NWCUF Commits $5,000 to Philippine Disaster Relief, Urges Donations to WOCCU Fund

Credit unions are being asked this week to join in the mammoth international relief effort now under way to help survivors of Typhoon Haiyan, which slammed into the central Philippines with once-in-a-century winds that wiped out entire towns and left an estimated 10,000 people dead.

The World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) said Wednesday that it is in contact with local authorities in the Philippines to assess how best to help the millions of people affected. Reports from the area say survivors are becoming increasingly desperate, short on food and supplies, and terrified about waiting longer for help.

A few residents of hard-hit areas have scrawled signs with a simple message: “Help us.”

WOCCU this week established a disaster relief fund to do just that. Donations are being accepted by check, credit card or wire at Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions Inc., 5710 Mineral Point Road, Madison, WI 53705. Credit-card donations also can be made online at www.woccu.org/give. (Make sure to indicate that the donation is designated for Philippine Disaster Relief Fund.)

The Northwest Credit Union Foundation has committed $5,000 to the relief effort, and Executive Director Kim Vu is urging Northwest credit unions to make their own donations. Credit unions here and in the Philippines have had a special relationship for years, she said, including a partnership with the Washington Credit Union League in the mid-2000s.

WOCCU also has worked closely with Philippine credit unions; from 2007-2010, that partnership focused on model credit union building and institutional branding. There are 1,320 credit unions in the Philippines, according to WOCCU’s 2012 Statistical Report. Those credit unions serve an estimated 4.3 million members.

WOCCU has led relief and rebuilding efforts during past international disasters, including the Haitian earthquake in January 2010, the Philippine Islands landslide in February 2006 and the Asian tsunami in December 2004. Following the Haitian earthquake, WOCCU led a $1.2 million project to provide immediate relief, provide shelter and revitalize the country’s credit union system. Following the Philippines landslide in Leyte, WOCCU supported the local league’s administration of “livelihood loans,” small micro-loans that helped credit union members and employees rebuild their homes and businesses.

For additional information, contact Calyn Ostrowski, director of the Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions, at 608.395.2056 or costrowski@woccu.org.


Questions? Contact Gary Stein: 503.350.2216, gstein@nwcua.org.

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