GALVESTON, Texas (9/15/08)--The National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) and the Texas Credit Union Foundation have activated the online disaster relief system, CUAid, to raise money for credit union people affected by Hurricane Ike. Credit union supporters in every state can donate through a secured website that accepts credit cards and wire transfers. While Texas credit unions can donate directly to the Texas Credit Union Foundation, individuals in Texas are encouraged to donate online via www.cuaid.coop/texas. “We are encouraging credit union leaders all across the county to use CUAid.coop as a channel to collect donations from their employees, volunteers, and members,” said NCUF Deputy Director Steve Bosack. “We plan to work with the state credit union foundation to distribute money efficiently to those who need it in the affected areas.” “We will work closely with affected credit unions and the Texas Credit Union League to assess the needs in the affected areas,” added Texas Credit Union Foundation Executive Director Jill Pharr. “We will also serve as the repository for Texas credit union disaster donations, which will then be provided in the form of emergency grants for credit union employees.” The Texas foundation has a two-phase support system, beginning with emergency grants of up to $500 to assist affected credit union employees with their immediate needs. The second phase will provide support for credit union employees with unmet needs after other relief has been exhausted. All donations via CUAid.coop will go toward grants as well. Donations are forwarded in their entirety to credit union organizations in affected areas through NCUF, which is tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. “It never ceases to amaze me how willing the credit union movement is to open their hearts to one another in times of disaster,” Pharr said. “We are encouraging credit unions across the Lone Star State to make the CUAid link available on their website, so employees and members alike can contribute to disaster relief efforts.” “CUAid is one of many ways our foundation gives back to the credit union movement to thank donors for all their generosity,” Bosack concluded.