Federation, CDCUs & UNFCU Discuss CU Difference at NYC Green Festival
Rafael O. Morales, Public Affairs & West Coast Program Officer
This past weekend, the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions (Federation) and several of its member credit unions participated in New York City’s Green Festival, held at the Javits Convention Center. The Federation’s table was located near the front of the 20,000 square foot room and several New York City-based member credit unions participated, including Bethex Federal Credit Union, the Lower East Side People’s Federal Credit Union, Union Settlement Federal Credit Union and United Nations Federal Credit Union.
One of the nation’s premier sustainability events, the Green Festival hosted more than one hundred renowned authors, leaders and educators, including Russell Simmons and Amy Goodman; how-to workshops; cutting-edge films; fun activities for children; organic beer and wine; vegetarian cuisine; and live music. With over 25,000 visitors attending, the event was a great opportunity for the Federation and its member credit unions to discuss the benefits of community-based financial cooperatives, both in terms of the advantages for individuals looking for affordable financial services and access to credit. The event also showcased the economic benefit of financial cooperatives to the communities they serve.
Among the few exhibitors discussing alternative banking and responsible financial services, the Federation’s credit union volunteers were kept busy answering questions from interested consumers looking to learn more about the differences between banks and credit unions, the types of products offered at credit unions, where to find their local credit union and how to go about joining.
“It was great to have our volunteers come out and represent UNFCU at this event to discuss our greening initiatives, as well as to support the Federation in this UN-declared International Year of Cooperatives,” said Pamela Agnone, Senior Vice President of Retail Services at UNFCU. “There was just so much positive energy filling the exhibit hall, with each organization working to do their part for their communities and the environment.”
“This was an extremely successful event,” said Federation Program Associate Elizabeth Friedrich, who coordinated the credit union volunteers participating at the festival. “There was a lot of interest in the work that credit unions are doing,” she said. “We spoke with literally hundreds of attendees about the benefits of banking local through credit unions and handed out nearly all the informational materials we brought with us. Hopefully our member CDCUs will have lots of new members knocking on their doors as a result of our efforts.”
The National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions (Federation) is a certified CDFI Intermediary representing more than 240 community development credit unions (CDCUs). The Federation’s member CDCUs provide credit, savings, transaction services and financial education to more than 1.7 million residents of low-income urban, rural and reservation-based communities across the United States, and hold over $11 billion in community-controlled assets. Founded in 1974, the Federation is headquartered in Lower Manhattan with offices in Colorado Springs, CO; Madison, WI; and San Francisco, CA. The Federation offers a wide range of advocacy, educational, training, investment, marketing, and outreach programs to support and assist CDCUs. For more information about the Federation and its programs, please visit: www.cdcu.coop.