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Over $300k Raised to Help CU Employees in Louisiana
Monday, October 10, 2016 6:40 AM

louisianafederalstaff.png

Through CUAid and other channels, the National Credit Union Foundation and the Louisiana Credit Union Foundation raised more than $300,000 to help 430 credit union employees affected by the devastating flooding in late August.

“In my 33-year credit union career, I have seen and worked through many natural disasters,” said R. Keith Cranfield, chief risk officer at EFCU Financial FCU in Baton Rouge, La. “I am always impressed with the resilience of the people of Southern Louisiana, but I’m most impressed with the generosity of those individuals not affected. I want to personally thank the Louisiana Credit Union League, the Foundation, and all of the credit unions and employees for their generosity in this time of need. I lost nearly all of my appliances and furniture as well as many of our family memories and treasures. When someone thinks of you in your time of need, it is priceless. The funds provided to me and all of our other employees are greatly appreciated.”

In an effort to assist with the relief efforts in Southeast Louisiana, the Louisiana Credit Union League (LCUL) also issued a national challenge, the Louisiana CU Strong Challenge, to encourage friendly competition among Louisiana credit unions to match or beat each other in donations to the Louisiana Credit Union Foundation. Credit unions participated by posting a video or their official "challenge accepted" photo using the hashtag #LACUStrong on Twitter, helping raise more than $67,000 ultimately.

New Orleans Fireman's FCU Staff“The #LACUStrong Challenge was created to help bring awareness and financial assistance to the victims of the great August flood,” said Lacey Hyer, LCUL VP of communications and public relations. “However, we weren’t expecting the emotional strength and support that it provided to so many. For the credit union community to step up the way they did was so humbling. It helped lift so many spirits and reminded us all that there is no better place to work than credit unions. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”

"The outpouring of support through CUAid for those affected credit union people in Louisiana is a perfect example of our philosophy in action,” said Christopher Morris, Foundation director of communications. “How many industries do you know that fundraise specifically to help each other in times of disaster? Not many, and we all should be proud to work in a movement that always puts people first.”

Affected credit unions in Louisiana offered—and continue to offer—support to staff, such as:

  • Paid time off to handle flood recovery insurance appointments;
  • Dress-down days;
  • Free grief counseling sessions;
  • Donations of cleaning supplies, clothing, toiletries from non-affected staff;
  • Extensions on loan payments to employees/members;
  • Flexible work schedules to coincide with children's school schedule (for those employees whose children's schools had adopted a platoon schedule, or for those who were having to drive further to get their child to a different school);
  • Once the Louisiana CU Foundation distributed quick cash grants of up to $500 to affected CU staff, many CUs matched the grant amount;
  • Staff were allowed to bring their children to work for 2 weeks;
  • Credit unions fed their staff lunch for the first two weeks; and
  • One CU staff member was letting another employee borrow her car.

During the campaign, as donations were posted through CUAid.coop, the National Credit Union Foundation coordinated with the Louisiana Credit Union Foundation to distribute money efficiently to affected credit union employees. A full 100 percent of the donations through CUAid goes to credit union disaster relief. In the event that all donations are not used for Louisiana flooding relief, the National Credit Union Foundation will transfer any and all unused funds to its "General Disaster Relief fund" for future disaster relief efforts.

About the National Credit Union Foundation (ncuf.coop):
The National Credit Union Foundation (the Foundation) is the charitable arm of the U.S. credit union movement and works as a catalyst to improve people’s financial lives through credit unions. Through Foundation grants and programs, credit unions provide widespread financial education, create greater access to affordable financial services, and empower more consumers to save, build assets, and own homes.  Donations to the Foundation enable credit unions to help their members reach life-changing goals and achieve financial freedom.

About the Louisiana CU League (lcul.com):
For more than 80 years, the Louisiana Credit Union League has represented the unique interests of nearly 200 not-for-profit credit unions and the more than one million credit union members that they serve in the State of Louisiana.