The Louisiana Credit Union League launched a social mediachallenge Friday, #LACUStrong, for the state’s and the nation’s credit unions toraise funds to help credit union employees affected by the historicfloods that ravaged southeast Louisiana.

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The American Red Cross called the Louisiana flooding the worstnatural disaster since Superstorm Sandy four years ago. In additionto thousands of people who have lost everything, early estimatespredict the relief effort could cost at least $30 million, RedCross officials have reported.

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Connie Major, EVP and CFO of the Louisianaleague, said earlier this week that credit union CEOs and staffaround the state have lost everything.

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The $28.7 million NAS JRB Credit Union in New Orleans was thefirst cooperative to kick off the social media initiative, theLouisiana CU Strong Challenge, #LACUStrong.

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“As we all are aware 20 parishes in the state of Louisiana havesuffered tremendous damages and devastations during the recent flooding,” Helen S.Delin, president/CEO of NAS JRB, said in video post on theLouisiana’s league Facebook and Twitter pages. ”Because of this,the NAS JRB Credit Union has accepted the Louisiana CU StrongChallenge and has made a $1,000 donation to the LouisianaFoundation. We challenge all other credit unions to match or beatour donation and to have a member of your team complete 20 pushupsin support of the estimated 20 branches that have sustained damagesduring the recent flooding to show we are Louisiana strong.”

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Eight credit unions, the $280 million Baton Rouge Telco FCU, the$47.8 million BRECO FCU, the $343 million EFCU Financial FCU, the$399 million Jefferson Financial CU, the $197 million LafayetteSchools FCU, the $32.2 million LES FCU, the $752 million NeighborsFCU, and the $273 million Pelican State CU, still had 12branches closed on Friday, according to the Louisiana league.

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"We want to encourage friendly competition amongst our creditunions as they challenge each other to match or beat each other indonations to the Louisiana Foundation," LCUL President/CEO AnneCochran said. "We have a strong CU movement in Louisiana, andwe want to show the rest of the country just how resilient weare."

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To participate in the Louisiana CU Strong Challenge, creditunions are welcome to post a video or their official challengeaccepted photo using the hashtag #LACUStrong. Make sure to emailthe video/photo to Lacey Hyer, [email protected], the Louisiana league’svice president of communications and public relations, along withthe main contact for the challenge.

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Leagues, vendors and other credit union supporters are alsowelcome to participate in the social media challenge.

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Anyone can challenge a specific credit union or just make ageneral call out. Every credit union that makes a donation willreceive signs for their branches, letting their members know thatthey've donated to the Louisiana CU Foundation to help floodvictims.

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The largest donation in each asset category among Louisianacredit unions will be awarded a free lunch hosted by the league,along with bragging rights. Louisiana credit unions that donatemore than a $1,000 will receive a free registration for league’swebinar of their choice. In addition, Louisiana credit unions thatdonate to the foundation through the challenge will receive aspecial sweet treat delivered by a league team member, and alldonors will receive recognition in League publications.

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