Rather than have its annual Christmas party, Centennial Lending, a mortgage lending CUSO, said it will help those who are less fortunate.The “Lending a Hand Program” aims to identify needy families to determine their immediate needs, according to the Longmont Colo.-based Centennial. The families will be located through various resources.“Our intent isn’t to assist those for the holiday season only. We know the value to a child’s self esteem when they walk in their classroom wearing new sneakers or clothes. This is why we’ve decided to make our assistance available throughout the year,” said Michael Nagl, vice president of business development at Centennial.A couple of the CUSO’s employees came up with the idea to help people in the community who may not have the money to buy gifts, clothes and food for the holidays, said Mark Bostock, president of Centennial. The rest of the staff voted to use the money normally allocated for the CUSO’s party for less fortunate families in the community.Centennial services $512 million in residential mortgage loans and approximately $175 million in commercial and construction loans for 128 partner credit unions located in Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Arizona, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, South Dakota and Massachusetts, according to the CUSO.–[email protected]

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