Newsletter

VSECU eNews is emailed to you approximately every six weeks. Updates, specials, promotions or offers may come more frequently. Enjoy past articles below and sign up to automatically receive the next edition delivered right to your inbox.

Past eNews Articles

21 Credit Card Fraud Prevention Tips:

Credit card fraud can happen in many different ways; in person, on the internet or over the phone. You don’t need to be fearful of using your card but you should be cautious. A good rule of thumb is to treat your card as though it is cash, valued at the card limit. For example, if your card has a $5,000 limit, before you leave your credit card receipts lying around ask yourself, ‘Is that a safe place for $5,000?’ Thinking about your card as cash is one way to quickly remind yourself of the importance of keeping it protected. These additional tips below can help you reduce the possibilities of fraudulent activities happening on your credit card account:

1. Keep an eye on your credit card every time you use it, and make sure you get it back as quickly as possible. Try not to let your credit card out of your sight whenever possible.

2. Never give out your card account number or information over the phone unless you initiate the call and you know the company is reputable. Legitimate companies will not call and ask for a credit card number over the phone.

3. Never respond to emails that request you provide your credit card info via email — and don’t ever respond to emails that ask you to go to a website to verify personal (and credit card) information. These are called ‘phishing’ scams.

4. Never provide your credit card information on a website that is not a secure site.

5. Sign your credit cards as soon as you receive them.

6. Shred all credit card applications you receive.

7. Don’t write your PIN number on your credit card — or have it anywhere near your credit card (in the event that your wallet gets stolen).

8. Never leave your credit cards or receipts lying around.

9. Shield your credit card number so that others around you can’t copy it or capture it on a cell phone or other camera. Always take the time to check ATMs and gas pumps for extra devices that may have been placed by fraudsters attempting to skim your card details. Do not use any ATM with loose parts or keypads missing the standard Braille dots – inform the bank or gas station of the potential problem and find another location to perform your transaction.

10. Only carry credit cards that you absolutely need. Don’t carry extra credit cards that you rarely use.

12. Open credit card bills promptly and make sure there are no fraudulent charges. Better yet, monitor your credit card activity online. Treat your credit card bill like your checking account — reconcile it monthly. Save your receipts so you can compare them with your monthly bills.

13. If you find any charges that you don’t have a receipt for — or that you don’t recognize — report these charges promptly (and in writing) to the credit card issuer.

14. Always void and destroy incorrect receipts.

15. Shred anything with your credit card number written on it.

16. Never sign a blank credit card receipt. Carefully draw a line through blank portions of the receipt where additional charges could be fraudulently added.

17. Carbon paper is rarely used these days, but if there is a carbon that is used in a credit card transaction, destroy it immediately.

18. Never write your credit card account number in a public place that could be viewed by others.

19. Ideally, it’s a good idea to carry your credit cards separately from your wallet — perhaps in a zippered compartment or a small pouch.

20. Never lend a credit card to anyone else.

21. If you move, notify your credit card issuers in advance of your change of address.

If you suspect credit card fraud:

If your credit cards are lost or stolen, contact the credit card issuer(s) immediately.
Most financial institutions provide toll-free access for 24-hour service to deal with these types of emergencies — they are eager to avoid credit card fraud.

For VSECU Members

If you have lost a debit or credit card, or if it has been stolen, contact VSECU immediately:

During Business Hours: 802/800 371-5162
After business hours call:

  • Lost or stolen debit/ATM card: 1-800-523-4175
  • Lost or stolen credit card: 1-800-257-2743

We will block the card from being used further and, if necessary, issue a new card. Other steps may be taken depending on the severity of the issue.

To view the recent WCAX Consumer Watch on credit card fraud, click here.

VSECU Helps Project Independence of Barre

VSECU Helps Project Independence of Barre Buy New Building

They call their new, renovated office and adult day care center the “P.I. Palace.” With the lyrics of “Downtown,” the 1960s hit by Petula Clark, as their theme, staff, participants, supporters and friends of Project Independence of Barre gathered to celebrate the new center at 81 N. Main St., Barre, at an open house and ribbon cutting ceremony on Oct. 20.

Serving central Vermonters since 1975, Project Independence is a non-profit adult day service for elderly and disabled adults who wish to stay in their own homes versus nursing homes or residential care facilities. PI offers health services and activities to stimulate physical and mental well-being. In addition, the service provides caregivers respite so that they can take a break to attend to personal needs or just to rest or relax. PI draws from 18 towns in Washington and northern Orange counties, currently serving a total of 108 clients each month.

The new, larger center will allow PI to expand to meet a growing demand for adult day services. The new center boasts a spacious, well-lit recreation area, commercial-grade kitchen, shower and restroom facilities to accommodate the disabled, physical therapy room and more. Dee Rollins, PI’s executive director, says the downtown location makes the center more accessible to clients and closer to other services.

According to Rollins, when looking for financing for the new center, she called a number of local financial institutions, but she said VSECU was the only one that responded with an offer of help. She and Scott Nichols of VBiz, VSECU’s business services department, worked closely together to construct a loan that would meet their needs.

“VSECU and VBiz were proud to partner with PI to make this dream become a reality” Nichols said. “PI has an excellent staff and receives great support from the community it serves. At VSECU, our focus is on small businesses and non-profits just like PI.”

The Project Independence open house also kicked off their Capital Campaign, a two-year fundraiser. For more about Project Independence, visit www.pibarre.org.

Photos:

(Top): (left to right) Sen. Bill Doyle; Kathy Town, secretary-PI Board of Directors; Dee Rollins, PI executive director; Linda Kuban, PI assistant executive director; Steve Koenemann, president-PI Board of Directors; and Scott Nichols, VSECU’s VBiz, join in open house festivities of the “P.I. Palace.” Koenemann is vice-president-information officer at VSECU, and Town is a long-time employee of VSECU, currently working in the Information Systems department.

(Center): Dee Rollins, PI executive director, and Steve Koenemann, president of PI’s Board of Directors, share the scissors following the ribbon cutting ceremony.

(Bottom): Scott Nichols, business services advisor with VBiz, VSECU’s business services for nonprofits and small businesses, addresses the audience at the PI open house.

VSECU Donates to Home Share

In response to growing environmental concerns, Home Share Now is expanding its mission to include live-in matches for individuals motivated by “green” concerns.

Chuck Karparis - New Lending VP

VSECU Names Chuck Karparis to New Management Position

With its recent expansion to serve Vermonters statewide, VSECU has restructured its senior management team naming Chuck Karparis to a newly created position, Vice President-Lending Officer. In his new position, Karparis will direct consumer lending operations, mortgage originations, asset recovery and commercial business through VBiz, VSECU’s business services for small businesses and nonprofits.

Prior to assuming his new role, Karparis was VSECU’s Vice President-Retail Officer where he managed both consumer and commercial retail activities. Jeffrey Goff, Claremont, N.H., was recently hired as the new Vice President-Retail Officer and will focus solely on consumer retail, sales and member services.

Active in the community, Karparis has been the mayor of Montpelier and currently is a trustee of the Montpelier Foundation, treasurer of the Central Vermont Community Land Trust and a member of the Montpelier Rotary Club. Karparis and his wife Tina live in Montpelier.

VSECU is a not-for-profit financial cooperative, which offers a full range of affordable financial products and services to its member owners. People eligible to join the credit union include everybody who lives or works in Vermont. For more information about VSECU, call 802/800 371-5162 or visit www.vsecu.com.

Avoid fees when you need cash. Here’s how:

1. Point of Sale Transactions

A great way to get cash without paying surcharges is to request cash back when making Point of Sale transactions. Many stores allow you to withdraw cash during checkout with your PIN based, debit card payment at no charge to you.

2. Free ATM Network

VSECU members can take advantage of free ATMs nationwide – anytime! VSECU is part of the CO-OP network. This network consists of over 28,000 ATMs nationwide including 9,000 deposit-taking ATMs and 5,500 7-Eleven locations. To locate one of these ATMs you can use the Branch/ATM locator on the left side of the VSECU.com homepage or click here.

Mobile Savvy? You can also have CO-OP network ATM locations sent to your mobile phone by texting your zip code to 692667 (MY COOP).*

*Normal text messaging charges apply from your mobile service provider. Contact your provider for pricing details.

3. Surcharge Rebates

If you do need to use an ATM that charges a surcharge fee, VSECU may rebate some or all of that charge based on your Member Reward level. These surcharge fee rebates are available for charges assessed at ATMs anywhere in the United States. For more information about these rebates click here.

VSECU donates $5,000 to Home Share Now

Home Share Now and VSECU Partner To Help Vermonters Lower Fuel Costs This Winter

In response to growing environmental concerns, Home Share Now is expanding its mission to include live-in matches for individuals motivated by “green” concerns. VSECU is endorsing this expansion with a $5,000 donation with the hope that area residents will consider home sharing to combine resources and energy usage, thus lowering individual fuel costs.

“Home Share Now not only aligns with our credit union motto of ‘people helping people’ but also our environmental mission to preserve our natural resources,” said Steve Post, VSECU’s chief executive officer. “Sharing a home makes good sense: energy resources are shared and thus conserved, and it also lowers the cost of energy use for both parties in the home. VSECU is proud to support this innovative program.”

“We’ve traditionally been thought of as a program that helps seniors stay in their homes, and that remains an important part of our mission,” observes Home Share Now Director Betsy Reid. “Now, we’re spreading the word that home sharing also offers an excellent, life affirming way for Vermonters of all ages to do their part for the environment. Home sharers can limit their environmental impact in so many ways—from combining errands to moving closer to work—while simultaneously forging wonderful friendships. It’s a great option!”

Reid says every situation is different, but pointed to the one between Cindy McCloud and Monika Gadre as an example of a “green” match. Cindy originally came to Home Share Now for help with her fuel bills, while Monika was looking for a place to live within walking distance of her office. Since they began a home share six months ago, the two women have formed a strong friendship. Cindy enjoys how much more interesting her life is now that Monika lives with her, while Monika appreciates the opportunity to learn from Cindy’s wisdom and life experience.

Being environmentally conscious is important to both women. Cindy says she “tries to have a small footprint,” and both of them walk to work. Monika contrasts her walk in the fresh air of central Vermont with her experience in her home town of Mumbai, India. There, the air quality was very poor and she had to commute two hours each way, which, she says “was such a burden. Economically and internally, it’s important to walk—it’s relaxing, and takes the stress off.”

“Matching people like Cindy and Monika is very rewarding work,” Reid says, “especially knowing it’s good for them AND the environment. We’re so grateful to VSECU for sharing our vision in such a tangible way, and look forward to a continued partnership, to the benefit of our shared community.”

VSECU is a not-for-profit financial cooperative, which offers a full range of affordable financial products and services to its member owners. People eligible to join the credit union include everybody who lives or works in Vermont. For more information, call 802/800 371-5162 or visit www.vsecu.com.

Home Share Now combines traditional New England frugality with a focus on the environment, facilitating live-in matches that range from young college graduates lending a hand so Vermont seniors can stay home to Baby Boomers deciding to combine resources to live greener lives. Home Share Now is fully committed to building matches that not only meet each person’s needs but also enhance the day-to-day quality of life for participants and family members.

Home Share Now is based in Barre, and serves Washington, Lamoille and Orange counties. The Central Vermont Council on Aging is the 501©3 fiscal sponsor of the program, but Home Share Now must raise all its own funds.

Attached photo: Home share match partners Cindy McCloud and Monika Gadre walking to work.

Protect Yourself from ATM Scams

Over the years, you may have grown wary of strangers hovering near an ATM who might be trying to look over your shoulder to steal your account number and PIN. You might even make it a habit to shield the keypad from view as you enter your PIN. These are still safe practices, but identity thieves have become much more savvy and more sophisticated in how they steal your information and money.

Here are a few of the ways thieves can steal your account numbers and PINs at the ATM that you may be surprised to learn:

  • Although not a new technology, “skimmers” are still used by thieves to steal your account numbers. The device fits over the ATM card reader so that when you slide your card into the ATM, the skimmer reads your account number and retains it for the thief.
  • A pinhole camera is installed to record your motions as you enter your PIN.
  • A fake keyboard overlays the real keyboard to capture your PIN.
  • Wireless technology may transmit account numbers and PINs to the thief, who no longer must return to the ATM to retrieve the devices containing the stolen information.

While the vast majority of ATMs are safe, you should exercise your new awareness of the tricks identity thieves employ when using an ATM. If you use certain ATMs on a regular basis, become familiar with how they look and feel so that you can spot any differences. When approaching an unfamiliar ATM, take a look at the card reader and keypad. Since the devices are placed over the originals, they may look odd when closely examined.

Finally, if you believe you have been scammed, report the scam immediately to law enforcement and to the credit union or bank where you have your account. If you believe an account you have with VSECU has been compromised, call 802/800 371-5162 during regular business hours. After hours, call 1-800-523-4175 for a debit card account and 1-800-257-2743 for a credit card account.

For more information on skimming, view this article on digitaljournal.com.

VSECU Employees Walk/Run at 2010 Corporate Cup Race

Twenty-four VSECU employees tied on their racing shoes to walk or run the 5K course through Montpelier at the 2010 Corporate Cup & State Agency Race on May 20. VSECU’s five running teams and three walking teams were encouraged by the warm, sunny weather and the enthusiasm of the nearly 2,300 race participants. Five VSECU employees also assisted as event volunteers. Proceeds from the Corporate Cup Race benefit the many programs and events of the Vermont Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.

VSECU Explores Our Past at Vermont History Expo

History buffs from all over the state and beyond discovered a bit of VSECU history at the Vermont History Expo at the Tunbridge Fairgrounds on June 26-27. As the sponsor of the Genealogical Resources and Archives Center at the Expo, VSECU was given the opportunity to share U.S. credit union history as well as the story behind VSECU at our booth in the Genealogical building.

Visitors to VSECU’s booth learned about Edward Filene and Roy F. Bergengren, two prominent pioneers of the U.S. credit union movement in the early part of the 20th Century. VSECU was also excited to share our “link” with Bergengren through his granddaughter, Kathy Pelletier, a VSECU member. Pelletier, who recently retired as a guidance counselor from U-32 High School in Montpelier, graciously allowed VSECU to borrow two wonderful displays about her grandfather for our historical exhibit. She said she has been invited by the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and other groups across the U.S. to help commemorate her grandfather’s leadership in creating a strong foundation for the building of credit unions across the country. One of her recent speaking engagements took her to Estes Park, Colorado, to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the founding of CUNA in 1934. Bergengren was CUNA’s first managing director.

Another aspect of VSECU’s booth focused on “Games Our Parents Played.” Young and old alike stopped by to play “Graces,” a popular game in the 19th and early-20th centuries, tiddly winks, jacks, pick-up sticks, whizzers, marbles, hopscotch and more. According to Lynette Kemp, who coordinated VSECU’s booth, “We found it surprising how many children stopped by who had never played hopscotch, and most had never even heard of tiddly winks. The games really inspired some interesting and fun conversation.” She said quite a few older adults fondly recalled spending hours playing jacks or marbles on the playground.

Photos:

(Top) Thank you to VSECU member Kathy Pelletier for allowing us to borrow these great displays about her grandfather, Roy F. Bergengren, early pioneer in the U.S. credit union movement.

(Middle) Visitors take a trip through VSECU history via our timeline, 1946-2010.

(Bottom) VSECU staff member Tom White plays “Graces,” a game popular in the 19th and early-20th centuries, with a young visitor to the VSECU booth.

Vermont Students Compete in LifeSmarts

A team of five students from North Country Career Center, Newport, beat five other teams from around Vermont to win the first LifeSmarts competition ever held in Vermont. Now they go on to compete for the National Championship in Miami, Florida on April 24 – 27. The team displayed a broad range of knowledge in the game-show style competition that covered topics including personal finance, health and safety, the environment, technology, and consumer rights and responsibilities.

LifeSmarts is a program of the National Consumers League and is designed to give young people the life skills they will need to become independent young adults when they leave high school for college or leap directly into the job market.

We are proud to be a founding member of Vermont’s non-profit youth financial literacy program called Jump$tart which helps Vermont’s young people learn responsible money management by working with schools, youth organizations and parents as well as directly with students. Through this program we were able to support this first ever LifeSmarts competition in Vermont.

We hope to see more high school teams compete next year! If you want to help a teacher or high school get involved for the state competition next year, contact LifeSmarts.

VSECU First Credit Union to Serve All Vermonters

VSECU has become the first credit union in Vermont approved to serve anyone who lives or works anywhere in Vermont. The decision came from the Vermont Department of Banking, Insurance, Securities and Health Care Administration (BISHCA) in late 2009.

With the acquisition and merging of regional and state banks in Vermont, this decision comes at a time when Vermont consumers are left with less choice for local banking needs. Now VSECU can be an alternative to for-profit banks, with a stable and local presence for all Vermonters.

This exciting change comes after years of working with other state-chartered credit unions through the Association of Vermont Credit Unions and BISHCA to modernize the credit union statute. The Vermont legislature passed H.149 in May 2006, paving the way for greater competition among all financial institutions in Vermont and greater choice for consumers.

VSECU Donates $10,000 to VCCU

As Vermont families struggle to make ends meet, health care often is neglected due to inadequate health insurance or no insurance at all. In response to this health care crisis, the Vermont State Employees Credit Union (VSECU) recently donated $10,000 to the Vermont Coalition of Clinics for the Uninsured to give more Vermonters access to quality health care.

“The coalition of clinics are a vital resource in Vermont’s health care system by providing medical and dental services to over 5,000 Vermonters who cannot afford adequate health insurance,” said Judy Rosenstreich, member of VSECU’s Board of Directors and chair of its Charitable Contributions Committee. “We are proud to support an effort that helps so many Vermonters obtain quality health care, regardless of their ability to pay.”

The Vermont Coalition of Clinics for the Uninsured is an association of 10 free clinic programs and two dental programs which provides free care and assistance to Vermonters without adequate medical and dental insurance. The clinics are located throughout the state and are supported by the tremendous work of volunteers, community hospitals, local fund-raising and an annual grant from the state of Vermont.

“The continuing generosity of VSECU and its members is invaluable to the clinics and the Vermonters we serve,” said Lynn Raymond-Empey, the coalition’s executive director. “In the first quarter of this fiscal year we have experienced a 34 percent increase in the number of patients we served over this same period three years ago. Unfortunately, our main funding sources have not increased since that time. The donations of organizations like the VSECU, have allowed us to continue assisting uninsured/underinsured Vermonters with accessing health care when they are in need, and helping them enroll in the Green Mountain Care programs, become insured and find a permanent primary care home.”

The coalition ’s 10 clinics include the following: Bennington Free Clinic, Bennington; The Health Assistance Program at Fletcher Allen Health Care, Burlington; Good Neighbor Health Clinic / Red Logan Dental Clinic, White River Junction; Health Breaks & Health Connections at Gifford Medical Center, Randolph; The Open Door Clinic, Middlebury and Vergennes; People’s Health and Wellness Clinic, Barre; Putney Walk-In Clinic, Putney; Rutland Free Clinic—Medical and Dental Clinics, Rutland; Valley Health Connections, Springfield; and Windsor Community Clinic, Windsor. For more details, visit www.vccu.net or call (802) 289-2454.

The Vermont State Employees Credit Union is a not-for-profit financial cooperative, which offers a full range of affordable financial products and services to its member-owners. People eligible to join the credit union include anyone who lives or works in Addison, Caledonia, Chittenden, Lamoille, Orange, Rutland and Washington counties, along with Vermont’s state employees and their families. For more information about VSECU, call 802/800 371-5162 or visit www.vsecu.com:

VSECU Donates $40,000 to Vermont Foodbank

VSECU Donates $40,000 to Vermont Foodbank, Encourages Members to Contribute

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 30, 2009

Media Contact
Judy Stermer, Vermont Foodbank
802-477-4108
jstermer@vtfoodbank.org

Barre, VT— With its recent donation of $40,000 to the Vermont Foodbank, VSECU reaffirms its 16-year commitment to creating a hunger-free Vermont. This ongoing support is commendable, and goes far towards ensuring that Vermonters receive the nourishment they need for healthy lives.

Judy Rosenstreich, secretary of the VSECU Board of Directors and chair of its Community Contributions Committee, said credit union members and other Vermonters are also encouraged to partner with VSECU by making contributions to the Vermont Foodbank at VSECU branches and online at www.vsecu.com through December 31, 2009.

“We encourage all Vermonters – VSECU members and non-members alike – who are able, to take action and help prevent hunger in their communities,” she said.

“Vermont State Employees Credit Union has taken action against hunger in Vermont for nearly two decades now. VSECU is a leader in the fight against hunger in our state,” said John Sayles, chief executive officer of the Vermont Foodbank. “This donation and the sustaining support of VSECU is an outstanding example of good corporate citizenship and community partnership. We are so proud of our affiliation with the members and leadership of VSECU.”

During the last 10 months, the Vermont Foodbank has seen a 35-40 percent spike in demand for charitable food. Families and working people are struggling to make ends meet and are seeking food assistance in greater numbers than ever before.

“VSECU’s board of directors has recognized that current economic conditions make the need for food assistance in Vermont particularly urgent,” said Judy Rosenstreich. “VSECU is grateful to its members that their loyal support of our financial cooperative has allowed us to help others through this $40,000 donation to the Vermont Foodbank. Our long relationship with the Vermont Foodbank has allowed us to witness firsthand how effective they are in helping hungry Vermonters.”

About the Vermont Foodbank
Vermont Foodbank is the state’s largest hunger-relief organization, serving communities in all 14 counties of Vermont through a network of 280 food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, senior centers and after-school programs. In FY2009, the Vermont Foodbank distributed nearly 7.5 million pounds of food to more than 66,000 Vermonters in need. The Vermont Foodbank, a member of Feeding America, is nationally recognized as one of the most effective and efficient nonprofits and food banks in the nation. To learn more about hunger in your community and to take action again hunger and poverty in Vermont, visit us on the web at www.vtfoodbank.org.

Our VGives Policy

We are proud to support the communities and people of Vermont.

Each year VSECU allocates funds for the support of community activities and charitable causes. The CEO, the Community Contributions Committee, and the Board of Directors, acting together or independently, may allocate these funds subject to specific guidelines. Our donations vary from small amounts of $50 to larger donations of several thousand dollars. Additionally capital contributions are considered and reviewed semi-annually in April and October.

Our contributions are intended to meet the obligations for the current fiscal year and must be for a non-political, non-sectarian purpose.

The contribution must be of a tax-deductible nature directed towards a Vermont-based civic, educational, environmental, health and human services, humanitarian, heritage or arts-related purpose. Preference may be given to those organizations requesting funds whose environmental goals, activities, and ethics are consistent with the environmental mission statement adopted by the Credit Union.

Although we cannot support every request submitted, we do our best to be fair and equitable, demonstrating our commitment to allocating funds around the state to support diverse needs.

How to Apply

Send a written request with the following information:

  • Name of individual or organization
  • Contact person name and day time telephone number
  • Proof of tax exemption if an organization
  • A brief description of you or the organization
  • Purpose of the funding – please be as detailed as possible
  • The total amount needed to fund the purpose or project
  • The amount you are requesting from VSECU to serve the purpose
  • Indicate what area(s) in Vermont will be served as a result of the donation

Send to:

VSECU
Attention: VGives
P.O. Box 67
Montpelier, Vermont 05601-0067
pthompson@vsecu.com

If you have questions or want to follow up on a pending request for review you may contact Perry Thompson at 802/800 371-5162.

VSECU Donation Helps Foodbank

According to the Vermont Foodbank, 33 percent of those who visit the Foodbank find themselves choosing between buying food and paying the rent or mortgage. Thirty-eight percent must choose between food and paying for heat.

VSECU Becomes First Credit Union to Serve All Vermonters

VSECU has become the first credit union in Vermont approved to serve anyone who lives or works anywhere in the state. The decision came from the Vermont Department of Banking, Insurance, Securities and Health Care Administration (BISHCA).

Steven Post, chief executive of VSECU, commented that, “our long-term vision has been to make VSECU a true alternative to for-profit banks and to be available to all Vermonters.” We now have that opportunity, he said.

“This development is especially significant as consumers try to make sense of the bailouts, investment decisions and shortcomings in the country’s banking system. The acquisition and merging of regional and state banks also has left Vermonters with less consumer choice and the loss of local control and servicing,” Post said.

“We like being a local credit union, we like working with a Vermont regulator and we like being inclusive,” Post said.

“Competition is always good and there is plenty of room for different banking models to co-exist,” he said. “I believe that our model can bring affordability and better value to Vermonters.”

VSECU operates as a not-for-profit, democratic cooperative that works for the benefit of its members, not just shareholders. It offers a full range of financial services for individuals and small businesses.

Chartered in 1947, VSECU has experienced steady growth in membership and now has over 40,000 members. Prior to this decision VSECU served residents of seven counties and state employees statewide.

VSECU worked with other state-chartered credit unions through the Association of Vermont Credit Unions and BISHCA to modernize the credit union statute. The Vermont legislature passed H.149 in May 2006, paving the way for greater competition among all financial institutions in Vermont and greater choice for consumers.

VSECU Fundraising Drive to Help Keep Families W.A.R.M.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 16, 2008

While anxiety is escalating over the economy and the impact it leaves on families, VSECU is taking action to help those in need and inviting its members to join in its efforts.

In light of the rising costs of food and fuel, VSECU’s board of directors has launched a member matching donation program to respond to the needs of families who will experience some tough financial choices very soon. We’re a Responsive Membership—W.A.R.M.—enables members and VSECU to combine their donations to help with heating fuel assistance for families around the state.

“Our credit union motto, people helping people, is at the very root of W.A.R.M.,” said Judy Rosenstreich, a board director and the chair of the community giving committee at Vermont State Employees Credit Union. “The VSECU board unanimously agreed to support this initiative and believes that pooling our resources with members who also want to give can bring relief to families in Vermont this winter.”

VSECU has pledged $40,000 to match member donations dollar for dollar. Funds will be distributed through the five regional Community Action Agencies in Vermont. Members may direct their tax deductable donations to any of the five agencies. Any excess funds from the VSECU pledge will be dispersed proportionately based on the VSECU member population in each of those regions.

Rosenstreich understands that the increased cost of heating will impact everyone, but stressed that the problem for some middle-income Vermonters as well as those with low incomes who may not otherwise qualify for LIHEAP (Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program), have fewer resources available. “Even if it’s only a few dollars that a member donates, combined with VSECU’s matching donation, we should be able to build a substantial fund to help take care of people in the communities we live in and that VSECU serves.”

VSECU members may donate online at www.vsecu.com/warm; by phone at 802/800 371-5162; or by visiting a branch location in Montpelier, Berlin, Waterbury, Rutland, Burlington or Williston. Donations to W.A.R.M. will be accepted now through Dec. 31, 2008.

The Vermont State Employees Credit Union is a not-for-profit financial cooperative, which offers a full range of affordable financial products and services to its member-owners. People eligible to join the credit union include anyone who lives or works in Addison, Caledonia, Chittenden, Lamoille, Orange, Rutland and Washington counties, along with Vermont’s state employees and their families. For more information about VSECU, call 802/800 371-5162 or visit www.vsecu.com.

VSECU Help Uninsured Obtain Health Care

As the numbers of the unemployed increase in Vermont, the need for health care for the uninsured grows, too. In recognition of this critical need, VSECU donated $9,000 to the Vermont Coalition of Clinics for the Uninsured (VCCU).

Lynn Raymond-Empey, the VCCU’s executive director, said that there are many in our communities who have no insurance and lack access to health care. She said the nine clinics in the VCCU network have seen a 35 percent increase in the number of our patients who are unemployed.

“Over the years, VSECU has been very generous to our clinics,” Raymond-Empey said. “This year, their donation means more than ever. One of the greatest gifts we can wish for our fellow Vermonters at this time of year is the gift of good health. The Vermont Coalition of Clinics works to address not only the immediate health needs of Vermonters, but also to help connect them with Green Mountain Care programs to insure their continued access to care. Many thanks to VSECU for helping us to make this wish come true. ”

According to Steve Post, VSECU’s chief executive officer, the credit union is concerned about the health and wellness of its members and their families as well as friends and neighbors in the communities served by VSECU across the state. “We at VSECU appreciate what the clinics for the uninsured do to help those who do not have access to affordable health care,” Post said. “We hope that our support will give more people the health care they need in a time when the demand for such services is growing.”

The nine clinics in the VCCU network include The Health Assistance Program at Fletcher Allen Health Care (Burlington); Good Neighbor Health Clinic / Red Logan Dental Clinic (White River Junction); Health Breaks & Health Connections at Gifford Medical Center (Randolph); The Open Door Clinic (Bristol/Middlebury); Park Street HealthShare Medical and Dental Clinics (Rutland); People’s Health and Wellness Clinic (Barre); Putney Walk-In Clinic (Putney); Valley Health Connections (Springfield); and Windsor Community Clinic (Windsor). For more information on the VCCU, visit www.vccu.net or call (802) 289-2454.

The Vermont State Employees Credit Union is a not-for-profit financial cooperative, which offers a full range of affordable financial products and services to its member-owners. People eligible to join the credit union include anyone who lives or works in Addison, Caledonia, Chittenden, Lamoille, Orange, Rutland and Washington counties, along with Vermont’s state employees and their families. For more information about VSECU, call 802/800 371-5162 or visit www.vsecu.com.

For further information, contact:
Yvonne M. Garand, Business Development Officer
ygarand@vsecu.com or 802/800 371-5162, ext. 5197

VSECU Donation Helps Foodbank

The choices that an increasing number of Vermonters face are difficult. According to the Vermont Foodbank, 33 percent of those who visit the Foodbank find themselves choosing between buying food and paying the rent or mortgage. Thirty-eight percent must choose between food and paying for heat.

With a donation of $9,300 to the Vermont Foodbank, VSECU hopes it can help more hungry Vermonters who face those kinds of tough choices for their families. “As the only food bank in the state, the Vermont Foodbank does a wonderful job fighting hunger in our communities,” said Steve Post, VSECU’s chief executive officer. “We hope that our donation will help the Foodbank continue its many programs to keep our local food shelves stocked as well as help educate all of us about the crisis of hunger we face today and in the future.”

Christine Foster, interim co-chief executive officer of the Vermont Foodbank said, “For more than a decade, the Vermont State Employees Credit Union has supported our mission of ending hunger in Vermont. VSECU is an outstanding corporate partner, and we are proud and grateful to be affiliated with such a socially responsible organization which cares about the well-being of people in our state.”

The Vermont Foodbank is the state’s largest hunger-relief organization, serving communities in all 14 counties of Vermont through a network of 270 food pantries, soup kitchen, shelters, senior centers and after-school programs. Last year, the Vermont Foodbank distributed nearly 6.5 million pounds of food to the more than 66,000 needy Vermonters who request charitable food assistance. The Vermont Foodbank is a nationally recognized as one of the most effective and efficient nonprofits and food banks in the nation. Visit www.vtfoodbank.org or call 800-585-2265 to learn more about the Foodbank and how you can help.

The Vermont State Employees Credit Union is a not-for-profit financial cooperative, which offers a full range of affordable financial products and services to its member-owners. People eligible to join the credit union include anyone who lives or works in Addison, Caledonia, Chittenden, Lamoille, Orange, Rutland and Washington counties, along with Vermont’s state employees and their families. For more information about VSECU, call 802/800 371-5162 or visit www.vsecu.com.

For further information, contact:
Yvonne M. Garand, Business Development Officer
ygarand@vsecu.com or 802/800 371-5162, ext. 5197

VSECU Assists with Health Care for Vermonters

As the numbers of the unemployed increase in Vermont, the need for health care for the uninsured grows, too. In recognition of this critical need, VSECU donated $9,000 to the Vermont Coalition of Clinics for the Uninsured (VCCU).

VSECU Helps in Economic Turmoil

If you are presently experiencing or anticipate experiencing a financial hardship that will impact your ability to pay bills or make loan payments, please give us a call at 802/800 371-5162.

Over the years we have tried to be the preferred source of financial services for Vermonters and their families. We attempt to do so by building and maintaining a relationship with our members that is founded on trust, long-term commitment and active participation in our cooperative. To reach that goal, we have pledged to treat each member with honesty and mutual respect while honoring our responsibility to the membership as a whole.

Environmental Mission Statement

Although the VSECU is a not-for-profit financial cooperative first and foremost, the Board also works to find ways to explore and develop resources that will have a positive impact on our members, beyond financial security.

The mission statement below is for your review and the Board of Directors welcomes your feedback or reaction regarding this initiative. Please use the email link below to share your comments.