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CU News Briefs
Monday, February 3, 2014 5:35 AM

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Security Service Charitable Foundation recently presented Villa Maria of El Paso with a grant of $5,000 to help with operating costs, including utilities and food for the sheltered women housed there. Villa Maria is the only transitional living center in the El Paso community dedicated entirely to serving homeless single women. As a testament to its care, three out of four women who seek shelter there come back to help the nuns at Villa Maria once they’ve gotten back on their feet.

“It is our great joy and honor to be able to help a worthy organization like Villa Maria that is doing so much good in the El Paso community,” said Jim Laffoon, president of Security Service FCU (SSFCU) and the Security Service Charitable Foundation. “It has been said that there are 86,400 seconds credited to you at the start of every day, and at the end of the day, the balance is withdrawn. We strongly believe giving back in the local communities we serve is an important part of making each of those seconds count.”

The Security Service Charitable Foundation helps further SSFCU’s corporate goal of community service by contributing to deserving organizations and causes in the credit union’s market areas.

Pictured from left is SSFCU president Jim Laffoon; Sister Helen Santamaria, founder of Villa Maria; Linda Velarde, Villa Maria executive director; and Sister Mary Margaret Murphy, Villa Maria case manager.

 

Tinker FCUOn Jan. 22, Tinker FCU’s Edmond branch became the site of a simulated crime scene after closing. Students from the University of Central Oklahoma (UCO) School of Criminal Justice were there to test their crime scene investigation knowledge.

Tinker FCU allowed 21 students from UCO professor Dr. Don Mizell’s Modern Criminal

Investigations class to visit the branch after hours for the simulation. Dr. Mizell set up the crime scene for three separate groups to use the investigation skills they have learned in class. The groups sketched the scene, tagged evidence and predicted what happened based on the story and simulated evidence. All of the students in his class are majoring in criminal justice, some double-majoring in forensic science.

“This is a great way to give them a hands-on approach, instead of just telling them what to do in an investigation,” Dr. Mizell said. Dr. Mizell is a retired Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent, as well as a former Marine.

This simulation was the second part of a four-part project. The first week of class, students learned the introduction to crime scene investigation. This, the second week, the students investigated the simulated crime scene. Next, they will return to the branch to simulate witness interviews. Last, they will write their reports about the crime, which will show Dr. Mizell how thoroughly the groups investigated.

“As a member-focused organization, Tinker FCU has a tremendous outreach to all of the communities of which we are a part. Hosting this exercise is just one of the many ways we are truly a partner to the members and communities we serve,” Tinker FCU Security and Safety Officer John Micue said. “Our participation in this simulation allowed students to practice real-world skills in a real-world environment.”

 

Southwest Airlines FCU (SWACU) recently ran a “Cars for a Cause” promotion designed to raise money for charity. Each time a member took out an auto loan during a one-month period, the member would pick from a list of five charities that have a close relationship with Southwest Airlines, and SWACU would donate $20 to that charity. Members helped SWACU raise more than $3,000 for the American Red Cross, the Make a Wish Foundation, the Salvation Army, Ronald McDonald House and Kidd’s Kids.

 

A+ FCU has partnered with MoneyEdu to provide free, online financial education through interactive and self-paced courses, activities and worksheets giving members and the community on-demand access to financial education.

The content includes courses that help members with every day financial challenges and life events, including buying a car or home, paying for college, getting out of debt, or protecting their family from the unexpected. In addition, members can create monthly spending plans (budgets) to compare with actual spending, set short and long-term financial goals, and calculate the cost of financing a car, borrowing for education or paying off debt.

“Without financial literacy, consumers are faced with significant challenges in managing their personal finances,” said Kerry A. S. Parker. “Exposing them to financial education tools, such as MoneyEdu, empowers them to make sound financial decisions to meet their life goals.”

 

Members of Texas Trust CU continue to recognize the credit union for its exemplary service. For the eighth consecutive year, Texas Trust CU has been named the best financial institution in Mansfield.

Nearly 60,000 people call Mansfield home, as does the $796 million credit union, which is headquartered there. In 2012, Mansfield was ranked as one of the "Best Places to Live in the U.S." by CNN/Money Magazine.

The Best of Mansfield is an annual program that recognizes businesses and professionals in the city based on residents' nominations of local businesses they consider outstanding. Texas Trust CU, with three branches for Mansfield members and businesses, and 12 additional branches in surrounding cities, received the most nominations of the more than 20 financial institutions in the city, putting it at the top of the list.

"Serving our members well is the utmost priority of our employees," said Jim Minge, president of Texas Trust CU. "Our members' opinions are of the utmost importance to us and help us determine how to constantly improve our service for them."

The Mansfield News Mirror, a weekly community publication of the Star-Telegram, is the sponsor of the Best of Mansfield awards.