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WOCCU Haiti relief fund tops 1 million
MADISON, Wis. (4/9/10)--A $25,000 donation from Georgia Credit Union Affiliates and its members helped push World Council of Credit Unions' (WOCCU) Haiti Relief Fund past the $1 million mark. The fund, which provides immediate relief to victims of the Jan. 12 earthquake, will also be used to finance the rebuilding of Haiti's credit unions so they can assist members and support local relief efforts.
Click to view larger image BEFORE: Prior to the Jan. 12 earthquake, the Magloire Ambroise branch of KOTALEM CU was the busiest branch of the largest credit union in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
Click to view larger image AFTER: The quake's tremors caused the building of the Magloire Ambroise branch of KOTALEM CU to collapse, killing two employees and reducing the once-busy branch to rubble. (Photos provided by the World Council of Credit Unions)
WOCCU's fundraising drive--launched after the earthquake devastated Haiti's capital, Port au Prince, and surrounding areas--attracted donations from individuals, credit unions and credit union groups worldwide. Some of the largest single-donor gifts came from CUNA Mutual Group, Melrose CU in Jamaica, N.Y., and the Irish League of Credit Unions and its international development foundation. The U.S. National Credit Union Foundation, The Co-operative Development Foundation of Canada and the Caribbean Confederation of Credit Unions each led national fundraising efforts to support the campaign that also resulted in major contributions. "The fact that so many individuals, credit unions and credit union organizations have responded to our call illustrates the compassion and unity found within our movement," said Pete Crear, WOCCU president/CEO. "We are honored and humbled to be able to help the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere begin its rebuilding efforts after suffering such a terrible disaster." WOCCU was seven months into its first development efforts in Haiti, which began last July, when the January earthquake struck. WOCCU staff is working with credit unions, local organizations and even the national regulator to provide short-term emergency relief in the form of food, water and tents in Port-au-Prince and in nearby Léogâne, the earthquake's epicenter. Intermediate efforts also are underway to research possibilities for establishing a credit union-to-credit union remittance network to allow Haitians living abroad to cost-effectively send money to friends and relatives in Haiti. A WOCCU team is developing a long-term plan for rebuilding damaged credit unions. The plan may also include consulting on providing credit union products and services most in need. The WOCCU Supporter regular renewal campaign will begin soon. To support global credit unions and their members through the WOCCU Priority Fund, make payments via check, or wire to:

Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions Inc.

5710 Mineral Point Road

Madison, WI 53705

USA

Credit card donations may be made online using the links. For wire transfer information, contact Valerie Breunig, Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions, 608-395-2055, or via email at vbreunig@woccu.org.
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