As credit unions continue to look for new and innovative ways to serve their members during uncertain economic times, a host of institutions are putting forward products and solutions that have a genuine impact. Throughout the month of July, CreditUnions.com has featured some of those stories, and we recap them here as a refresher for those who may have missed them the first time around.
Partners In Health
CommunityAmerica Credit Union near Kansas City has partnered with a pair of local community colleges – on both the Kansas and Missouri sides of the border – to help address a variety of socioeconomic issues, including health and wellbeing, education, and more. The credit union is working with partners to develop “Peace of Mind Centers” throughout its service area that can offer not just financial services but also providing holistic resources that address all aspects of peace of mind.
Read more in “Partnering To Elevate Community Health.”
School Is (Almost) Back In Session
As the summer winds down, students of all ages are buying backpacks, stocking up on pencils and technology tools, and preparing to head back to class. With that in mind, credit unions across the country offer programs throughout the summer to help make the transition easier. In some instances, that means loans to help college students afford laptops and other costly devices. Elsewhere, some institutions provide grant funding to help teachers ensure their classrooms are fully outfitted for the year ahead. And for one of the nation’s biggest credit unions, back to school means a renewed focus on financial literacy, thanks to a recent partnership with a local college.
Read more in “How Credit Unions Can Ease The Back-To-School Burden.”
Collaboration For A Cause
Almost a year after the launch of Dora, a credit union-backed fintech aimed at serving un- and underbanked consumers, one of the project’s leaders looks back at its successes so far, shares lessons learned, and discusses what comes next.
“Part of our tagline is ‘Better Than A Bank, Powered By Credit Unions,” so having that association with credit unions is a big differentiator,” says Managing Director Kristi Kenworthy. “When you think about the core philosophy of credit unions and their core mission, it aligns with what credit unions do best: people helping people. What’s really cool about the credit union industry is collaboration among credit unions, and we have credit union investors and we’re going to create a network of credit unions, leveraging what’s already so excellent about our industry.”
Read more in “Lessons From A Fintech’s First Year.”
Since its launch in late 2015, the TowerCares Foundation from Tower Federal Credit Union ($4.3B, Laurel, MD) has focused on serving local military heroes and children in need as an extension of the credit union’s field of membership. Staff and members alike have taken to the cause, which has surged past the $1 million mark.
Rick Stafford, Tower’s president and CEO, also runs the foundation, and he emphasizes that part of the philanthropy’s success comes from the fact that it shares a similar mission to the credit union.
"At the end of the day, the work we do through the foundation is an extension of our mission as a credit union and the movement as a whole," he says.
Read more in “How The TowerCares Foundation Maximizes Its Impact.”