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Local schools would benefit from CU's rewards card
LOS ALAMOS, N.M. (4/25/14)--A New Mexico-based credit union wants to team up with its local school district to offer members an easy way to donate to public schools.

Los Alamos Schools CU, with $16 million in assets and about 700 members, recently pitched an idea to the Los Alamos Public Schools board for a credit card that would offer members the choice of donating 25 cents to the district's foundation every time a purchase was made with the card ( Los Alamos Monitor April 22).

The foundation supports grants, programs and scholarships associated with Los Alamos Public Schools. Members of the credit union consist of past and present employees of the school district.

"We want to feature the school district as the primary benefactor of this card," said CEO Matt Schmidt. "So therefore, I'm seeking your approval of the logo."

With unanimous support from the school board, should the program come to fruition, the card's face will feature the locally famous yellow-and-green "Hilltopper" logo, the mascot for the high school.

The card donation program, Schmidt said, would further demonstrate the credit union's ties to the community, and to the local economy.

"We wanted something that was going to be hyper-local, and something that was going to give back . . . to the school community," Schmidt said. The CEO is looking to organize a similar program that also would benefit small businesses in town.

Cardholders would have the choice to opt in or out of the program once it's up and running, according to Schmidt.

Los Alamos Schools CU is looking into matching the donations made by its members through the program on an annual basis, though the member-owned financial institution's board has yet to vote on the idea.

If all goes according to plan, the credit union will kick off the campaign one month prior to this coming school year.


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