If you thought it was amazing that the $700 million, 100,000-member Vantage Credit Union in Bridgeton, Mo., used Facebook to help a member retrieve $1,000 cash lost on vacation in New York, then get ready for another social media miracle.
The $294 million Linn Area Credit Union in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is receiving recognition from around the world for helping to reunite a little boy and his stuffed monkey, which had been lost July 1 at Balloon Glow, a community event Linn Area CU has sponsored for 15 years.
“We knew it would be a challenge to find the owner because more than 15,000 people attended this year’s Balloon Glow, but we were determined because we all realized that losing a cherished item could be devastating to a child,” said Tara Bross, a marketing specialist at the 24,000-member Linn Area CU, which won the CUNA Marketing and Business Development Council’s 2011 Diamond Award.
Bross posted a photo of the monkey on Linn Area CU’s Facebook page with a plea to help find its “bestie.”
Within a day, she said, the posting had been shared more than 1,000 times and viewed by more than 50,000 people. To add to the fun, she created a Facebook album titled “Monkey Business” to chronicle the stuffed animal’s activities in various departments at Linn Area CU.
The family whose child had lost the monkey had also posted a pic of the stuffed animal on Facebook. Bross said a friend of the family who had seen both postings helped to make the connection.
On July 6, the monkey, named "Kathy" for a grandmother in England, was reunited with the 3-year-old boy from Cedar Rapids. A video of the happy reunion was also posted on the credit union’s site and local media reported on the story.
Although the boy’s family does not belong to Linn Area CU, Bross said, the group effort involved in this fun project helped to reinforce the credit union’s motto: “We are Family.”
“We didn’t do it because they were members or not members,” she said. “This is just who we are. We live by our motto. Now more than 100,000 people have viewed the pic and we’ve gotten nice comments from all across the country and even England. Not only did we reinforce our relationship with our members, but we showed the entire world what it is like to pull together as a community. We’re all about family at Linn Area Credit Union.”