While the Ohio State Buckeyes and their longstanding rivals, the University of Michigan Wolverines, went head-to-head on the football field on Nov. 27, another kind of battle was raging in the branches of the Credit Union of Ohio and University of Michigan Credit Union.
Starting Nov. 22, the two CUs waged war against each other-a penny war benefiting the Red Cross. Both set out collection containers across their campuses and created a strategy to try to bring in more donations than the other. In the end, UMCU was victorious, raising $1,025 to CU of Ohio's $725.
"The University of Michigan Credit Union's employees really worked hard to communicate with our members, the University of Michigan and the community to help us collect donations for this great cause," said Jeff Schillag, vice president of marketing and business development. "Without exception, this was a great team effort."
And although it was framed as a competition, the penny war was equally about collaboration.
"Yes, there's a lot of joking that goes on between our credit unions and universities, but at the end of the day we're really pleased at the networking and connection that this initiative created," said Kim Hudson, vice president of marketing at Credit Union of Ohio. "Together, our cooperative nature is going to bring quite a bit of good."
And of course the real winners of the penny war are the local Red Cross chapters that the collected donations will support.
"This support allows us to help our neighbors when home fires turn their lives upside down, when families of military personnel face emergencies here at home, and when seniors and others depend upon our volunteers to get them to critical medical appointments," said Michael Carroll, CEO of the American Red Cross of Greater Columbus. "We are grateful for this commitment and the spirit in which the Penny Wars was conducted and look forward to channeling Buckeye pride again next year."