LIHU‘E — Kaua‘i’s credit unions have a lot of celebrate during 2011 International Credit Union Week, Oct. 17 through Oct. 22.
Kaua‘i’s population, according to the United States 2010 census, is approximately 67,091 people. Of that, 54,668 people, or about 80 percent, are members of one of the eight credit unions that span the island with assets of about $618.42 million.
Lisa Murphy, the marketing manager of the Kaua‘i Government Employees Federal Credit Union, said they are planning a series of events during the week-long celebration, building on the success of last year’s tour of the Lihu‘e facility by elementary school students.
“This year, we’ll have a jingle contest for the kids, and yes, we’ll have the tours of the credit union too,” Murphy said. “More details will be coming as the week draws closer.”
Credit unions are not-for-profit financial cooperatives, democratically owned and operated, and founded by people working together toward economic advancement, states the mayoral proclamation presented by Gary Heu, Managing Director of the county, Tuesday to representatives of the eight Kaua‘i credit unions.
Georgeatte Galicinao-Cayaban of the Kaumakani Federal Credit Union, earlier this year, celebrated the culmination of the Kids Savings Project with students from the ‘Ele‘ele Elementary School where credit union staff worked with the ‘Ele‘ele School students to develop savings accounts with the credit union, the students learning the three S’s of financial literacy in the project.
“We’ll probably have juice and cookies during the celebration,” Galicinao-Cayaban said, joking about the orange shopping bags which was being distributed to the ‘Ele‘ele School students.
This ties in with the people-helping-people philosophy which is embraced by credit unions. This is done through the pooling of personal resources and leadership abilities for the good of the cooperative, empowering members to improve their financial future and uniting to help those in need, the proclamation states.
Credit unions have demonstrated outstanding leadership throughout the communities in which they have served since they were founded more than 150 years ago, and on Kaua‘i, credit unions contribute significantly to the economic well-being of the community and an improved standard of living for all credit union members and their families.
Five of the eight credit unions on Kaua‘i are currently participating in the Go, go, Gohan! Have a Rice Day is ON! initiative by the Hawai‘i Credit Union League celebrating September being National Rice Day, according to the HCUL website.
Under terms of the initiative which runs Sept. 9 through Nov. 10, participating credit union members are encouraged to donate 20-pound bags of rice, or cash, with the proceeds benefiting the Hawai‘i Food Bank and its Neighbor Island partners.
Credit unions have championed the idea that people from all walks of life should have access to affordable financial services offered by credit unions, the proclamation states.
Mel Chiba of the Kaua‘i Community Federal Credit Union, Scot Tsuchiyama of the Kekaha Federal Credit Union, Galicinao-Cayaban of the Kaumakani Federal Credit Union, James Fuji of the McBryde Federal Credit Union, Corrine King and Conrad Rualizo of the Kaua‘i Government Employees Federal Credit Union, Kimberly Kato of the Kaua‘i Teachers Federal Credit Union and Derek Koki, representing Gene Mizumoto, of the Koloa Federal Credit Union, and Keith Uyeno of Garden Island Federal Credit Union were on hand to accept the proclamation.
For more information, call any of the credit unions on the island.
• Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or dfujimoto@ thegardenisland.com.