WESTBROOKE, Maine -- Volunteers from Maine credit unions have demonstrated the people helping people philosophy by setting record-breaking numbers of hours volunteered by credit union staff and directors in 2007.
The Maine Credit Union movement's volunteer program, Credit Unions Share for ME, released the final results of volunteer efforts by Maine credit unions in 2007 in celebration of National Volunteer Week. The program documented 23,004.50 hours volunteered by credit union staff and directors, which was an 18% increase from 2006.
"By their very structure credit unions are about volunteers, with each credit union governed by a volunteer, unpaid board of directors," said Jon Paradise, governmental and public affairs manager at the Maine Credit Union League. "Volunteering to help others in the community is an extension of the credit union philosophy of 'people helping people.' Credit unions are not just about being located in the communities they serve but truly being a part of them through involvement for the simple reason of it's the right thing to do."
The amount of volunteers participating in the program also increased by 13% from 2006 with 2,304 individuals from credit unions recording time spent volunteering in their communities.
The program also averaged 1,917.04 hours volunteered per month with an average of 192 volunteers participating in community service initiatives from delivering meals to seniors, donating blood to youth athletics, and serving as flag bearers at military funerals.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which calculates the value of one hour volunteered in Maine at $15.25, the value of time volunteered by Maine's credit unions in 2007 equaled $350,000.
The top five credit unions contributing the most volunteer hours were: Rainbow Federal Credit Union in Lewiston (2,517 hours); Saco Valley Credit Union in Saco (2,501); Five County Credit Union in Bath (1,920.75); Midcoast Federal credit Union in Bath (1,698.50); and Franklin-Somerset Federal Credit Union in Skowhegan (1,343.25). The top five credit unions with the most volunteers were: Rainbow with 215 volunteers; Five County with 191 volunteers; Saco Valley with 177 volunteers; Midcoast with 172 volunteers; and a tie between Ocean Communities Federal Credit Union in Biddeford and NorState Federal Credit Union in Madawaska with 118 volunteers.