Randy speaking at our 2018 annual meeting.
A Message from our President, Randy Chambers
The word “awesome” gets over-used, but we at Self-Help Credit Union are truly in awe of our members and partners. Not only do you make our work possible, you teach us and inspire us. Working side-by-side with you in 2018, we expanded our services and moved forward in creating more economic opportunity in more locations.
This past year we learned a lot about the compassion and resilience of our members and staff, as many in our service areas faced terrible disasters. In the Carolinas, thousands of families continue to suffer from damage, displacement and unemployment resulting from Hurricane Florence. In California, where our affiliate Self-Help Federal Credit Union is based, more thousands are struggling with the aftermath of the most destructive wildfire in the state’s history.
Self-Help has responded with Disaster Relief loans in all our affected service locations. In the East, these loans are designed to help with home repairs and other needs of members directly impacted by Hurricane Florence. We are also offering relief on existing consumer, mortgages and business loans. These loans will remain available as long as they are needed. (See more information on the back side and on our website.)
More than 50 counties in North and South Carolina were federally-declared disaster zones, including the very hard-hit Wilmington, NC area. Every single staff person in our Wilmington branch suffered property damage or losses. In spite of their personal hardships, our staff went to extraordinary lengths during and after the storm to ensure our members could receive cash and other services. We are grateful for their dedication, and grateful for the response of many other staff and members who have stepped up to donate their time and resources to help families recover.
At the same time that our staff and members work to recover from these disaster, we grew our services in many ways. We expanded in the Carolinas when we merged with two credit unions in South Carolina (see article below). We provided more home loans and small business loans than ever before, and we made inroads in increasing affordable housing, community facilities and financial education. Look for a full report on Self-Help’s impact a bit later in the year.
As we start the new year, we will focus on constantly improving as a credit union, and we will also focus on building a better world. That means standing up for all people who lack opportunity and fundamental justice, including immigrants seeking a better life, people who are needlessly incarcerated, and children who go hungry. As a financial institution, we will use every tool at our disposal to lift all communities. Because one thing is certain: without fair and affordable savings and lending, communities cannot thrive.
Wishing all of you a year of growth and prosperity, and thanks for your trust and partnership.
President, Self-Help Credit Union