Joplin credit unions expressed heartfelt gratitude Tuesday for the financial aid pouring in for employee and member victims of Sunday’s catastrophic tornado, with online funds routed through the National Credit Union Foundation topping $50,000.
As cleanup began following a disaster which claimed at least 118 lives and caused billions in property damage in the Missouri community, the area’s four CUs moved toward a resemblance of normal operations while also putting together emergency loan packages and other forms of financial aid.
A spokeswoman for the Missouri Credit Union Association said at least three CUs had reopened damaged branches: the $15 million District 7 Highway, the $131 million Postal Federal Community and the $22 million Joplin Metro. All three have also been distributing CUAid forms to employees and affected members.
The fourth CU, the $286 million Great Plains FCU, has moved its Joplin operations to a Carthage branch and there was no word when it might reopen the severely damaged Joplin facility. But “they are very happy to have CUAid and are really appreciative of the help they received,” said the spokeswoman.
“We urge credit union employees, volunteers and members to use CUAid.coop as a donation channel to help credit union people in need,” said NCUF Executive Director Bucky Sebastian.
As donations are posted through CUAid.coop, NCUF will coordinate with the Missouri Credit Union Charitable Foundation to distribute money efficiently to CU employees and members in the affected areas, said Sebastian.
CUAid was developed by NCUF in cooperation with state credit union foundations, state credit union leagues, and CUNA’s Disaster Preparedness Committee in 2006.
The secure online tool links the entire CU system to raise money for disaster relief, most recently raising almost $75,000 for the April tornadoes hitting Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi and Georgia.