Wentzville, MO (June 4, 2018) – In 2017, a group of employees at 1st Financial Federal Credit Union had a vision for the credit union to help build community on a larger scale in 2018.
Laura Woods, Vice President of Marketing and Community Presence, who has played an integral role in building 1st Financials community development program knew, alongside her team, the perfect way to celebrate the credit union’s 50th anniversary was to focus on the importance of cooperation in our community. Out of that idea, 50 Small Acts of Cooperation was born.
“In 1968 District 837 Credit Union (now 1st Financial Federal Credit Union) was created from the idea that if we can find a better way to work together, we can accomplish great things. But our niche can’t just be in our structure as credit union. We are not for profit, but if there is no discernable difference for the member, it’s vapor. It’s nothing. So, we talk about our structure as a credit union, because out of our MISSION, comes our INTENT, which drives our ACTION,” said Woods.
50 Small Acts of Cooperation helps 1st Financial members, nonmembers, and local nonprofits with anything from paying a bill to collecting school supplies to participating in paid employee volunteer days to feeding the homeless and more. To date, 1st Financial has completed 20 of the 50 Acts that they have planned in 2018.
The first person to benefit from the 50 Acts of Cooperation project was 1st Financial Member David W., who spends his own money to help feed the homeless in St. Louis each week. 1st Financial was proud to help David by gifting him with a small monetary gift to help continue the strong community work that he’s doing by caring for the unhoused community.
David said, “When I first started working in the city, I’d see a lot of homeless people and I felt like I could do a bit more. I can go home to a comfortable bed, but every day I’d see them laying on the streets. I can’t give them a bed, but I can get them something to eat.”
1st Financial also sponsored Cathy Daniels (also known as Mama Cat), a 1st Financial member and the creator of PotBangerz – Feed the Body Mission, a 501c3 organization that builds community daily through their mission to feed and provide shelter for St. Louis’ unhoused community. 1st Financial was proud to help PotBangerz obtain their 501c3 status to continue their work in the community.
Mama Cat said, “We are not exempt from being unhoused. I didn’t think I could be and then I was. If we take everybody with us, we can go so much further. None of us are as good as ALL of us.”
1st Financial member Scott, who is a recovering addict was given the opportunity to open a checking account with a monetary gift to help him turn his financial life around. After having been turned away by other financial institutions, Scott was grateful to be given a second chance at a new life.
“When you’re in addiction and you’re trying to get your life back together that’s a big step to get a checking account because for the longest time you didn’t worry about that,” said Scott. “You have no idea what that meant to me.”
“We aren’t just the better way to bank because our Board and CEO isn’t getting rich. We are better because we invest tens of thousands of dollars into our communities, to heal real issues. And we lend every dollar we get to people who need access to low interest and available credit and we produce real impacts,” said Woods.
1st Financial is currently accepting nominations for 50 Acts of Cooperation at https://www.1stfinancialfcu.org/50-small-acts-cooperation/. Nominations are open to the public.
For more information about 1st Financial Federal Credit Union and the credit union difference visit www.TheBetterWayToBank.org.
About 1st Financial Federal Credit Union
Established in 1968, 1st Financial Federal Credit Union is full-service financial cooperative whose mission is to improve the financial well-being of its members. With assets exceeding $250 million, 1st Financial serves more than 34,000 members. For more information about 1st Financial Federal Credit Union, visit www.TheBetterWayToBank.org.