The Life Simulation – walking in your member’s shoes

You never truly know someone until you walk a mile in their shoes.  This saying fits in perfectly with the National Credit Union Foundation’s Experiential Learning programs.  It’s hard to understand what someone may be going through or experiencing until you place yourself in their situation; and live it yourself.

This is exactly the intention of the Foundation’s Life Simulation, an exercise designed to help credit union employees, volunteers and leadership begin to understand what it might be like to live in a typical low-income family trying to survive from month to month.  In the simulation, the participants assume the roles of individuals living in a family who are living just above the poverty line, and all these roles are based off of real-life people and situations. Some families are newly unemployed, some are homeless and others are senior citizens living on disability payments or raising grandchildren.

During the three hour activity, these “families” are struggling to make ends meet in the simulated month of four fifteen minute weeks.  The simulation is designed to help credit union professionals start to better understand the members they serve, and to help meet members where they are in life.  Again, it’s hard to help someone if you don’t understand what they may be going through.

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