INTERNATIONAL CREDIT UNION DAY
On the third Thursday in October, International Credit Union Day raises awareness about the work that credit unions and other financial cooperatives do around the world. It’s also a day to celebrate the global credit union movement.
Credit unions are similar to banks. You can have a checking or savings account at a credit union. You can also take out a loan at a credit union. These institutions also provide other kinds of financial services. The main difference, however, is that credit unions are not-for-profit organizations. A credit union is owned and run by its members.
Friedrich Raiffeisen established the first credit union in rural southern Germany. He wanted everyone in the community to pool their resources so that individuals could take out a loan or access funds. This occurred in 1864. In 1901, A Canadian journalist named Alphonse Desjardins opened a credit union in Quebec. This was the first credit union in North America. Desjardins also helped establish the first credit union in the United States. St. Mary’s Cooperative Credit Association opened in 1909 in Manchester, New Hampshire.
Today, there are over 57,000 credit unions in 105 countries around the world. Credit unions are known by other names in some of these countries. For example, in Afghanistan, they are called Islamic Investment and Finance Cooperatives (IIFC). In Africa, credit unions are known as saving and credit cooperative societies (SACCO).
HOW TO OBSERVE #InternationalCreditUnionDay
On this day, credit unions around the world educate the general public on the importance and benefits of this type of financial institution. They also promote the many financial services they offer. Credit unions host events to celebrate their staff, volunteers, and members. Events include open houses, luncheons, picnics, fundraisers, parades, and performing random acts of kindness in their community.
To participate learn more about the differences between a credit union and a bank. You can also thank a staff member or volunteer at your local credit union. Share this day on social media with #InternationalCreditUnionDay
INTERNATIONAL CREDIT UNION DAY HISTORY
In 1927, the Credit Union League of Massachusetts held the first official holiday for credit union members and workers. Due to a lack of participation, Credit Union Day became nonexistent. The U.S. Credit Union National Association came up with a new Credit Union Day celebration in 1948. They set aside the third Thursday in October and called it International Credit Union Day. This time, the day did not disappear and credit unions in countries around the world have been taking part ever since.
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