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Michigan Credit Union League

A Michigan Credit Union Goes Above and Beyond to Meet Unique Member Needs During Crisis

Country Heritage Credit Union, a Buchanan-based credit union serving its rural community on the westside of Michigan, has spent the last month figuring out new ways to serve members that are affected by the COVID-19 crisis. One of their primary solutions was targeting their elderly membership, finding out how their needs have changed, whether they’re financial or otherwise.

Finding Ways to Assist Elderly Members

Fran Terry, manager at Country Heritage, told MCUL she has been calling members that have limited access to transportation and following up by providing their particular needs.

“I take meals to one of our members that is homebound. Pick up their mail from their mail box and make sure they are okay each day,” said Terry. “We have another member that has health issues and it is difficult for them to get out. We will take cash to them when they need it. We have gone to other members to have paperwork notarized.”

When asked what the inspiration was behind this outreach, Terry said, “We know that this is a difficult time for our elderly members and we are trying to make it as easy for them as possible. When they rely on others to take them where they need to go, it is not always easy for them to get to the credit union.”

The response Country Heritage has gotten has been very positive. Members are happy the credit union cares about them, stating “This is why we are members.” 

Country Heritage has always been committed to its local community, by volunteering, supporting the schools and business and serving on several local governmental boards.

“This just adds an element of caring for our members during this crisis,” said Terry. “Without our members, there would be no Country Heritage Credit Union.”

Every Day Counts

Their elderly membership hasn’t been the credit union’s only concern. In March, Country Heritage was contacted by a young couple that was severely affected by COVID-19. Their power was turned off and they had trouble affording baby diapers.

“We found a way to fund them and also gave them information to contact a local church that provides additional funds for these kinds of needs, if they continue to need help,” Terry told MCUL. “They were so very grateful for our help in their hour of need and getting them through this short-term hardship.

In a card, the couple said, "You have been an amazing group to be a part of. Country Heritage is an exceptional credit union."

“What we, as a credit union, do on a day-to-day basis does count,” responded Terry.

Advice for Other Credit Unions

When asked for any tips on how other credit unions can start similar outreach, Terry said, “Just make that first phone call or email; let your members know how much the credit union appreciates them.”

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2020-04-03 00:00:00