I started my day as normal. Within a few hours, I received a call that the neighborhood near me was getting flood water. I had to go see for myself and it was devastating.
My son came by with his boat and we headed out to go help others. When I returned home, I found that water was in my own neighborhood. We started lifting furniture and putting things up high. Water had already started entering my home within minutes. Shutting my front door to leave was the biggest impact I have ever experienced.
As I left my house, tears began to flow. I had just helped save people in our boat and gave them comfort. Now, I was experiencing it first-hand. This was the beginning of my worst nightmare.
Questions ran through my head…..”How do I rebuild? Where do I stay? Who will help me?” Millions of other questions. Yes, I was one of the lucky ones who had flood insurance two months prior to the flood, but it took quite some time to get the funds.
Within days of the flood, I received a text from our CEO that the National Credit Union Foundation and Louisiana Credit Union Foundation CUAid/disaster relief was offering assistance to credit union employees impacted by the flood.
It was a wonderful feeling knowing that the credit union foundations were concerned about the credit union employees. It was a comfort knowing I had funds for unexpected expenses that had occurred. I am very THANKFUL for that.
It made a clear meaning of the credit union motto…..”People Helping People!”
That story from late last year is from a credit union staff member from BRECO Federal Credit Union in Louisiana and we hear so many stories just like this. Can you imagine trying to put your life back together after disaster strikes and in the middle of it, receiving funds from the credit union community to help? That’s the credit union philosophy in action.
The National Credit Union Foundation offers CUAid, the only national online disaster relief fundraising center for credit unions, the only place dedicated to helping credit unions, their employees and volunteers recover from major disasters. Last year, we worked with the Louisiana Credit Union Foundation to raise over $300,000 to help 430 credit union employees – like the one above – affected by the devastating flooding in late August.
CUAid has been in the news a lot lately as we currently have two large-scale disaster relief campaigns open simultaneously, which is unprecedented. We are raising funds to help the thousands of credit union people affected by Tropical Storm Harvey and Hurricane Irma.
The Foundation has been unifying resources to help credit union people during disaster for decades. In fact, our first big relief effort was in response to the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, for which $1.4 million was raised to help credit union victims’ families.
But since August 29, 2005 – when Hurricane Katrina struck America’s Gulf Coast – the Foundation has become the credit union movement’s focal point for disaster relief. We raised the largest amount ever for credit union disaster relief, $3.5 million, which was ultimately disbursed to assist credit union survivors of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
Afterwards in 2006, CUAid was developed by the Foundation in cooperation with state credit union foundations, state credit union leagues, and the CUNA’s Disaster Preparedness Committee. Since 2004, thanks to CUAid, over $7 million in donations have been collected more efficiently and money is distributed much faster to credit union people in disaster areas.
How many industries do you know that fundraise specifically to help each other in times of disaster? The ‘People Helping People’ philosophy is thriving right now as we work together to help our credit union colleagues in Texas and Florida.
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