Charity Collaboration Drives National Unity
Just before the New Year rings in, I’m reflecting on how proud I am of our industry. I am particularly impressed by how credit unions serve their members on the micro level but also partner and collaborate both locally and nationally to help each other and our communities. We come together in so many positive ways and exhibit a commonality of purpose that more and more people–especially disenchanted bank customers–take notice.
During 25 years as a credit union executive, I’ve had the pleasure of working with many credit union executives at the local trade association, on advisory boards, professional organizations and roundtables. Where I’m located in the D.C. metro area, local credit unions and their associations have worked together on cooperative advertising to help raise the awareness of the credit union difference.
The Family of Races can be described as what I like to call a three-legged stool with a win for all. First, there are the credit unions that participate, nearly 100 now from 13 states, small and large. Second, there are the children’s hospitals across the country that are helped by the credit union sponsor contributions and fundraising. And third, there are the runners, thousands of consumers, who compete in elite runs and see the words “credit union” plastered everywhere.
Right now, the Family of Races includes the flagship 41-year old Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten-Mile Run, the course of which winds around the magnificent memorials in Washington. There is also the second running of the Credit Union SacTown Ten-Mile Run, held at the California state capital in Sacramento and supported statewide. And, there are two Freedom Runs for our overseas troops serving in harm’s way, one at Camp Arifjan in Kuwait and the other at Army Garrison Wiesbaden in Germany, supported by the Defense Credit Union Council. The Freedom Runs are valued morale boosters for our brave service members. We anticipate that other states will be joining the Family of Races, starting in 2014.