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NEWS

Credit unions ready to reach out when disaster strikes

November 30, 2012
By Lori Sharn

After Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast in 2005, response from credit union members was overwhelming. Christopher Morris, director of communications at National Credit Union Foundation, recalled a day when he helped sort through about $2 million in relief checks, all stacked in piles on a table. Total giving reached $3.5 million.

In post-Katrina briefings, the NCUF saw there could be a more effective way to tap the generosity of the credit union community. Morris designed and built cuaid.coop, an online fundraising platform. So when Sandy hit the East Coast in late October, people nationwide knew immediately how to contribute. More than $230,000 has been raised so far to help credit unions, employees and members recover; credit union leagues in New York and New Jersey are distributing the money.

Morris, CUAid point person, said the effort is in keeping with the credit union philosophy of people helping people. The foundation covers administrative costs, so all donations go to relief.