Driven by a wave of natural disasters this year, relief aid raised by the industry has hit $300,000, and perhaps more in uncounted contributions, based on a CUNA-state league sampling.
For its part, CUNA said this week the latest total for disaster relief through the online CUAid program, managed by the National Credit Union Foundation, has reached $240,000, including $104,000 for the Joplin, Mo., tornado in May, $117,000 for the Alabama/Deep South twisters in April and $20,000 for the recent North Dakota flooding.
“The CUAid campaigns for southern tornadoes and for Missouri are now closed, though money is still trickling in,” said a spokesman for the foundation, adding that fundraising for Minot, N.D., flood victims is still continuing.
Since CUAid started “every year is different since the program is only activated in times of disaster” said the spokesman. The fundraising done in 2010 was in partnership with the World Council of Credit Unions on behalf of Haiti earthquake victims. The total raised for that disaster was $435,000.
The Southeastern Credit Union Foundation, in conjunction with CUAid, said it has raised $179,000 for Alabama tornado relief, with the SECUF matching the first $100,000 from CUAid.
The SECUF has also donated $50,000 to the American Red Cross in two $25,000 increments.
The NCUF spokesman noted that this year contributors have stepped up to help “their fellow credit union people at a time of tragedy in an interesting and impressive” way. This year a large number of the donations have come from individuals in $20 and $50 increments “and even a few for $5” while generosity also emanated from large CU organizations.
Patrick La Pine, president/CEO of the League of Southeastern Credit Unions, called the industry response to the Alabama tornadoes “amazing.”
“Our foundation worked in conjunction with the NCUF to give credit unions and their staff outside of Alabama an opportunity to help, and the money raised shows our collaborative spirit,” LaPine said. The funds have been earmarked “to help credit union staff displaced by the storm rebuild their lives.”
The Red Cross contributions demonstrate, he said, that “credit unions are able to come together to ease the pain of a tragic situation.”