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Gun violence persists as a serious issue.

In his editorial, “A New Beginning,” Michael Ogden asked the question, “How can credit unions earmark money for not only community emergencies, but for sponsorships, schools and cultural events?” In my opinion his question raises a bigger question: What is the role/mission of credit unions in their communities? I believe the new beginning is how credit unions engage in community outreach and what credit unions include in their advocacy to improve their communities and the lives of their members.

Credit unions are community organizations. They always have been community organizations but now are more so due to their community fields of membership. A community credit union has the mission of improving the financial well-being of its members. A necessary corollary is to improve the quality of life in the community. The quality of life in a community is a key determinate of the local economy. People want to live in communities where they can raise their families in an environment conducive to happiness and security. People choose to live where the quality of life is good. They shun places with a bad quality of life. Therefore credit unions have many reasons to be involved in all aspects of their communities through advocacy, volunteerism and monetary support, with the goal of improving the quality of life.

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