ICUL Service Corporation
June 2012



Money Smart Week roundup

12 Illinois CUs part of 2012 national youth savings challenge

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Money Smart Week Roundup
Many Illinois credit unions were busy helping to promote financial literacy during this year’s Money Smart Week (MSW) April 21-28, 2012.  Here are a few highlights of those activities:

Gateway Metro Federal Credit Union in Swansea demonstrated the importance of financial education. Each Gateway Metro Federal branch had activities and giveaways for kids. Young members also had the opportunity to enter the National Youth Savings Challenge for a chance to win $100. The credit union also hosted contests and activities at their school branches.  In addition, the credit union also recently taught savings and money topics to over 120 children as part of AT&T’s annual Take Our Children to Work Day.

The John L. Kelly Chapter of Credit Unions, which consists of 15 credit unions in Champaign and Piatt Counties, hosted the Mad City Money reality fair.  Employees from Credit Union 1, University of Illinois Employees Credit Union, Central Illinois Credit Union and Community Plus Federal Credit Union volunteered their time to organize and work at the reality fair as merchants.  Thirty-five students from the Christian Life Church Rantoul United Pentecostal Church youth groups were transported into the future with their friends. 

"I can’t do this in the real world.  My money would be gone in two days," was a comment made by one of the students who participated in the Mad City Money reality fair as the Christian Life’s Church’s Youth Building was transformed for one night into Mad City Money. 

In addition, Community Plus Federal Credit Union visited elementary schools and celebrating its youth mascot’s birthday to celebrate youth week.

As part of the Rockford Area Chapter of Credit Unions (RACCU) mission – promoting financial literacy within its communities-  the chapter hit a homerun with its Teen Reality Fair.  This event was hosted at the Rockford Public Library East Branch.  Denise Leonard, RACCU Education Liaison and Foundation Representative was the facilitator, supported by 13 volunteers from the following credit unions: First Northern Credit Union, Rockford Municipal Employees Credit Union, Rockford Postal Employees Credit Union, MembersAlliance Credit Union, I.H. Mississippi Valley Credit Union, and Generations Credit Union.  Of the many highlights that participants learned, 35 of the 36 surveys returned indicated that “Now I understand why adults have to manage their money wisely.”

Also as part of Rockford’s fifth annual Money Smart Week, MembersAlliance Credit Union, along with Metropolitan Title Agency and the Rockford Area Affordable Housing Coalition (RAAHC), offered a FREE educational seminar entitled “Need Answers about Today’s Home Buying Market? We Can Help!”. 

In addition, MembersAlliance Credit Union offered a free community shred day on April 28.  The above events were some of more than 85 free classes, seminars and activities promoting financial education that took place during Rockford’s MSW.

North Side Community Federal Credit Union in Chicago held several workshops for its members and the community.  These included: Homebuyers Orientation, Homebuyers Seminar, How to Buy an Affordable Home: City Programs for 1st time Homebuyers, Avoiding MoneyTraps - for Seniors, How to Buy a Good Used Auto, and Financing Your Small Business: Understanding the Nuts & Bolts of the Underwriting Process.

Money Smart Week® is a series of free classes and activities designed to help consumers better manage their personal finances. MSW partners hosted their events April 21 - 28, 2012.  Originally beginning in Chicago in 2002, the Money Smart Week model has grown with successful campaigns taking place in all five states within the Seventh District (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, and Wisconsin) and new cities joining every year.

12 Illinois CUs part of 2012 national youth savings challenge
Credit unions leaped into action this April for the 11th National Credit Union Youth Week® and the National Youth Saving Challenge™.

Along with $293,600 coming from Illinois, April 2012 saw young credit union members deposit a total of $21,330,810 into their saving accounts. The 241 participating credit unions received deposits from 125,867 youth, including 7,300 who opened new accounts. The average deposit per child was $169, compared to $196 per child last year.

In Illinois, more than 2,500 youth depositors opened 213 new accounts among the 12 credit unions from our state that participated.  They included:

  • Abri CU (Romeoville)
  • Area Educational CU (Mattoon)
  • Blackhawk Area CU (Savanna)
  • Blaw-Knox CU (Mattoon)
  • Community Plus FCU (Rantoul)
  • Gateway Metro FCU (Swansea)
  • Great Lakes CU (North Chicago)
  • Meadows CU (Arlington Heights)
  • Members First Community CU (Quincy)
  • Rockford Postal ECU (Rockford)
  • Shell Community FCU (Wood River)
  • Southern Illinois Area CU (Swansea)

Next year, National Credit Union Youth Week will be held April 21-27, 2013, and the Savings Challenge will run the entire month of April.

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