LIHU‘E — When people couldn’t get help from anywhere, they took destiny into their own hands, said Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami Monday during the announcement of Oct. 21 being celebrated as International Credit Union Day.
“Each year, credit unions come together on the third Thursday of October to celebrate International Credit Union Day to reflect on the history and achievements of credit unions, and to raise awareness about what it means for members globally to have a credit union as their financial partner,” said a statement from the Kaua‘i Chapter of the Hawai‘i Credit Union League whose membership includes the Garden Island Federal Credit Union, Gather Federal Credit Union, the Kaua‘i Government Employees Federal Credit Union, the Kaua‘i Teachers Federal Credit Union, and McBryde Federal Credit Union.
Kawakami, making the announcement before a group of representatives from Kaua‘i’s credit unions, said he was not aware that Monday was a banking holiday and apologized for pulling people away from their respective holidays. But that was a demonstration of the commitment shared by the founders of the credit unions who utilized these kinds of times to create a better future.
“Credit unions embrace a ‘people-helping people’ philosophy through the pooling of personal resources and leadership abilities for the good of the cooperative, empowering members to improve their financial futures, and uniting to help those in need,” Kawakami said in the announcement.
Credit unions are not-for-profit financial cooperatives, democratically owned and operated, and founded by people working together toward economic advancement.
“Credit unions have demonstrated outstanding leadership throughout the communities in which they have served, and this year, celebrating the 73rd anniversary of International Credit Union Day,” Kawakami said. “This year’s ICU Day theme, ‘Building financial health for a brighter tomorrow,’ reflects the way credit unions contribute to a brighter future by working to improve members’ financial well-being, especially during these unprecedented times.”
Credit unions provide an effective and viable alternative to for-profit financial institutions for millions of members in 118 countries around the world, providing a vast array of financial services for their members, including the nearly 57,000 members on Kaua‘i, associated through local, state, regional, and international organizations sharing the same commitment to serving credit union members.