SYLVANIA, Ohio -- Directions Credit Union is joining forces with the popular ABC television show "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" to help one deserving family in the Toledo area.
The credit union is a lead sponsor for the Toledo edition, which is benefiting local firefighter Aaron Frisch's family of 13.
When Frisch's wife Jackie, an ordained minister, returned from a mission trip to poverty-stricken Haiti wanting to adopt five boys from an orphanage, the firefighter didn't hesitate to agree to the adoption without even meeting the boys. Over the years the Frisch family has adopted three more children, this time from Toledo's inner city. The family of 13, which includes three biological children, is currently living in a cramped one-story ranch home without air conditioning.
In addition, Jackie's health has been deteriorating. After having five surgeries and being diagnosed with a soft tissue disease called Ehrlers-Danlos syndrome, Jackie has had a series of strokes that left half of her body paralyzed. Doctors say her condition could lead to a possible fatal relapse.
As a firefighter and paramedic for Toledo's Fire and Rescue Department, Aaron has saved many lives, including the life of his rescue partner during the Toledo riots in October 2005, so the "Extreme Makeover" team is now helping the community give the Frisch family peace of mind and a new home.
The Toledo build is the 125th for "Extreme Makeover." It is the first build in Toledo, and the fourth in the state of Ohio, with previous homes constructed in Columbus, Cincinnati and Youngstown.
From Sept. 7-14, "Extreme Makeover" designers worked with a team of volunteers to create a home that meets the specific needs of the Frisch family.
The Buckeye Real Estate Group, as builder and lead contractor of the project, joined more than 3,000 skilled workers and volunteers to help make this home happen. Locally, the Toledo event has been themed "Hearts and Hands for Heroes," which complements the show's efforts this season in honoring families that define the word "hero."
"We were thrilled when Buckeye Real Estate Group approached us with this opportunity," said Directions CU President/CEO Barry Shaner. "Our goal at Directions is to provide our members and the community with the financial guidance and assistance to help them reach their dreams and goals in life. This is a great way for us to make a difference in this deserving family's life by helping them get a fresh start in their new home. "
In addition to being a major sponsor of the event, Directions has provided hats for those volunteers working on the job site during the week of the build. The hats were also sold at the job site and other events, with all proceeds being given to the family. Direction's branch location served as a collection site for community donations. In addition, the credit union sold "Hearts and Hands for Heroes" paper hands from Sept. 8-13, with all proceeds going to the family.
Student Choice Adds Another CU
BROOKLYN, N.Y. -- Polish & Slavic FCU is now offering student loans through Credit Union Student Choice, a credit union service organization launched earlier this year. The $1.2 billion credit union joins 16 other credit unions already participating in the service.
"Student Choice allows us to get into the business of private student lending and help young adults achieve their dreams of a college education, all while filling the major void left by other lenders who've recently exited the student loan market," said Polish & Slavic FCU Executive Vice President and Chief Lending Officer David W. West.
Jon Jeffreys, president of CUSC, explained that the rising cost of a college education combined with turmoil in the market has created a window of opportunity for credit unions, as not-for-profit balance-sheet lenders, to deliver value to students and families.
"Most private student lenders rely on secondary market access to fund loans," Jeffreys said.
"Due to the mortgage meltdown and ensuing credit crunch, that market has completely evaporated, forcing many lenders to stop funding new loans or significantly raise their fees and rates. Credit unions are not subject to these same liquidity concerns and capital market fluctuations, which gives them a wonderful opportunity to do what they do best--use proper risk management and offer appropriate terms to lend member deposits, for the good of the member and the credit union," Jeffreys continued.
Credit Union Student Choice is a turnkey solution, providing credit unions their own full-service private student loan program without adding any additional staff. The loans feature no origination fees, lower interest rates, in-school deferred payment, co-signer release and a graduated repayment option.