MADISON, Wis. (10/14/10)--Webinars, board games, free credit checks and other innovative events will help credit unions, members and communities celebrate the credit union difference on International Credit Union (ICU) Day, Oct. 21. Leaders from the credit union movement will participate in the free webinar, Celebrating Our Cooperative Heritage
, at 3 p.m. ET. The webinar will originate at Credit Union House in Washington, D.C. with host Paul Berry, the voice of the Credit Union National Association’s (CUNA) Home and Family Finance Radio
, along with Bill Cheney, president/CEO, CUNA; Pete Crear, president/CEO, World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU); Paul Hazen, president/CEO, National Cooperative Business Association; and Mark Meyer, CEO, Filene Research Institute. Participants can ask questions and make comments throughout the program, which is hosted by the U.S. Credit Union Development Educators and WOCCU. To register, visit the ICU Day webinar site. Credit union plans for celebrating ICU Day across the country often stretch into multiple days or even a full week of activities. Some examples include:
* Volunteers from Redwood CU, Santa Rosa, Calif., will appear unannounced at sites throughout the North Bay and San Francisco area on ICU Day to perform good deeds. The $1.7 billion asset credit union announced that its activities will include bagging groceries with free eco-totes at select supermarkets, handing out free lunches, distributing free school supplies at local colleges and paying parking fees for drivers. * A Shred Fest will help members of Ticonderoga (N.Y.) CU learn ways to prevent identity theft. A mobile shredder will be available at three credit union branches on Oct. 18 and 19 to shred paper, folders and envelopes, which will then be recycled. A Ticonderoga CU press release said members who participate are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item to donate to local food pantries. The $77.1 million asset credit union will also distribute information on guarding against identity theft and promote e-statements. * Reality-based financial education events will teach money management skills to students in the Columbus, Dayton and Toledo areas in Ohio Oct. 18-22 (eLumination Oct. 6). Miami Valley High School students will play the “Life After High School” board game created by Universal 1 CU, Dayton, to learn how life choices impact their financial future. The Northwest Chapter will guide students with a “real world” simulation called “Finances 101” at Bowling Green State University and schools in central Ohio. The Ohio Credit Union League is joining with the Central Ohio and Miami Valley Chapters to sponsor the events, which rely on financial education initiatives developed for statewide use with Ohio Credit Union Foundation grants. * Forum CU, Indianapolis, will participate in Indiana’s fifth annual Money Smart Week Oct. 18-22. The $999 million asset credit union announced special offers for members that include free credit checks on Oct. 18; a comprehensive budgeting review on Oct. 19; $5 for opening a qualifying savings account on Oct. 20; information about the credit union difference for ICU Day on Oct. 21; and candy, kids’ activities and information on kids’ and teens’ accounts as part of Kids’ Day on Oct. 22. * A pumpkin giveaway, a coloring contest for kids and free doughnuts and cider will highlight week-long ICU events at $335 million-asset Consumers CU, Kalamazoo, Mich., according to a Consumers CU press release. * The Mid-Michigan Chapter of Credit Unions will launch its 18-week sponsorship of the Biz Kids television program on local Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) stations on Oct. 22. The sponsorship spotlights youth financial literacy and spreads the word about credit unions in the community with an introduction and exit that names the 19 credit unions involved in the chapter. The Mid-Michigan Chapter uses the proceeds of its summer golf outing to support a cooperative community project each year. * Louisiana Credit Union League chapters, like other chapters across the country, will host receptions and dinners to celebrate ICU Day (eNews Sept. 29 and Oct. 6).
CUNA’s ICU Day web site (use the resource link) offers a wide range of ideas for highlighting credit union contributions with community projects, product and services promotions, financial education, and special events. A sampling of ICU Day ideas includes:
* Offering loans or new share draft accounts for the same fees that were charged the year your credit union opened; * Making your credit union into an elementary school field trip destination to help teachers build real-world experience into math lessons; * Telling members about the worldwide credit union movement by serving international foods and displaying posters; * Offering a series of lectures on basic finance topics during the lunch hour or in the evening; * Rewarding employees and recognizing members who provide exceptional service to the community; * Sponsoring a safe Halloween program for local children; * Planting a tree in a nearby park or on your credit union grounds; and * Collecting business clothes to donate to a local organization that helps people prepare for the workplace.