Minnesota Credit Union Political Advocacy Director Monica Weber rolled up her sleeves and got to work during the Innovate to Motivate conference in New Orleans.Innovate to Motivate is a national conference for politically involved professionals.Weber, along with Chris Kemm, vice president of credit union advocacy for Credit Union Association of Colorado, helped repair a home destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. The conference attendees partnered with Beacon of Hope to repair the home.The volunteers spent four hours clearing out the house and preparing it for renovation. They removed water-damaged sheet rock, stripped wallpaper, patched cracks and cleared ruined furniture and clutter from the home.“The service project opportunity greatly enhanced this conference by providing an additional benefit that is unique to most professional conferences,” Weber said. “After three days of workshops, it was a privilege to give something back to the community I was visiting.”Weber helped coordinate the Minnesota’s Homes for Our Troops service project in 2008.

Boston Dinner to HelpFund Home for Troops

In a gesture of support for the military, the Massachusetts Credit Union League is joining its league brethren and CUNA to help build homes for injured Iraqi and Afghanistan vets.Rather than pursue direct financing of a home, the Massachusetts League is sponsoring a gala June 13 dinner in Boston hosted by the Homes for Our Troops charity and expected to draw lawmakers, community leaders and top military brass from across New England.HFOT, as it is known, teamed up with CUNA and leagues in Minnesota and Colorado last summer during the Presidential party conventions to break ground on two of the specially designed homes. Thanks to CU donations, two homes in Golden, Colo. and Woodbury, Minn. are now occupied by HFOT recipients.The Missouri Credit Union Association had earlier signed contracts with HFOT, headquartered in Taunton, Mass, to build two homes in Missouri later this year.Regarding the Massachusetts dinner sponsorship, Paul Marotta, chairman of the $640 million Hanscom FCU, said military CUs like his are committed to the HFOT cause despite the prospect of an earnings hit in 2009 from NCUA’s corporate assessment.This kind of campaign, said Marotta, “is part of our social responsibility and commitment to our military,” and while budget cuts are being made elsewhere, the CU’s support for HFOT remains intact.Like other CUs, Marotta said Hanscom has already started economizing in several areas, including elimination of a year-end bonus dividends to members, cutting salaries, reducing marketing and newsletter expenses and may eliminate one member appreciation day.But HFOT, as well as youth scholarships, are too important to the CU mission, he concluded.HFOT officials in Taunton said they hope enough funds can be raised from the June 13 dinner to build a home for an injured vet in Massachusetts.

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