FITCHBURG, Mass. -- Fitchburg Federal Credit Union President/CEO Barbara Goodwin was one of 12 presenters at the city of Fitchburg's first Senior Summit.
The summit provided senior citizens with information about how to stay warm, healthy and safe during the winter. The event was organized by State Rep. Steve DiNatale and included Fitchburg Fire Chief Kevin Roy and representatives from utilities, elder services, assistance, housing and food programs and support agencies such as United Way, Catholic Charities and Salvation Army.
Goodwin presented on two Fitchburg FCU programs to help members meet the high costs of heating expected this winter. One program is a low-interest HeatingHelp credit line used to pay utility bills and the other is a special no-interest heat loan to make homes more energy efficient, offered in conjunction with local utilities.
"That's what we're here for. I don't care if it's only $100 you need; come see us," Goodwin said.
Ike Disaster Funds Reach $469,000
FARMERS BRANCH, Texas -- The industry's fundraising campaign to help its own--those credit union employees who suffered losses from Hurricane Ike--has now brought in $469,000. Of those funds, $400,000 has already been distributed in 827 grants, the Texas Credit Union League reported.
"We are very grateful for the level of support from our credit union family for the hundreds who have experienced such devastation and upheaval in their lives," said Jill Pharr, executive director of the Texas Credit Union Foundation. "We want to remind all of our generous contributors that 100% of the donations go directly to the credit union employees who need help with disaster recovery."
League officials have said the $469,000 raised over the last month resulted from the solicitation efforts conducted by the Texas foundation and the National Credit Union Foundation through its CUAid program.
Mindful of the nation's attention to the financial crisis, the league wrote in an e-mail to CEOs that it has been reticent about releasing too much information on the Gulf Coast recovery, but it said the need was still great. The foundation noted that its crisis management team has been meeting twice a week to share information on how CUs are restoring operations.
Roughly 190 CUs were affected by the hurricane, with 29 still only partially operational. The league said it is working with CUNA's Adopt-A-CU program, successfully implemented during Katrina three years ago, which partners large CUs outside of the hurricane zone with the affected smaller CUs in need of special equipment or extra personnel.
The Texas league said also for this week's International Credit Union Day, Oct. 16, it will be collecting stuffed animals for the children of affected families.
In addition, it has hired Plano psychologist, Susan Fletcher, to provide counseling for stressed CU employees. Group debriefing sessions will be held for interested employees starting some time this month. As employees deal with recovery and try to restore order to their lives, some may find themselves in an "anger phase when nothing seems to be happening fast enough," noted a league spokesman.