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Successful Saving Challenge for Youths
Thursday, May 22, 2014 6:50 AM

This year marks the fifth year credit unions have participated in the "Savings Challenge" for the full month of April. In the challenge, credit unions attract young savers by creating a theme, usually having to do with summer vacation. This encourages young savers to put money into their savings accounts. During the month of April alone, more than $90,000 was deposited into credit union savings accounts by youths.

Cornerstone credit unions showed quite well in the month-long event. Below are the participating credit unions that had the most youth money deposited (from lowest to highest):

  • Educators Credit Union, Texas
  • Sabine Federal Credit Union, Texas
  • GENCO Credit Union, Texas
  • America's Credit Union, Texas
  • United San Antonio Community FCU, Texas
  • Beacon Federal Credit Union, Texas
  • TruService Community FCU, Arkansas

Truservice Community Federal Credit Union, leader in the Cornerstone region for most money deposited, kicked off the April festivities with National Credit Union Youth Week. Their monthly Safari Savers' Club newsletter went out to all of their youth members at the end of March, so it was the perfect opportunity to advertise youth week festivities.

"We gave away Catch the Save Wave beach balls to kids who actually came in to make deposits," said Ashley Shoffner, marketing coordinator for Truservice. "Those were a big hit for members young and old! At the end of the month, we held a drawing for a season pass to a local water park for all kids who had deposits made into their account. The winner of that prize was a 4-year-old whose mother opened her account soon after she was born. She has been saving most of her life!"

GreenPath, a company that works with credit unions to offer financial education and counseling to their members, sponsored a drawing for this year's event, which included 25 kids who put money into their savings accounts in April. Almost $3,000 in cash was awarded.

Before the challenge was a month-long event, it lasted only a week. But credit unions noted that they needed more time, so the challenge was expanded. As a result, over 8,000 new youth accounts were opened this year, exceeding the amount last year by more than 2,000.