This October is a very special month for us at the Foundation as we get to celebrate 35 years of making a difference in peoples financial lives! This anniversary is the perfect opportunity for us to reflect on the great work we have accomplished over the years, and the strides we are making towards making financial freedom achievable through credit unions.
To showcase our story, we have created a timeline to highlight the most significant events in our history. As the saying goes, “it’s hard to know where you are going, if you don’t know where you’ve been.” For example, did you know we were originally chartered as the CUNA Foundation in 1980, and an internationally-focused organization?
Click the following image to view/download the timeline as a pdf:
There are many parts of our past that have been woven into the DNA that makes up the Foundation’s mission. Here are just a few notable parts of the Foundation’s rich history:
1982: The first Credit Union Development Education (DE) Program launches with an education grant from the U.S. Agency from International Development – today, there are over 1,400 DEs from over 34 countries!
2001: Shortly after September 11th, the Foundation established a special fund as a means for credit unions to support victims and their families. The Foundation collected $680,000 for the Credit Unions Rebuild America Fund, which was then distributed to the American Red Cross and United Way’s September 11th Fund.
2005: The Disaster relief fund was reactivated for Hurricane Katrina, and was able to raise over $3.5 million, the largest amount ever raised for credit union disaster relief.
2006: The Foundation makes largest non-disaster grant – $2 million over three years to sponsor the Biz Kid$ TV series!
2012: The Foundation starts offering Life Simulations (also known as a Poverty Simulations) which is designed to help credit union professionals begin to understand what it might be like to live in a typical low-income family trying to survive from month to month.
2014: All 158 Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) Hospitals receive Biz Kid$ DVD box sets thanks to the generosity of credit union organizations and a partnership between the Foundation and CU4Kids.
2015: The Foundation released a free Medical Debt Toolkit for credit unions to use to better help their members suffering from the number 1 cause of personal bankruptcy in the United States.
You can see through our history that we have a strong tradition of being the primary national philanthropic program provider, fundraiser, and grant-maker for nearly 7,000 credit unions. Be sure to check out our timeline to see all the major events not mentioned above!
To further celebrate this landmark anniversary, we’ve launched a special online fundraising campaign. Our goal is to raise $35,000 so we can reach more credit unions across the U.S., and continue to provide them with more tools they need to improve people’s financial lives. If you haven’t already, donate today and share the page with colleagues.
Together, we can continue working to help credit union members achieve financial freedom for the next 35 years and beyond!
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