to their bank, from ipods and gift cards to cold hard cash, heck some even switch for a free t-shirt. But in the end, what do you get for making the switch? Do you get great customer service? Do they know you by name? Do they appreciate your loyalty? Or…do they increase your rates and bombard you with service charges? Do they put your needs first or the needs of their stockholders?

I’m here to tell you that at Hopewell Federal, we keep our promises and honor our commitments. And, if you’re a member, odds are that we call you by name. You’re more than just a number. And with services likes shared branching, you can do your banking across the country. There is a difference with credit unions, we dare you to compare today and want to remind you that you have the freedom to bank, anywhere you choose.

Have a happy and safe Fourth of July!