In an era where big banks are striving to preserve their profits and fee income, many credit unions and local institutions are working to provide the neighborhoods they serve with more resources and benefits.
Small communities are often hit hard by economic turmoil, as local businesses may suffer and high unemployment weighs on residents. In light of these difficulties, some credit union associations are launching campaigns to help their members. Nine members of the Kansas Credit Union Association participated in a "Make A Difference" event last week, in which they extended $15,000 worth of gasoline to unsuspecting members.
Consumers received either a $25 gift card or $25 in gas at participating retailers. The association said the campaign was designed to represent the benefits of "people helping people," a philosophy adopted by many credit unions.
"We wanted it to be unexpected, like when someone pays your toll on the highway, or pays for your coffee in the drive thru," said Susan Dyer, communications director for KCUA. "It just makes people feel good and makes the day a little bit better."