During this time of year, we are reminded of the importance of community, giving back, showing gratitude and the power of traditions. In a year with so many changes, it seems people are eager to get into the spirit of the holidays and find comfort in familiar foods, decorations and rituals.
A tradition for many people I know is an annual watching of one of my favorite movies—“It’s a Wonderful Life.” It’s a warmhearted movie that gets me into a holiday frame of mind and reminds me of all that my family and I have to be grateful for. It also reminds me of the unique and noble purpose at the core of the credit union industry. Every time I watch it, I am struck by the parallels between the Bailey family business and the credit union partners our company is so fortunate to serve and collaborate with. (Caution: spoiler alert if you’re one of the few people who haven’t seen the movie yet!).
At the beginning of the story, George Bailey is growing up in Bedford Falls, where his father Peter Bailey runs the Bailey Bros. Building & Loan Association—a small, local, cooperative financial institution with a community focus. Peter is a respected member of the community who treats his customers with fairness and compassion, seeing them as friends and not just customers. This is in contrast to Mr. Potter, a rich, cranky old man who owns many of the town’s businesses and would love to gain control of all of them without regard for the well-being of the townspeople.
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