International Credit Union Day is a celebration held around the globe on Oct. 18. and more than 196 million credit union members belonging to over 51,000 credit unions in 100 countries worldwide will be invited to celebrate International Credit Union Week with their credit unions.
This is also the United Nations' International Year of Cooperatives, a year-long celebration that began Oct. 31, 2011, and has provided greater visibility to credit unions and other cooperatives worldwide.
Whether it’s offering tea in England or coffee in the U.S., credit unions around the globe are celebrating International Credit union Day by inviting their members in for a celebration.
Open houses and art contests for young members are held in honor of the credit union movement, which began in 1844 in Rochdale, England. The first credit union in the United States was formed in the early 1900s and by World War II, there was at least one credit union in nearly every state.
In England and Ireland and Australia dignitaries are invited to speak and in Canada credit unions are celebrating the entire month.
In Vermont, the $600 million Vermont State Employees Credit Union is celebrating with samples of cheese provided by a local cooperative creamery and two-for-one lift ticket coupons and a chance to win a season pass at a local ski resort that is also a Vermont cooperative. In Sierra Vista, Ariz. the $160 million is assets American Southwest Credit Union is throwing open their doors and serving hot dogs and drinks, while over in Milwaukie, Ore., the $39 million is assets Cutting Edge CU will host an open house and serve refreshments and door prizes throughout the day.
As celebrations around the world continue, the $69 million Katahdin Federal Credit Union in Millinocket, Maine, invited members to refreshments and a special car sales event, and in Battle Creek, Mich., the $394 million Kellogg Community Federal Credit Union is inviting its members and the community to stop by for refreshments, drawings and giveaways to commemorate the credit union movement’s history and achievements.
“At KCFCU, we know that our members matter most, without them we wouldn’t be where we are today, which is a strong community-minded organization,” said CEO Tracy Miller.
The $160 million Xceed Financial of El Segundo, Calif., is celebrating International Credit Union Day by donating to Credit Unions for Kids, a nationwide alliance of credit unions supporting Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, the world’s largest children’s charity, supporting 170 hospitals in the United States and Canada. On Oct. 18, every time a members swipes their Xceed Financial check card or credit card, the credit union will donate 25 cents to Credit Unions for Kids to help fund life-saving research.
"In the face of all challenges, credit unions have always existed to serve their members," said Brian Branch, World Council of Credit Unions president/CEO. "The clear and simple message, ‘Members Matter Most,' summarizes credit unions' reason for being."