In what seems like forever ago, before life at Filene, I was sitting at my former credit union in southwest London when in walks Lee, one of our members.

Lee was a fairly new member, a young man in his mid-20s with dark scruffy hair wearing his beaten-up work overalls. I could tell instantly by the nervous look on his face that something was wrong. I called out to him as I'd been the person who opened his account with him. He had been proud of his new credit union membership.

Lee came over to my desk and sat down. I could tell he had something to ask but couldn't quite get the words out. "I'm embarrassed," he finally said. I didn't understand and probed a little further. Turns out Lee was just three days away from his next pay check but due to some unforeseen expenses, he was coming up short this week and couldn't afford to buy his bus fare for the next few days. He wondered if the credit union could help him. Lee needed just £20 (just over $26 at today's exchange rate).

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