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Credit Unions in the News & CU News Briefs
Wednesday, December 4, 2013 6:40 AM

Amplify FCU was featured yesterday in the American Statesman, for adopting 76-year old Ethel Black. The widowed Austin resident was nominated by Family Eldercare for the Statesman’s Season for Caring campaign, which highlights the needs of 12 families and helps hundreds of others through reader donations. Jenny Voigt, a human resources professional with Amplify CU volunteers with Family Eldercare.

As a volunteer with Family Eldercare, Voigt chats with Black every week when she calls about 30 housebound people around Austin to remind them about call-in programs such as a coffee chat, brain teasers and educational sessions. When Voigt learned that Black had been nominated by Family Eldercare, she immediately shared Black’s story with her co-workers at Amplify CU.

Amplify FCU has adopted families during the Season for Caring campaign for the past two years.

Black, who has vision and mobility problems, lives on a fixed income and needs help fixing up her home. She worked for years to be able to afford a home in a safe neighborhood and became a homeowner for the first time three years ago. Amplify recently informed Black that they would be taking care of most of her needs.

 

First Oklahoma FCU was highlighted recently on News9. The credit union presented a check for $8,000 to Tulsa's Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).

"When the holidays are coming and the economy is bad, people are helping people, which is great, but we have a tendency to forget about the four-legged friends we have, so we decided to step up and show that we care about them, too," First Oklahoma FCU President Mark Colley told News9.

The First Oklahoma FCU raised this money by sponsoring a golf tournament in the spring.

 

On Nov. 26, Hispanic Business reported that Velocity CU has rolled out a holiday loan for consumers looking for alternative budgeting options as the holidays loom ahead. From now through Jan. 31, 2014, the credit union tells Hispanic Business that Velocity Holiday Loans are available from $500 to $5,000. The terms are up to 36 months and the fixed rates start as low as 6.49 percent APR (with a Member Rewards discount).

“The holidays can be a time where vacation, travel, student exams and work happen concurrently, leaving little time to plan financially for the season of gift-giving,” Carol Cain, senior vice president of Marketing with Velocity CU tells Hispanic Business readers. “Being pressed for time and money can open the door for consumers to turn to costly alternatives, like ‘payday loans.’”

 

Car sales are up — and so are interest rates on auto loans. These days, credit unions are offering the lowest interest rates on car loans and are approving more and more qualified applicants. In Fort Worth, Texas, as GoBankingRates.com reports, Fort Worth Community CU is offering car loans as low as 2.05 percent on new cars.

Not only are the interest rates low, but according to GoBankingRates.com, Fort Worth Community CU offers greater flexibility for applicants, who can finance up to 100 percent of the purchase price on both new and used car loans, as well as loans for motorcycles, boats, motor homes and trailers. On top of that, new car loans have a maximum term of 75 months, meaning you can get a car loan for more than six years at this historically low interest rate. For new motorcycles and boats, as well as used cars, applicants can also get six-year loans.

To put this low interest rate in perspective, GoBankingRates.com reports, consider that the monthly payment for a new car loan at Fort Worth Community CU could be as low as $14.22 for every $1,000 borrowed.

 

Tinker FCUEight Oklahoma students received a little financial encouragement to help them get their dream jobs. Tinker FCU recently selected four first-place winners and four honorable mentions in the 2013 Tinker FCU Financial Advisors Scholarship Contest, out of 320 entries. The contest, sponsored by Tinker FCU Financial Advisors and Tinker FCU’s SaveAbles Kids Club, was open to Tinker FCU members 18 and under. Contestants submitted a drawing or photo showing what they want to be when they grow up. Entrants 12 and older also wrote a short essay on the same subject. The winners were:

The winners were:

Category A (ages 6 and under)

  • 1st Place: Alexis Paxton (6) of Moore, Okla. Paxton wants to be a veterinarian.
  • Honorable Mention: Ashlyn Rowell (5) of Ramona, Okla. Rowell wants to be a toy doctor.

Category B (ages 7 to 11)

  • 1st Place: An M. Anh (10) of Midwest City, Okla. Anh wants to be an author and illustrator.
  • Honorable Mention: Austin Buchanan (7) of Newalla, Okla. Buchanan wants to own a pet shop.

Category C (ages 12 to 14)

  • 1st Place: Emily Hernandez (14) of Yukon, Okla. Hernandez wants to dance with a ballet company.
  • Honorable Mention: Elaina Griffin (13), of Moore, Okla. wants to be a horse doctor.

Category D (ages 15 to 18)

  • 1st Place: Nicole Varghese (16) of Edmond, Okla. Varghese wants to be a doctor.
  • Honorable Mention: Mikala Huneycutt (17) of Ada, Okla. Huneycutt wants to be an event coordinator.

Tinker FCU President and CEO Mike Kloiber presented $500 scholarships to the four first-place winners and $250 scholarships to the four honorable mention winners at a pizza party hosted by Tinker FCU Financial Advisors, located at the credit union’s Midwest City branch.

 

Ken Walters, president and CEO at evolve FCU, strongly believes in helping those that can’t help themselves. So, in the last few years, evolve FCU has committed itself to improving the El Paso community and has donated more than $150,000 to local charities such as the Candlelighters of El Paso, and most recently, the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

In 2012, eFCU teamed up with the Make-A-Wish Foundation to grant wishes of local children with life-threatening illnesses. That year, the credit union’s executive team became wish granters and participated in granting the wishes of several local children.

During the month of December, fans of the eFCU Facebook page can learn more about what goes into granting a child’s wish, and how they too can help this holiday season. The Make-A-Wish North Texas Chapter has an office location in El Paso and according to their site; anyone who chooses to donate towards a wish can rest easy knowing that 100 percent of their donation will go towards granting the wish. In past years, the local office has been able to grant approximately 60 local wishes.

By bringing some attention to the organization, evolve FCU is hoping to encourage El Pasoans to get involved with their local chapter through donations or volunteer work.

 

San Angelo Chapter Food DriveIn an effort to help wipe out hunger, the San Angelo Chapter of Credit Unions recently participated in a Chapter-wide food drive. The Cornerstone Credit Union League encouraged Chapters to launch a food drive on International Credit Union Day, Oct. 17 and continue the food drive through Nov.  15. Cornerstone created promotional materials to help Chapters implement their food drive. The San Angelo Chapter collected 204 pounds of food. They plan to conduct another chapter-wide food drive next year.

 

SSFCU kicked-off their annual Food4SA campaign Nov. 1 with a $30,000 donation to the San Antonio Food Bank. In collaboration with H-E-B, Tesoro, the San Antonio Express-News, News 4 and Magic 105.3, the event is the largest food drive in the city. Its goal: to collect one million pounds of food in one month for Southwest Texas families in need – enough to make 750,000 meals.

SSFCU Food Drive“Each week, we help feed 58,000 people throughout 16 counties in Southwest Texas. Food4SA is imperative to our efforts to accomplish this monumental goal. We’re glad to have the relationships we do with our partners to help nourish our community,” said Eric Cooper, president and chief executive officer for the San Antonio Food Bank.

The credit union’s San Antonio area branches serve as drop locations for individuals wishing to donate canned goods or financial support. In addition, SSFCU uses its social media profiles, website and other marketing avenues to help promote the campaign to its members and the greater community.

“The current economic environment makes this year’s drive even more critical,” said Jim Laffoon, SSFCU president. ““More families than ever are struggling to put food on the table, and the number just keeps growing. It’s important to us to serve and help wherever we can.”

 

The University of Texas at Arlington has named Texas Trust CU the official credit union sponsor of the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics. The seven-year, strategic partnership is the largest sponsorship agreement in UT Arlington athletic program history. Through the agreement, Texas Trust CU gains marketing and promotional rights through the University’s athletic programs.

The credit union will open a branch in the University’s 20-acre College Park District in spring 2014 and will place ATMs in various campus locations. Texas Trust also will market a variety of UT Arlington branded debit cards that will provide a cash reward to the University.

Texas Trust CU will provide financial tools and resources for educational purposes to support the UT Arlington Student Money Management Center, which educates students about money, savings and credit awareness.

“Both of our organizations are focused on building brighter futures," said Jim Minge, president of Texas Trust CU, which is headquartered in Mansfield, Texas. “This partnership will strengthen UT Arlington's ability to influence and shape the lives of thousands of young adults by giving them access to financial resources and tools to help them build brighter financial futures."

The Texas Trust brand will be highly visible throughout the College Park District and College Park Center, the 7,000-seat, state-of-the-art special events center that opened in 2012. College Park Center is home court for UT Arlington basketball and women’s volleyball and is host of concerts, commencement ceremonies and special events throughout the year.

Texas Trust CU will be featured prominently through signage, hospitality services and an extensive multi-media advertising program. Texas Trust also will be a prime sponsor of a variety of athletic events throughout the duration of the agreement.

The Texas Trust CU campus branch will open at 510 S. Center St., at West First Street. The partnership was facilitated by Nelligan Sports Marketing of Little Falls, N.J., which provides sales and marketing expertise for sports properties across the country.