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WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – With the tsunami death toll of over 155,000 and survivors facing the challenges of daily life after the destruction, credit unions are continuing to find new ways to give to relief efforts. In San Jose, California Technology Credit Union has announced it will provide members with free wire transfers to any of the affected countries. In addition free wires will be provided to Tech CU members who want to donate to any charitable tsunami relief organization. U of C Federal Credit Union in Boulder, Colorado is emphasizing to members that no donation is too small and has set up a fund for the American Red Cross. Small and large donations will be accepted through the end of January. Over in Phoenix, Arizona Federal Credit Union has teamed up with Save the Children to help meet the needs of children in the hardest hit areas. All 20 branches will accept donations and members can transfer funds directly to a Save the Children donation account. Save the Children is the largest independent humanitarian organization creating lasting change for children in need in the United States and around the world. Save the Children is urgently seeking support for its Asia Earthquake/Tsunami Relief Fund, which will allow the organization to quickly implement relief, protection and reconstruction efforts for children in affected areas. Rhinelander, Wisconsin-based Ripco Credit Union and local WJFW-NBC 12 television station have planned a fundraiser at the Taj , a local restaurant, on Jan. 29, 2005. Ripco CU will match all donations up to an aggregate maximum of $5,000 collected through Jan. 31, 2005. Admission will be free, and plans are underway to line up several musical guests. All donations will be sent to the American Red Cross and directed 100% for Tsunami relief. Birmingham, Alabama-based Mutual Savings Credit Union has developed its own unique fundraising incentive program to benefit the American Red Cross Tsunami Relief Fund. With each new member checking account referral, Mutual Savings CU will donate $25 to the American Red Cross and deposit an additional $25 into the referring member’s account. Over in Riverside, California Altura Credit Union has created the Inland Southern California Disaster Relief Fund with a founding donation of $25,000. By partnering with The Community Foundation Serving Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, Altura CU hopes to encourage other Inland Empire-based businesses and individuals to contribute, creating a community-based response to the disaster. One hundred percent of the monies collected in the fund will be donated to the International Response Fund of the American Red Cross. Fiberglas Federal Credit Union in Newark, Ohio has provided members the opportunity to donate to the Tsunami victims on its Web site. [email protected] users who are registered for Bill Pay-e can donate to the Tsunami victims with no fees via Gift Pay-e. Donations will be accepted until March 31, 2005. Northwest Corporate Credit Union Representative Mike Stone, whose wife is a member of Northwest Medical Team, Inc., along with five other colleagues headed to South Asia to help. Before his departure, Everett, Washington-based Snocope CU rallied four credit unions in the area to participate in a chili feed. After just five hours, some $5,100 was raised and presented to Stone to help with traveling costs. Credit union leagues have also stepped up their tsunami relief efforts. The Michigan Credit Union League is encouraging Michigan credit unions to contribute to relief efforts. MCUL and CUcorp have pledged a total of $15,000 to the Credit Union Tsunami Disaster Relief Fund. In addition, CUcorp Images & Ink is developing lobby materials, available free of charge on the MCUL Web site, for credit unions to use in soliciting member contributions. “The credit union `People Helping People’ philosophy knows no borders, and this widespread human suffering should motivate all of us in the credit union community to share generously with the hundreds of thousands of people affected by this terrible natural disaster,” said MCUL President/CEO David Adams. The Washington Credit Union Foundation has approved a $10,000 disaster relief grant to support the World Council of Credit Unions donation effort. In addition, WCUF has awarded a $500 disaster relief grant to Seattle-based Credit Union Northwest to help a Malaysian employee’s emergency travel to Indonesia to search for missing family and to care for surviving family members. “Our Foundation’s Grants Committee concluded a quick conference call that produced a statewide challenge to raise funds for our Indian Ocean credit union family,” noted WCUF Chairman Bob Schumacher. “We are starting out with the Washington Credit Union Foundation and International Development Committee collectively committing $10,000 as seed money.” A group of credit unions from the Bellingham,Washington area, spearheaded by WCUF Trustee/ Industrial CU of Whatcom County CEO Terri McKee, kicked off its fund-raising efforts by enlarging a copy of the WOCCU logo and adding the words, “We care. People and credit unions helping those in need.” Tellers hung copies of the logo with the names of members contributing to the cause. “Our credit unions need to look at the future,” said McKee “There are hundreds of credit unions that lost everything. We need to help them in a way that builds on the foundation that we were all built on. The whole rebuilding process will take two to three years.” CUES has donated $100,000 through the National Credit Union Foundation to the Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions Tsunami Disaster Relief Fun. The money collected for the Credit Union Tsunami Disaster Relief Fund will be forwarded to the American Red Cross and WOCCU. Fund distribution may also be coordinated with the National Credit Union Foundation. To make a contribution to the Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions’ Tsunami Disaster Relief fund visit www.ncuf.coop. To help spur relief donations, on January 7, 2005 President George W. Bush signed special legislation allowing taxpayers to deduct tsunami relief donations made after January 1 from their 2004 taxes. Normally, December 31 would have been the cut off date for charitable donations claimed on 2004 tax returns. [email protected]

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