MCUF Awards $80,357 in Credit Union Community Reinvestment Grants
Michigan Credit Union Foundation (MCUF) recently awarded grants to eight credit unions for initiatives aimed at improving the financial health of people and communities in Michigan. This brings the total number to grants awarded in 2019 to 12, which makes for $80,357 in support of credit union social mission activities.
MCUF grants are provided for a variety of credit union “social mission” activities including financial education, expanding community partnerships and assisting financially vulnerable or underbanked families. These grants are also aimed at increasing the awareness of the credit union difference for the benefit of the entire Michigan credit union movement.
Two credit unions receiving grants this year are utilizing the funds for unique programs aimed at reducing barriers to employment. These will help struggling families increase their income and help community businesses, including credit unions, attract and retain employees.
Northland Area Federal Credit Union will provide financial health resources and education, along with small emergency loans for participants in the Michigan Works! Safety Net Employee Retention Program. After a trial period early this year, the grant will help Northland Area expand the program to more counites with a goal to help 10 new businesses and 100 workers in the first year with this program.
Limestone Federal Credit Union is working cooperatively with other community partners to reduce barriers to employment by supporting a new affordable childcare center in a unique way. As part of Limestone’s ongoing initiative to provide youth with opportunities to work in the business environment, Limestone will assist with the business end of the childcare center by engaging high school students and college interns to assist with the business plan, accounting and overall financial management of the center. In a county where median household income is $37,428, affordable childcare is a real issue and helping with this is a way to also help the credit union fill the void for staff members.
A grant to People Driven Credit Union will be used to expand credit access to low income or credit challenged people with a fresh start auto loan program that includes financial education and counselling.
Other recently awarded grants focus on financial education initiatives:
- ELGA Credit Union: Hands-on financial education sessions for youth and adults with apps pre-loaded on iPads.
- Public Service Credit Union: "Adulting" camp for young adults including financial and career education.
- CASE Credit Union: Monthly collaborative community education workshops to provide financial education and access to community services.
- Soo Co-op Federal Credit Union: Student transportation to regional Financial Reality Fairs to increase school access and participation.
- Muskegon Co Op Federal Credit Union: Home Buying Seminar