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WOCCU steps up to aid Australian CUs hit by fires
MADISON, Wis. (2/12/09)--The World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) has established a fund to help victims of Australia's brushfires, many of whom are members of the country's credit unions.
Click to view larger image Brushfires have devastated the Australian state of Victoria, already claiming nearly 200 lives. The World Council of Credit Unions has established a fund to help victims. (Photo provided by the World Council of Credit Unions)
WOCCU is working with Credit Union Foundation Australia to collect tax-deductible contributions that will be administered through the Red Cross Victorian Brushfire Appeal. “The brushfires in Australia already have claimed close to 200 lives,” said Brian Branch, WOCCU executive vice president and chief operating officer. “In the true cooperative spirit, we're asking the global credit union movement to support Australian credit unions as they strive to serve their members during this crisis.” The brushfires have ravaged Victoria state, threatening several credit unions, their branches and many of their more than 250,000 members, according to reports. Police in Victoria believe the fires may have been the work of arsonists. “We have a number of member organizations that have been directly impacted by the fires,” said Karen Smith, spokesperson for Abacus Australian Mutuals, the Australian credit union trade organization and a WOCCU member. “At this stage we have no reports of staff lost, but many members have lost their homes and there is potential that some of them may have perished in the fires.” Much-needed cash contributions from credit unions and individuals worldwide assist those whose lives have been devastated by the brushfires, said WOCCU. U.S. tax-deductible donations may be made with a credit card online. Use the link. Donations may also be sent by check to Valerie Breunig's attention at: Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions, Inc., 5710 Mineral Point Road, Madison, WI 53705. In all cases, please indicate that the donation is designated for the Australian Brushfire Relief Fund. To wire funds or for more information, contact Breunig at 608-395-2055 or e-mail mail Valerie.
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