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Illinois kicks off third year of REAL Solutions
NAPERVILLE, Ill. (3/26/10)--Illinois credit unions started their third year participating in REAL Solutions with a meeting that addressed topics centered on membership growth, said the Illinois Credit Union league (ICUL). Topics included:
Click to view larger image Wednesday Medlen, business development officer from Community Plus FCU, Rantoul, Ill., discussed her credit union’s involvement in Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and Money Smart Week efforts as an outcome of its participation in REAL Solutions during an Illinois Credit Union League meeting this week in Naperville. (Photo provided by the Illinois Credit Union League)
* Student Interns: Representatives from Robert Morris University discussed the opportunity for credit unions to engage student interns--paid and unpaid positions--to help with special projects, such as marketing and business development projects. * Financial Education and Girl Scouts: The Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana discussed the volunteer opportunities for credit unions to help teach financial education programs to girl scouts. They highlighted Journey World--an experiential, hands-on environment to immerse students in a new way of learning. * Financial Education--CU4 Reality: Scott CU, Collinsville, shared the credit union’s experience implementing the CU4 Reality program--also known as a “reality fair” or a “reality store”--for 200 high school seniors. Materials were developed by America’s Credit Union Museum. Scott CU is adapting the program to reach middle school students, high school students and newly enlisted military members. * Financial Education--Money Smart Week: The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago hosts Money Smart Week (MSW) in seven areas of Illinois during April of each year. MSW is a public awareness campaign to help consumers better manage their personal finances. Businesses, financial institutions, schools, libraries, not-for-profits, government agencies and the media come together to stress the importance of financial literacy. These groups provide free educational seminars and activities throughout MSW.
Field coach Mark Lynch also provided an update regarding REAL Solutions activities nationwide. The next meeting for Illinois REAL Solutions partner credit unions will be held June 9 at the ICUL offices in Naperville. Also, other scheduled Illinois REAL Solutions gatherings include two education sessions, including one on Mad City Money, as part of ICUL’s 80th Annual Convention April 29 through May 1 in Chicago. “The topic of reality fairs is very timely for us, given we are looking to expand our efforts with local high schools,” said Tom Pierce, CEO of Canals & Trails CU, Lockport. “We have been very happy with REAL Solutions, as it has provided help to implement our payday loan alternative program, as well as to explore youth marketing and providing income tax assistance.” ICUL and the Illinois Credit Union Foundation have teamed up with the National Credit Union Foundation to offer the “REAL Solutions for Low Wealth Households” program in Illinois. Currently, 48 credit unions in the state participate. REAL stands for Relevant, Effective, Asset-building, Loyalty-producing, and is being operated in 27 states nationwide.
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