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WASHINGTON- After nearly two and a half years, Washington Postal Employees Federal Credit Union has returned to its office in the U.S. Postal Service’s Brentwood facility in the nation’s capital. WPEFCU was forced to abandon its headquarters when the postal facility where it was located was shut down after the anthrax attacks of more than two years ago left two postal workers dead. The building became an official FBI crime scene. From Oct. 20, 2001, when the credit union’s office was shuttered until Feb. 26 of this year when the credit union was able to return, the institution kept up and running with help from all corners. A number of credit unions donated supplies and the D.C. Credit Union League provided manpower. Encore Electronic Services Cooperative allowed WPEFCU members to use its facilities for transactions for three months free-of-charge. The National Council of Postal Credit Unions raised money to help the credit union through the immediate crisis. The credit union “bunked” with another for a short period before moving to a trailer in the parking lot of the Brentwood facility. However, WPEFCU had to move again a short time later. In May 2003, the Brentwood facility was declared anthrax-free, but sifting through the wreckage following the investigation and decontamination as well as rebuilding took another year. WPEFCU CEO Patricia Yates got a peek inside the facility after it was given the “all clear.” “I stood in the center of our lobby on a carpet that once was a regal blue,” she explained. “The chemicals used in the fumigation had turned it a sickly pink. Above my head, wires and cables dangled like snakes. One of the security cameras hung precariously and stared back at me.” All the furniture and equipment had been destroyed. Member files were tossed aside haphazardly in boxes. “The expenses relating to this disaster have been staggering, and it’s not over yet,” Yates said. “Even the manpower required to get our recovered files in order is quite daunting.” Mid-Atlantic Corporate Federal Credit Union has volunteered to spearhead a relief effort for the credit union. Donations can be sent to Washington Postal Employees FCU c/o Mid-Atlantic Corporate FCU, 1201 Fulling Mill Road, Middletown, PA 17057, Attention: Leigh Philibosian. [email protected]

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