(November 24, 2010 - San Francisco, CA) Two long-time community development credit unions (CDCUs) were among the recipients of Community Outreach Awards from the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues at its recent Annual Meeting and Convention held November 15-17 in Anaheim, CA. Urla Abrigo, CEO of Episcopal Community Federal Credit Union (Los Angeles, CA), was the recipient in the individual category, while Mission SF Federal Credit Union (San Francisco, CA) won in the under $100-million-assets category. Travis Credit Union (Vacaville, CA) won in the over $100- million-assets category.
According to the California and Nevada Credit Union League, Abrigo’s individual award recognizes her successful efforts to hold a wellness day for local community women. With the help of a doctor friend at Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles and the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese, the credit union held its Women’s Wellness Day in June, attracting over 100 women, many of whom had no health insurance or were homeless. Medical and credit union volunteers provided much-needed health screenings and even child care.
“As a community development credit union we do all we can to serve the financial needs of our members and our community, but it was clear to me that fixing peoples’ finances is not always enough,” explained Abrigo. “People are suffering from other ailments and I felt that we needed to do something more to help, so I contacted our Bishop and my doctor friend, Dr. Hill, and our wellness day was the result. It’s an honor to receive this award and recognition for our work with at-risk populations, but we did this not in search of praise, but because it is the right thing to do,” she said.
Farther north, Mission SF Federal Credit Union was honored in the under $100-million-in-assets category for its Prize-linked Accounts for Youth (PLAY) program, which provides San Francisco children and youth with a free savings account and a fun hands-on way to learn personal finance while building a habit of savings. Five youth groups and about 50 young people participated in the pilot earlier this year in which each child set a personal savings goal to buy something they wanted (such as a cell phone or school supplies), while learning the basics of finance.
“We launched our PLAY program to teach youth that saving a few dollars each week can quickly add up towards a significant personal goal,” explained Margaret Libby, Executive Director of Mission SF Community Financial Center, the non-profit affiliate of Mission SF FCU, which operates the CDCU's youth programs. “We live in a culture that is strapped with debt and we want our children to understand that while good credit is important, they shouldn't necessarily swipe now and pay later. Our program is about using peer influence to promote personal goal-setting and the concept of save and spend versus spend and owe, all toward building a culture of saving; and that is a truly valuable lesson,” Libby added.
The awards, which are presented by the League’s Community Outreach Committee, are given to individuals, credit unions, and organizations that have demonstrated an understanding of the importance of credit union membership and financial education, and awareness of the diverse and underserved groups within their communities.
© 2010 National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions.