The news reports of the damage from this past weekend's tornados are heartbreaking and the amount of devastation is beyond belief. Fortunately, it seems as though the credit union community had little to no damage. We have been in contact with our counterparts around the country and at the National Credit Union Foundation to determine the level of support that may be needed. We are recommending two donation options at this point. The American Red Cross as well as the Team Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund established by Kentucky Governor Beshear. The Carolinas Credit Union Foundation has made a donation to the Kentucky Fund to support their efforts to rebuild. #PeopleHelpingPeople
2021 Impact & Donor Appreciation Report Released
As the year comes to a close, the Carolinas Credit Union Foundation has released its 2021 Impact & Donor Report highlighting the many ways we are making a difference in communities across North and South Carolina.

In the last 5 years, nearly $7.5 million has been distributed by the Foundation as disaster relief, hardship assistance, educational programs and grants, academic and needs-based scholarships, and non-profit grant support.

Read more about the accomplishments in the Foundation’s 2021 Impact Report and the many donors that make our successes possible.
Other News from the Foundation
The Foundation's Awards Gala Returns in February!
Join the Carolinas Credit Union Foundation for its inspirational Annual Awards Gala Thursday evening, February 3, 2022 in Charlotte, NC. Held in conjunction with the Carolinas Credit Union League’s LAUNCH Conference, the Gala celebrates statewide and individual award winners and is an event not to be missed! 

Coastal CU Chief Culture & Impact Officer Creighton Blackwell returns as emcee to lead the evening’s recognition of the 18 state-level 2021 CUNA Awards winners and the 2021 Hero Awards honorees recently announced.

Details on Gala sponsorships and tickets are available at carolinasleague.org/launch. Bundled ticket options allow entry to the Gala and LAUNCH. Outstanding professional development opportunities are available during the League’s two-day premier event. The reception for the Awards Gala begins at 5:30 p.m. with dinner seating starting at 6:30. This will be a semi-formal event so cocktail attire is encouraged. Don’t miss this opportunity to celebrate with your peers and recognize those who make the credit union industry so remarkable!
Kecia Brooks Memorial - One Year Later
December 26th marks one year from the passing of Vizo Financial’s Kecia Brooks following her battle with COVID-19. To honor Kecia, Vizo established a memorial fund at the Foundation to collect donations to support the educational needs of Kecia's adopted daughter, Journey.
 
“All of us at Vizo Financial were heartbroken at Kecia’s passing. She had worked with the Corporate for many years and knew our credit union members well. Her untimely passing has left a void in our hearts and our organization,” comments Vizo Financial’s President & CEO, David Brehmer. â€śKecia’s greatest joy was her daughter, Journey. The contributions totaling $50,000 from employees, colleagues, credit unions and friends all across the country have been overwhelming and a true testament to Kecia’s life and legacy. She is deeply missed but will always be with us in spirit.” 
 
The Foundation will transfer the fund’s balance to Journey's 529 plan at the College Foundation of North Carolina before the close of the year. 
Carolinas Cup breaks records to support Victory Junction - $106,650 raised!
Final totals are in for the 17th Annual Carolinas Cup and the support from Carolinas credit unions made this year's the most successful yet, with record attendance and $106,650 raised for Victory Junction! The friendly tournament between North and South Carolina is organized each year by CUNA Mutual Group, with special recognition owed to the many generous sponsors, auction contributors and players. The addition of this year’s contributions brings the Carolinas Cup fundraising grand total to just shy of $1 million raised for Victory Junction since the tournament began 17 years ago. To read more and see a listing of this year's supporters, click here. Tax acknowledgements to all supporters will be provided at year-end.
Small CU Grant Opportunities & Deadlines
The Carolinas Credit Union Foundation’s Hamilton Professional Development Grant Program is accepting applications for 2022 until December 21st. This program, provided in partnership with Summit Credit Union and the Elizabeth N. and James V. Hamilton Fund, provides grants to small credit unions ($50 million or less in assets) for use towards development and training for credit union staff and volunteers. Grant funds can be allocated for conferences in the Carolinas as well as regional and national opportunities and strategic planning services.

The application process has been streamlined with a new online grant submission form. Conference registration, travel and accommodation expenses up to the allocated grant amount may be covered. A maximum of $1,250 per credit union per calendar year may be awarded. Additional 2022 grant opportunities for small credit unions include the following:

  • Financial Counseling Certification Program (FiCEP) Grant (via Hamilton Fund) â€“ Credit unions $50 million and under in assets are eligible to get full registration costs covered (limited to one registration per credit union). The FiCEP 2022 program will kick off on June 28 and runs through October 25. The last day for registration will be May 30, 2022. 
  • TalentGuided Coaching Grant (via Hamilton Fund) â€“ Credit unions under $50 million in assets are eligible for a special, one-time grant to cover a portion of the cost for the Carolinas Credit Union League’s TalentGuided - Professional Coaching Services (available year-round). Learn More »
  • Technology and Capital Improvements Grants â€“ These grants are available for credit unions with $100 million or less in assets. See 2021 grant winners. Applications for 2022 will be accepted starting in June.
Members CU Supports Program Grants for 2022
The success of the Foundation's Technology and Capital Improvements Grants in 2021 was made possible by the financial support of the League and CUNA Mututal Group with a $50,000 donation. The Foundation was able to allocate another $30,000 from its Program Fund to help nine credit unions under $100 million in assets with much needed improvements and technology enhancements.

The Foundation received an overwhelming response in 2021, with 17 grant applications totaling nearly $240,000 in requested funding. As we enter 2022, the Foundation will be soliciting new dollars to help fund our 2022 grant cycle and Members Credit Union was the first to answer the call.

"Members Credit Union has been very blessed during 2021," noted Bob Donley, Members' President & CEO. "At Members Credit Union we lead and manage with a servant’s heart and absolutely believe we are here to serve everyone around us. We wanted to share a portion of our corporate refund with the Foundation to ensure it can continue serving our communities and credit unions in every way needed!"

The $18,000 donation from Members Credit Union will be allocated to the small credit union Technology and Capital Improvement Grants for 2022.
2021 Grant Recipient Spotlight
Greater Kinston Credit Union, a $14 million minority credit union in Kinston, NC was a 2021 Technology and Capital Improvement grant recipient. Funding was used to support the addition of signage over the building as well as the replacement of its property's front lawn marquee, which had been in disrepair for many years due to lack of funding.

Pictured here is Jaimie Spruill, Greater Kinston's Branch Manager & CEO under the building's new signage. After repairs are complete on the front lawn, the hope is to increase awareness and drive membership growth at its only branch location, while adding much needed curb appeal.
Scholarships: Invite Members to Apply by Feb 1st
The 2022-2023 Carolinas Credit Union Foundation scholarship cycle is officially open, with applications due on February 1, 2022. Through the Foundation and scholarship funds from credit unions in the Carolinas, dreams of higher education are made possible each year for hundreds of students. The Foundation also created a new online Credit Union Scholarship Resource Center with all the information needed to help promote scholarships to staff and members.

Any member from a credit union based in North or South Carolina with a non-weighted GPA of 3.0 or higher may apply for a scholarship. Enrollment as a full-time student for the upcoming 2022-2023 school year is required for scholarship acceptance. The Carolinas Credit Union Foundation Scholarship Fund offers both academic and needs-based scholarships of $1,000 for all levels of higher education. Technical or community college scholarships of $500 are also available. Credit union employees and immediate family who are members may also apply for the Foundation’s scholarship. For details and to download graphics for marketing purposes, please click here.
Chapters Participate in the Season of Giving
The Tarheel Chapter and the Cape Fear Chapter of Credit Unions are both receiving Community Grants from the Foundation to support notable nonprofits in the Carolinas. The Foundation's Community Grant Program matches dollars raised by Chapters, supporting the cooperative purpose and the social responsibility mandate of credit unions.

Several credit unions in the Cape Fear Chapter conducted food drives at their branch locations to benefit Mother Hubbard's Cupboard. Mother Hubbard's Cupboard provides emergency food to families and are currently serving 200+ families weekly. $1,000 was raised by participating credit unions, with the Foundation matching the total. 

The Tarheel Chapter is actively raising funds for the Children’s Home Society of North Carolina in a campaign that will last through January 14, 2022. The Children's Home Society is the largest private adoption and foster agency in the state, servicing all 100 counties in NC. The Tarheel Chapter Board has already contributed $1,000 towards its the effort and every dollar raised, up to $2,500, will be matched by the Foundation. A direct link to donate online from the Tarheel Chapter is available here.
Contact the Foundation:
Lauren Whaley, President | 919-600-8219 | E-mail |
Jeff Hardin, Director of Collaborative Programs | 336-601-1764 | E-mail |

The Carolinas Credit Union Foundation was incorporated in 1993 as a charitable organization dedicated to the embodiment of the “people helping people” philosophy of credit unions. Its mission is to empower and inspire credit unions in the Carolinas through collaborative opportunities to enrich our communities. The Foundation serves as a founding partner to Victory Junction, a year-round camping facility, located in Randleman, NC, for children with chronic medical conditions or serious illnesses. Over the last 16 years, more than $5 million has been raised by credit unions in the Carolinas to support its camp and outreach programs. The Foundation also serves as a partner in philanthropy with credit unions, assisting charitable giving through donor-advised funds, managing scholarship programs, supporting small credit unions with professional development grants, and aiding disaster relief for the local, national, and global credit union communities.