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Missouri Credit Unions Earn National Acclaim

Three Missouri credit unions and one chapter have earned national recognition for their efforts to improve members' financial lives and positively impact the community. The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) judged award entries from all across the nation to name top honors. Here are the Missouri winners: 

  • Assemblies of God Credit Union (Springfield)
  • Electro Savings Credit Union (St. Louis)
  • Kansas City Chapter of Credit Unions
  • St. Louis Community Credit Union 

Assemblies of God Credit Union (AGCU) received second place in the $100 - $200 million asset size category for Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility. AGCU created a program that provided financial aid to Convoy of Hope, which helped people affected by the tornado that devastated Moore, Oklahoma.

AGCU expanded a portion of its field of membership to include the state of Oklahoma shortly before the tornado touched down on May 20, 2013. Acting quickly, the credit union donated $5,000 to Convoy of Hope, which was already on the ground assisting in Moore. In addition, AGCU provided a way for its entire membership and community to support Moore through financial donations. AGCU matched up to $5,000 in donations from members and the community. The match opportunity was announced on social media and the response quickly exceeded expectations. Members from around the world and in the community sent in donations, and the match was met in less than four days. As a result of this project, more than $15,000 was donated to Convoy of Hope to help the people of Moore.

“Assemblies of God Credit Union is honored to be recognized not only at a state level, but at a national level for our community outreach efforts,” says Stephanie Jenkins, Integrated Marketing manager. “Receiving the Dora Maxwell award for our support of tornado relief in Moore, Okla., is due to the outpouring of our members across the world and the compassionate community we live in.”

In the Desjardins $50 - $150 million asset size category, Electro Savings (ESCU) received first place for the adult category of the Desjardins Financial Education. During the award period, the credit union held 85 financial education seminars for approximately 1,400 adults. Topics ranged from understanding the everyday factors that negatively and positively affect credit, building and managing a basic family budget, ID theft prevention tips and warning signs and various topics for small businesses. Electro says it focuses on the basics because that is where many people need to start.

“Electro Savings is committed to helping our members help themselves by offering financial counseling and educational resources,” says Stan Moeckli, ESCU president.” That is why we are certifying all of our employees to be financial counselors. It’s not about the account. It’s about the member and building a lifelong relationship with the member and his or her family. We view the credit union as a resource for our members to improve their financial lives.”

In the chapter category of Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility, the Kansas City Chapter of Credit Unions won honorable mention with its annual “CU Day at the K.”

Every year, the chapter sponsors a Kansas City Royals baseball game at Kauffman Stadium including discounted parking, pre-game tailgating and discounted tickets. The money raised from this event was donated to Habitat for Humanity, an organization that works to strengthen families through affordable home ownership.

The goal of the project was to raise at least $1,000 and raise awareness of the activities and opportunities Habitat for Humanity offers to credit unions in Kansas City and the surrounding areas. Habitat has historically focused on improving communities by building affordable housing in areas that need a refresher or community activism. 

“We created an opportunity for credit union employees, their friends and family to enjoy a day of baseball, good food and fun, all while supporting a very worthy cause,” says Justin Mouzoukos, chapter chairman. “This event required nearly 40 hours of volunteer time from several of the officers and required coordination of several credit union vendors around a common goal. In addition, we wanted to provide an opportunity that credit union team members could intermingle between institutions and build partnerships for the future. Overall, this event is an awesome example of collaboration between our vendors, team members and volunteers. While this is an event that we have done in the past, this year was a record setting event for our chapter.”

For the $150 - $500 million asset size, St. Louis Community (SLCCU) won second place in the adult category for Desjardins Financial Education. The SLCCU Community Relations team uses several of CUNA’s curricula, as well as staffed-developed educational modules to instruct adults of all ages. These programs included PowerPoint presentations, pre- and post-tests, handouts and other useful information to help adults gain a better understanding of important financial issues.

Since 2008, St. Louis Community Credit Union (SLCCU) and its affiliate non-profit (Prosperity Connection) have provided free adult financial education programing to more than 26,000 people throughout St. Louis in social service agencies and at the CU Excel Center. From June 2013 to May 2014, SLCCU’s educators and volunteers reached 2,422 adults through group and one-on-one coaching programs. Pre and post testing of adult participants showed that they increased their knowledge of financial topics by 50 percent on average. These efforts are especially important given that 68 percent of the adults taught at SLCCU’s social service agency partners identify as unbanked. Overall, 90 percent of the program’s participants are African-American and 62 percent have an annual household income of less than $45,000. These services are available to everyone; however, the institution has made a concerted effort to work with underserved populations so that they have the support they need to improve their financial situation.

“The need for free financial education resources from low- and moderate-income households is greater than ever,” says Paul Woodruff, SLCCU executive director. “SLCCU has found innovative ways to use its extensive branch network and community outreach presence in economically distressed areas to provide more than financial services. We offer our financial education programs as a way to build bridges to financial capability for people who are typically marginalized by the mainstream. That’s a win for SLCCU, a win for our members and a win for the wider community.”

At the Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) in Washington, D.C. in March 2015, these Missouri credit unions will receive recognition for their efforts to improve members' financial lives and positively impact the community.

Top:  Young Assemblies of God Credit Union member donates from his piggybank.
Second from Top:  Laura Mugge, Community Development for Electro Savings Credit Union, presents an adult financial education workshop.
Second from Bottom:  Pre-game tailgate at a Kansas City Chapter of Credit Unions "CU at the K" event.

Bottom:  Jaison McCall, Financial Education specialist at St. Louis Community Credit Union, presenting a credit class.