DALLAS (3/16/10)--The Texas Credit Union Foundation (TCUF) begins another campaign, “Make the Difference” to promote financial literacy next month. It will distribute $10,000 in grants to credit unions and community organizations to help teach people about managing money. April is National Financial Literacy Month, and TCUF will use the month-long effort to promote financial education efforts, according to the Texas Credit Union League (LoneStar Leaguer March 2). The grants will be offered for up to $500 each to “Make a Difference” efforts that include but are not limited to credit union partnerships with local community groups or classroom instruction. “We debuted the ‘Make the Difference’ campaign in 2009 and were amazed at the enthusiasm and collaboration among credit unions, chapters, partner organizations and educators in [Texas],” said Courtney Nickles, executive director. “Credit unions are making a difference in their own communities every day, true to the philosophy of ‘people helping people.’ April presents the perfect opportunity to join forces, make the difference and further strengthen financial education in Texas.” TCUF also is working with its Project NEFE Network, a group of members implementing local financial education programs and offering National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) High School Financial Planning Program training sessions statewide. Last year, TCUF and Project NEFE Network members reached roughly 80,000 students through financial literacy efforts. TCUF will track activities, so credit unions and partners can report their activities to win prizes and receive recognition. Nickles was recently interviewed by Texas-based radio station KERA regarding the campaign. She told KERA Morning Edition Host Sam Banker that she thinks the current recession and mortgage crisis stem from financial illiteracy. Budgeting is a huge problem, she said. “Lots of families do not live by a budget and just kind of fly by the seat of their pants on a daily, weekly, monthly basis,” she said. The foundation hopes to make its members financially fit and savvy, she added. “You’re talking about delinquencies, bankruptcies--you just want your members to be smart and savvy and I think that benefits everyone involved,” she said. “TCUF likes to think that we teach from cradle to grave,” she added. Even preschool-age children can learn how to save through a piggy bank, she said.