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MADISON, Wis. – Seven credit unions or organizations that work with credit unions have been the recipients of $313,000 from the National Credit Union Foundation as its third and last funding cycle for 2004. The seven support the Foundation’s mission of helping consumers improve their financial well-being. The $313,000 brings to almost $14 million the total amount of grants since its inception. The seven institutions with their grant amounts are Alternatives FCU in Ithaca, N.Y. to extend and expand its Volunteer Income Tax Program (VITA) ($25,000); Operation HOPE in Los Angeles to provide financial education through credit unions ($50,000);Spokane Neighborhood Action Programs (SNAP) in Spokane, Wash. for financial counseling and education ($31,000);Arizona Saves in Phoenix for financial education and wealth-building ($15,000); Red Lake Co-op FCU in Red Lake Falls, Minn. for a data system upgrade ($6,300); Immaculate Conception Church in Camden, Miss. to establish a credit union branch in an underserved low income area ($36,000); and Financial Health CU in East Lansing, Mich for financial education and access to financial services for the disabled ($150,000). “The mission of the National Credit Union Foundation is to help consumers achieve financial independence through credit unions,” says Chuck Purvis, NCUF’s board chair and senior vice president of Coastal FCU in Raleigh, NC. “Foundation grants are approved to assist worthy projects in support of our mission by improving access to affordable financial services, promoting financial literacy or improving asset accumulation,” he said. In addition to monies received from the NCUF, these projects will leverage nearly $1.8 million in additional funds and are expected to impact nearly 5,000 consumers, NCUF estimated. “The distribution of these grants is just the first step in realizing our goal,” added Purvis. “The dedication of the grant recipients will ensure the estimated measures of success are achieved.” -

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