Community Credit Union
There’s a reason why they’re called ‘Community’, the Community Credit Union has been putting their community first since 1945. Like many credit unions, Community (formerly St. Pierre Credit Union) was a cooperative formed by parishioners with a common bond of St. Peter and St. Paul Church. The Credit Union cooperative principles of voluntary membership, democratic, member control, economic participation, autonomy, financial education and concern for community are all demonstrated at Community Credit Union’s three locations in Androscoggin County. The people helping people philosophy is strong in the organization, from the front-line member representatives to the President and Board of Directors of the Credit Union.
Community Credit Union Staff Volunteering in the Community.
Photo courtesy CCU.
Community Credit Union
Asset Size: $48 million
Employees: 30 full-time
Volunteering Jan-Aug 2016: 1,015 hours
Serving the underserved, empowering members with financial literacy and strengthening local communities are key focuses for Community Credit Union. Some ongoing projects over the last five years that showcase Community Credit Union’s commitment to their community are as follows:
Annual Diaper Drive for Androscoggin Head Start & Child Care
In 2006, the Credit Union discovered that many of its members lived in the poorest census tract in the State of Maine where a significant number were finding they had to choose between buying groceries to feed their family or diapers to keep their children dry and comfortable. The shortage of diapers was a growing concern and the local Head Start program was using funds to purchase diapers to keep the children comfortable and clean. Diaper drive is now an annual fundraiser from Thanksgiving until the week before Christmas during which 50/50 tickets are sold in the branches and donations from staff, Board members and other community partners are collected. Over the 10 years, nearly 400 boxes of diapers valued around $10,000 have been provided to the Androscoggin Head Start & Child Care Center.
Adopt A School partnership with Washburn Elementary
With the Washburn School abutting the property of the Auburn branch of Community Credit Union and the Principal sharing with Community Credit Union leaders that over 80% of their parents were unemployed and only 60% could read, adopting the school became a primary focus. Over several years of partnership, many initiatives have been introduced to the Washburn student and parent populations, such as the PayDay Program (a behavioral incentive program where students earn a weekly “paycheck” for their effort in school and must deposit it in their “checkbook” at the weekly mock teller line with CCU staff), youth account programs (the Credit Union pays the minimum deposit for Washburn Students to open the youth account) and the opening of the Parent Resource Center (a full computer with internet access, along with reference materials that is open inside the school during school hours exclusively for the use of Washburn parents).
First Year Student Seminar at Central Maine Community College (CMCC)
The Credit Union partnered with CMCC to offer a financial literacy component as part of their first year seminar required by all students attending the college. The one-hour class includes financial literacy basics such as tips for saving, the parts of a check and check book register, difference between a credit and debit card, how to pay down debt, tips for paying for college, understanding your credit score and more. The classes are taught by Loan Officers and CUNA Certified Financial Counselors employed by Community Credit Union and offered at no cost to the college. Several hundred students take the class each semester and a few sessions are offered in the summer term as well.
Maine Credit Unions’ Campaign for Ending Hunger
Community Credit Union hosts several fundraisers within their branches and their community for the Ending Hunger campaign. A few of the most successful fundraisers have been the Battle of the Boats Bass Fishing Tournament (held each summer in partnership with the Androscoggin Bass Masters Fishing Club where proceeds benefit both Ending Hunger and the Children’s Miracle Network) and the annual Poker Run (held in February in collaboration with several local snowmobile clubs and small businesses where participants travel from stop to stop to collect stamps and turn the stamp cards in for a poker hand at the end of the event).
Maine Credit Unions have raised over $6.4 million to help end hunger in Maine since the initiative began. At the end of each year, 100% of the money raised by each individual participating credit union is given back to that credit union to be distributed to hunger relief organization in their community. In 2015, Maine Credit Unions raised a new record total of $622,933.63 for the Ending Hunger Campaign.