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Member donates dividend to family near foreclosure
HIGH POINT, N.C. (1/28/08)--What do members do with the dividends and rebates they receive from the credit union? For one member of North State Telco CU, it was a no-brainer. He donated his entire dividend to members of a struggling family in danger of losing their home.
North State Telco CU Assistant Manager Sarah Allen noted members' generosity in helping others. She says Perry Widemon Sr., shown here with her, "is one of the best at it--this isn't the first time he's helped someone out." (Photo provided by the North Carolina Credit Union League)
The $8.3 million assets credit union based in High Point, N.C., paid its members a year-end rebate--something it's done for more than 25 years, since 1983. This year's rebate was 9% on the interest earned on member deposits and 9% of the interest they paid during the year, according to the North Carolina Credit Union League's Weekly Update (Jan. 14 and 25). Perry Widemon Sr., a member since 1986 when he became a cable splicer for North State Communications, received a $250 rebate. He could have put it to good use for his own family--his wife, four children and 15 grandchildren. Instead, Widemon, a pastor at Hallelujah Baptist Church, thought about the members of the struggling family who are members are the church. "They were way behind on their mortgage payments, and they didn't think they could catch up," he said. Church members decided to give on their own to help out. He dropped by the credit union to see what he could give. "We saw that rebate had made it into the account." He was shocked at the amount, but without hesitation he donated the entire amount to the family. His donation, combined with others, helped the family catch up on its house payments. North State Telco Assistant Manager Sarah Allen, who has known Widemon since he joined the credit union, said he is typical of the credit union's membership. "They'll do anything to help people out. Perry is one of the best at it--this isn't the first time he's helped someone out." Widemon says his generosity and commitment to the credit union come from his deep faith. "I've been in some real storms over the years, but this house [North State] has brought me through them. I've learned over the years that if I just stand still, God will take care of me." While his rebate amount reflects a healthy financial situation, he is mindful of what it is to struggle. "I've stood here and cried before, and these folks have always been here for me," he said of the credit union.
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