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Arkansas CUs Provide Water to Storm-Ravaged Beaumont
Wednesday, September 6, 2017 6:50 AM

Arkansas CUs

Arkansas credit unions joined together to send a Penske truckload of water to southeast Texas over the weekend.

After Hurricane Harvey, CEO Tammy Passafiume, from Diamond Lakes FCU in Malvern, Ark., was checking in on credit union leaders in Houston, her friends at TranStar FCU, CEO James Tuggle, and Our Mother of Mercy Parish FCU's CEO Paul Withey.

In the process, Passafiume became aware of the scarcity of clean water in Beaumont, Texas, a city also ravaged by floods. And that's when she knew she wanted to do what she could to help. She contacted Vicky Salkeld president of Arkansas Credit Union Association, who spread the word to all of the Arkansas credit unions.

"In less than an hour, we had 20-plus Arkansas credit unions and individuals who had pledged over $4,500 to cover the cost of water and transportation," Salkeld said.

water donationsBecky Brosius, CEO of Combined FCU, located a water distributor in Hot Springs who would sell the water at a discount. The Houston credit union CEOs, Tuggle and Withey, were the area contacts who helped with logistics.

Passafiume, her husband, and staffers Pam Garrett and Jon Trotter were responsible for driving the truck to Jefferson, Texas. Then in Jefferson, Paul Withey's aunt and uncle, Eddie and Brenda Hellie, met the Arkansas team and drove the truck to its final destination at Education First FCU in Beaumont. There, the water was shared with other local credit unions.

"Arkansas credit unions are grateful for the opportunity to implement the 'people helping people' philosophy," Salkeld said. "It's just what credit unions do."