Durham Mayor Steve Schewel gets a large pair of scissors to cut the ribbon at Self-Help's Mangum Street branch re-opening.
Wednesday, May 23 was a bustling day at 601 South Mangum Street in Durham as the Self-Help CU branch held a grand re-opening to celebrate brand new renovations. All morning cars pulled up in the parking lot and the front door swung open constantly. Some people came for free shredding or to recycle electronics. Many came for a special ribbon-cutting, led by Durham Mayor Steve Schewel.
Through shredding and speeches and all the hubbub, our members came in to do their everyday business: making deposits, cashing checks, talking to a loan officer about a loan.
“I love this location,” said Randy Chambers, Self-Help CU President. He noted that this branch office is well placed in the heart of downtown Durham to serve nearby residents and those who work and study at NC Central. “Our Mangum Street branch is here for all folks, and we want it to be part of Durham’s rising for all, including African-American and Latino homeowners in the neighborhoods south and east of here.”
The recent renovations improved the branch office from top to bottom, including an expanded lobby, a new teller line, more windows, new flooring and a new ATM. The result is a brighter and more inviting space, ready to welcome old and new members.
At the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Randy introduced Mayor Schewel, noting his many contributions to the city, and also noting that Mr. Schewel (long before his mayor days) was one of the earliest members of Self-Help CU, joining in 1984 as member number 93. Randy said it was challenging to pin down the date, since it was before Self-Help had computer systems.
The mayor praised Self-Help’s investment in the Mangum Street branch as part of a larger history of investments in Durham and beyond. “Thanks for serving people who need financial services and for doing it so well.” He noted that Self-Help is a “critical partner” in a current affordable housing development in the heart of downtown Durham.
The Mangum Street branch was originally part of Greater Piedmont CU, which merged with Self-Help CU in 2016. Greater Piedmont was founded in 1977 to serve employees of Durham Regional Hospital. Recalling Greater Piedmont’s years of service, Randy said, “I was struck by the level of care from the staff in helping their members,” Randy said. “Our desire is to continue that extraordinary service here.”
A special part of the ribbon-cutting ceremony included a re-dedication of the building to Paul Babinec, a distinguished citizen who served as a long-time board chair for Greater Piedmont. The branch was originally dedicated to Mr. Babinec when it opened more than 25 years ago. The re-dedication was presented by Self-Help CU Board member David Kearns, who also served on the Greater Piedmont board along with Mr. Babinec.
Board member, David Kearns
In addition to the ribbon-cutting, the re-opening included free recycling opportunities, a “Shred-a-Thon” for paper shredding confidential documents and also an opportunity to up-cycle old electronics. This reflects Self-Help CU’s commitment to building environmental sustainability into everything we do. Many thanks to Durham businesses Triangle E-Cycling and Shimar Recycling for making this possible.
The Mangum Street office is one of 24 branches that Self-Help CU has in North Carolina, Virginia and Northern Florida.
Shimar Recycling and Triangle E-Cycling offered free services during the grand re-opening.