Worldwide, credit unions have stepped up in the face of COVID-19. In my role with the Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions, I’m blessed to be connected to a network of global peers who continually share stories of support, perseverance and hope that contribute to maintaining member well-being during an unprecedented time of conflict for us all.
As 2020 ends and we continue to confront COVID-19, taking a step back and expressing gratitude is an easy way for each of us to stay optimistic while helping others feel good. During November, the Foundation is looking back and giving “global gratitude” to those who have helped us advance our movement worldwide, especially during our global crisis.
Below are snapshots of just a few of our special global champions who, through their generous support, have gone the extra mile or thought outside the box to raise awareness, provide support and stay engaged in helping the grow the international credit union movement through the Worldwide Foundation.
Cy-Fair Federal Credit Union – Houston, Texas
The Houston-based $282-million credit union, led by CEO Cameron Dickey, is mighty in their approach to supporting our global peers. Cameron himself has participated in numerous field engagements to Africa, understanding the challenges facing African SACCOs while volunteering at a local orphanage, giving a piece of himself to the children and staff. Cy-Fair generously gave a percentage of their member e-statement conversion fee to support the growth of World Council’s financial inclusion programs in Latin and South America.
Summit Credit Union – Madison, Wisconsin
Our Global Good Card credit card product was born because of Summit. Kim Sponem, Summit’s CEO, championed the concept of inviting credit union members to help provide financial inclusion to underserved communities worldwide. Summit not only was the Foundation’s first adopter of the program, which has provided more than $100,000 toward global credit union growth since 2017, they also created program collateral and served as advocates to other credit unions interested in integrating the program.
Cornerstone Credit Union League – Plano, Texas
Annually, the Cornerstone League invites our staff to share global updates with its International Relations committee and leverages their annual meeting as a forum to answer the question, “Why should global credit union development matter?” This connectivity has engaged the League’s credit union members in forming Global Women’s Leadership Network Sister Societies and connecting the World Council Young Credit Union Professionals Program (WYCUP) with the Cornerstone young professionals’ program, as both programs are key portals to connecting global credit union work to a wider audience.
Without the support of Cy-Fair FCU, Summit Credit Union, the Cornerstone League and our countless other global champions, our movement on a global scale is weakened and susceptible to erosion from a myriad of challenges it faces.
A question I always ask is, “What would our world look like without credit unions?” It is easy for other credit unions around the world to be out of sight, out of mind, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. The differences in challenges between credit unions worldwide are not as large as many might think.
I encourage you to engage globally—in whatever format that may take for you individually and within your institution. The Worldwide Foundation can be your global portal to new insights, perspectives and transformational change for those you are helping and yourself as well.
Start your journey at DoGlobalGood.org and join us to eliminate inclusion gaps everywhere using credit unions.
Mike Reuter is Executive Director of the Worldwide Foundation, World Council’s charitable arm that offers an engagement portal to the entire industry that helps advance credit unions worldwide, their cooperative principles and transform lives everywhere. Mike Reuter