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The Credit Union Foundation of Maryland and the District of Columbia has established a new fund to support local credit union members affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The emergency response fund will provide one-time, $500 grants to eligible credit union members experiencing financial hardship because of the coronavirus crisis.

“Eligible credit unions will be provided online tools to nominate members in need and apply for the emergency grants,” Foundation Executive Director Kyle Swisher said. “If approved, those grants will be directed to the members’ credit unions for deposit into their accounts.”

All Maryland and District of Columbia-based credit unions as well as other credit unions affiliated with the MD|DC Credit Union Association will be eligible to participate in the grant program.

“The Foundation is committed to supporting local credit unions and their members in need during this challenging time,” said Ron Shockley, the foundation’s chair and vice president of operations for the $1 billion First Financial Federal Credit Union in Luthersville, Md. “The COVID-19 pandemic has not only impacted daily lives, but it has also caused a disruption to the economy and the income of many local residents. We believe this fund will allow support for credit union members affected by the current crisis and provide donors a means to support their fellow credit union members in a safe and responsible way.”

The Foundation said it welcomes support for the COVID-19 emergency response fund. To contribute to the effort, please visit CUFound.Org/Emergency.

“Credit unions now have another tool available to help relieve the financial stress many members are experiencing during the COVID-19 crisis,” MD|DC Credit Union Association President/CEO John Bratsakis said. “In the spirit of the ‘people helping people’ philosophy, the Foundation’s emergency response fund provides an opportunity for donors to directly support their community and offer relief to those struggling financially.”

The Credit Union Foundation MD|DC is a 501(c)(3) public charity and all donations are tax-deductible.