Credit Unions Unite for Good

On October 17, 2013, credit unions in 100 countries will celebrate International Credit Union (ICU) Day® by joining together and celebrating their cooperative spirit.

Unlike many banks, we at Hopewell Federal Credit Union are not in business to make a profit. Credit unions all over the world are a united front focused on you, the members, with an unwavering belief in the “people helping people” philosophy upon which we were built.

In the U.S., we’re known as credit unions, but across the world, we go by many names…co-operative societies, cooperativas, and caisses populaires to name a few.

This year, the cooperative spirit is coming to the Falkland Islands. Currently, one bank branch operates there, but the 2,300 workers find access to credit limited. Through the World Council of Credit Unions, staff from a U.S. credit union are assisting in the development of a credit union that can help the businesses that were refused bank financing.

Sometimes, starting a credit union isn’t enough. In Kenya, more than a million children have lost parents to AIDS. Many U.S. credit unions are supporting an orphanage in the town of Busia. The program provides food and security to these orphans, as well as financial access to the surrounding community.

Off the southern coast of India, women rice farmers in Sri Lanka are recovering from devastating floods in 2011 and growing their businesses with the help of both farming and financial training through a joint agribusiness and credit union program. Profits are up and so are savings thanks to a new infrastructure to safeguard deposits. Now, small branches collect savings through children’s clubs and school programs. In one district, volunteer members hike daily to the local market to collect deposits.

Here too, in the U.S., credit unions are looking after their members.

One small credit union, made up only of descendants of Manley and Lucy Williams, is helping members buy new cars, raise families, and pay for college. Credit unions often think of their members as family, and in this case they literally are.

Whether on a small or large scale, doing good is something credit unions take seriously. Some large credit unions are able to pull together funding from millions of members to improve housing, healthcare, and education in local communities and the world. Be it in the form of scholarships or interest-free loans, it’s still people helping people.

Here at Hopewell Federal our key initiatives in 2013 include providing a scholarship to a deserving student, supporting the Food Pantry Network of Licking County, running a United Way campaign and hosting our annual car show to support the Licking County Humane Society.

The credit union movement is a united force based on camaraderie, cooperation, and collaboration. That’s why, at a credit union, you are never a number — you are a member, and we are here to serve you.

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Celebrate International Credit Union Day: Local Beginnings Bring Global Change

The credit union idea arose centuries ago as people worked under a common effort without thought of profit – they put out fires, harvested crops, and avoided high-priced loans by lending to one another.

In the 1850s, hard times hit Germany, and people turned to each other for help. They removed small savings from under mattresses and made reasonably priced loans to one another, forming the original credit unions. In the 1920s, Edward Filene took cooperative finance to the next level in Boston, as a means of lifting working people out of debt and creating a better life.

On January 17, 1927, the Credit Union League of Massachusetts celebrated the first official credit union holiday. January 17th is the birthday of Benjamin Franklin, America’s “Apostle of Thrift,” who credit union founders believed to symbolize the purpose and spirit of credit unions. During this time, the credit union movement was new and spreading. People involved only began to recognize the celebration’s significance and were unable to devote the time required for sufficient planning. Credit Union Day quietly faded away.

The U.S. Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and CUNA Mutual Insurance Society initiated a new national Credit Union Day celebration in 1948. The third Thursday of October was set aside as the national day of observance. This occasion brought members together to promote the credit union philosophy nationally and reflect upon credit union achievements and history. Members raised funds for the movement and paid homage to loyal supporters and pioneers.

The World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU), established in 1971, assists credit union movements and supports their development around the world. WOCCU observed the first International Credit Union (ICU) Day more than 30 years ago, and continues to endorse global celebrations. The credit union movement has grown to 188 million members in 100 countries. Celebrate the credit union difference during this year’s ICU Day – October 18, 2012.

CREDIT UNIONS BUILD A BETTER WORLD: INTERNATIONAL CREDIT UNION DAY

October 20th, 2011 – 9am-5pm

An all day celebration will begin Thursday, October 20th, 2011 at 9am when Hopewell Federal Credit Union invites you to join us for International Credit Union Day.

At some point, you’ve probably wondered what the difference is between credit unions and other financial institutions. In reality, many differences exist, but the short of it is this: Credit unions exist to help people, not to make a profit.  As financial cooperatives, credit unions are much more than money lenders and holders. Like all cooperatives, we stand for the power of people helping people. Credit unions are prime examples of how the cooperative spirit transforms individuals and advances communities, the first steps toward building a better world.

Join us and allow us to thank you for helping to make this world better by being a credit union member.  We’ll have special treats all day, a coloring contest for the kiddos and Kirby Kangaroo will be making appearances throughout the day at both offices!

9am-11am – Coffee & Donuts

11am-5pm – Hot Dogs on the Grill prepared especially for you at the Heath location by Marvin Oneson, CFO and Jarod Mallory, Lending and Retail Manager and at the Newark location by Trish Snodgrass, Branch Manager.