by Ron Daly
Hurricane Irene is still affecting a large swath of the East Coast, leaving thousands without power and with significant home damage and flooding. In hopes of helping members, credit unions on the East Coast and from around the country are reaching out to help.
When homeowners in the Houston area had to wait 45 days for insurance checks after Hurricane Katrina, Chartway Federal Credit Union advanced personal loans so customers could stay in hotels and pay monthly bills until they received the insurance money. "And we'll do the same now," says Ron Burniske, CEO of Chartway, which has 63 branches across the country...
Chartway is willing to let members affected by Hurricane Irene skip loan payments. It says its plans will evolve as it hears what members need. "Unlike most institutions, we will not go out and decide what they want and need," Burniske says. "We can turn a product around in 12 hours."
On the larger, national level, NCUF has activated CUAid. From their website:
The National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) has activated the online disaster relief system CUAid.coop to raise money for credit union people along the East Coast affected by Hurricane Irene...
Credit union supporters in every state can now make donations through a secured website that accepts credit cards and wire transfers (www.cuaid.coop). CUAid is the only program of its kind that enables credit union employees, volunteers, and members, as well as credit unions and credit union organizations across the U.S., to contribute directly to support other credit union people.
A tip of the hat, both to Chartway and NCUF. Way to move fast and respond to a situation that has left a lot of your members and clients hurting. Here's hoping more folks get the help they need as we move toward recovery and clean-up.
These are just two of many initiatives that CUs and their organizations are putting out there to help. Can you share another in our comments section?