Susan Strong: Celebrate credit unions
Steamboat Springs — On Oct. 15, credit unions worldwide will come together to celebrate International Credit Union Day and the role financial cooperatives play in improving the communities they serve and the lives of their members the world over. This year’s theme, “People Helping People,” encapsulates the long-standing credit union philosophy.
This theme honors credit unions’ constant drive to positively impact their communities to better serve their members. All credit unions share a common goal to offer access to affordable financial services to all their members and provide even the most financially disadvantaged the tools and the opportunities to be financially self-sufficient.
Credit unions are unique because they are not-for-profit, democratically controlled, member-owned cooperatives. Credit unions pool their members’ assets to provide low-cost loans and other financial services in the best interest of the members, not to earn shareholder profits.
The credit union movement’s cooperative spirit is embraced by nearly 217 million members served by 57,000 credit unions in 105 countries worldwide, working together to achieve economic progress. Credit unions play a vital role in the economic development and stability of the communities they serve, helping people improve their lives through access to affordable financial services and making the world a better place to live.
Stellar member service and democratic control are just some of the many benefits of being a credit union or cooperative member. That’s as true of the credit unions here in Steamboat Springs as it is in other cooperatively-owned financial institutions, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. Cooperatives and credit unions are founded on community service, a principle that has set them apart for more than 150 years.
This International Credit Union Day, we hope everyone will join us in celebrating the credit union difference, our proud cooperative heritage and the wonderful opportunities credit unions and cooperatives offer members of the Steamboat Springs community every day.
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