Maine’s credit unions support communities near and far

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The credit union commitment to “people helping people” affects not only their members but the communities in which credit union employees work and live. The way Maine credit unions care for their communities keeps members returning to their local branches and it’s also what drives these dedicated members and staff to continue reaching out to people in need.

Credit unions provide support and assistance to their members, staff and community through a variety of initiatives such as school activities, serving on boards, donating blood, working at soup kitchens, and participating in a variety of other events and activities.

Jon Paradise, AVP of Governmental & Public Affairs for the Maine Credit Union League, explained, “Maine credit unions are about serving their members and communities. Without fail, both staff and members of Maine credit unions embrace the credit union philosophy of ‘people helping people’ each day. And not because they have to, but because it is the right thing to do.”

In 2002 a unique program called, Credit Unions Share for ME, was started. It tracks volunteerism by Maine credit unions and tabulated 37,500 hours in 2013.

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Since 2001, through the Maine credit unions’ Campaign for Ending Hunger, Maine’s credit unions have contributed over $70,000 the Emergency Food Relief Funds of Maine’s Red Cross Chapters in memory of 9/11. In 2013 alone more than $7,000 was contributed to the Emergency Food Relief Funds and hunger organizations in honor of 9/11 anniversary.

The efforts of Maine’s credit unions directly impact the people in Maine who most need assistance. For example, in 2013, $31,000 was raised for the Maine Children’s Cancer Program through the efforts of a three-on-three basketball tournament, the 19th annual Swish-Out Childhood Cancer Challenge, which is coordinated by Maine’s credit unions.

Since the tournament began in 1994, the event has raised nearly $290,000 for the Maine Children’s Cancer Program. One hundred percent of the funds raised from this event go directly to the program, allowing all funds to stay in the state of Maine. Next year’s event will be held in February 2015, at the University of Southern Maine in Gorham.

Maine’s credit unions also reached out to help those far from Maine’s borders. In November, the Maine Credit Union League partnered with The National Credit Union Foundation to raise funds through CUAid for credit unions and members affected by the devastating tornados that hit Colorado this past year. Maine’s credit unions raised several thousands of dollars for victims in Colorado.

Visit www.mainecul.org to see what Maine’s Credit Unions are doing in your town, county and across the state. Visit your local credit union to find out more on how you can help your credit union help others in your community.

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