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CUs unite raise 206161 for quake victims
MADISON, Wis., and WASHINGTON (1/20/10)--Donations to credit unions' disaster relief fund to help colleagues and members affected by the Jan. 12 earthquake in Haiti continue to stream in at a steady pace. The total contributed as of 2 p.m. CT Tuesday was $206,161, said Valerie Breunig, executive director of the Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions, the international charitable arm of the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU). That total is roughly $65,000 more than the $142,000 the movement contributed as of Friday. U.S. credit unions, individuals, and organizations contributed $133,431 of that total, via the National Credit Union Foundation's (NCUF) CUAid Disaster Relief fund through www.CUAid.coop, said Jill Stevenson, of NCUF's marketing and communications department. That compared to a $98,736 total Friday. Haiti's recovery faces almost insurmountable challenges. Its pier at Port-au-Prince, the country's capital, which was basically leveled by the 7.0 magnitude quake, has collapsed and ships can't deliver supplies the usual way. Many people are starving and without water. Most are without homes and living in tent cities. Many have lost family members as the death toll climbs. Credit unions' funds will go to food and water, and later bricks and mortar, said WOCCU, which will disburse the relief. A team from WOCCU arrived in Haiti Tuesday to assist its Haiti project team and it began delivering needed supplies. (See News Now's related story, "WOCCU delivers critical supplies to Haiti team," for WOCCU's three-step plan to evaluate needs and provide assistance.) Haiti has an active credit union movement. More than 175 credit unions serve 404,090 members. To support Haiti's credit unions and members through the international credit union disaster fund, make payments, via check, credit card or wire to: Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions Inc., 5710 Mineral Point Road, Madison, WI 53705, USA. Donations also can be made online with a credit card at www.woccu.org/give. For wire transfer information, contact Valerie Breunig, Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions at 608-395-2055 or via e-mail vbreunig@woccu.org. Please indicate the donation is designated for the Haiti Disaster Relief Fund. U.S. credit unions also can support WOCCU's relief efforts by donating through the NCUF's CU Aid at www.CUAid.coop. In addition to their efforts for their credit unions colleagues and members, credit unions have other efforts underway for broader relief organizations. Some are organizing fundraising for the American Red Cross International Response Fund. Redwood CU, Santa Rosa, Calif., said all its branches are accepting contributions to assist victims. Horizon FCU, Williamsport, Pa., also placed canisters at all its branches and sent an e-mail to all its select employee groups about its collection (Life is a Highway Jan. 19).
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