In the past weeks, Fort Worth Animal Care and Control has been challenged with an overwhelming intake of animals, and without the space or supplies to accommodate them, many animals have been placed on the euthanasia list. So in order to help alleviate this dilemma, EECU is preparing its headquarters branch for the shelter to offer half-priced, on-site adoptions June 15.

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EECU CEO Lonnie Nicholson congratulates essay contest winner

The contest challenged local students to consider their future roles in the community, and EECU’s participation is a reflection of its commitment to the academic success of Fort Worth’s students and its investment in the strength of the community. In support of the program, EECU contributed the tax, title and licensing fees so that the winning student would have no out-of-pocket costs. Continue reading

EECU honored Mariela Garcia with a $1,000 education scholarship for her accomplishments through the Latinas In Progress Program of the local Fort Worth chapter of Hispanic Women’s Network of Texas.

Ms. Garcia has big aspirations following her graduation from Trimble Tech High School this May to follow her passion for the environment. She will be the first one in her family to attend a four-year university or college. Ms. Garcia accepted an offer to attend Cornell University beginning this fall where she plans to major in environmental studies and one day become a scientific researcher.

The Hispanic Women’s Network works with community partners like EECU to distribute scholarships to young Latinas who have successfully completed the Latinas in Progress Educational Series. The series consists of five learning sessions, volunteer opportunities and a Hermanitas mentorship program. These sessions provide enriching learning experiences and encouragement by providing access to opportunities, information, financial resources and exposure to universities and other post-secondary institutions.

“We are honored to help empower young Latinas through this program and assisting them as they obtain a higher education degree,” says EECU Northside Branch Relationship Manager Sonia Trevino.

Fort Worth Credit Unions and Credit Unions For Kids raised over $102,000 for Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) at Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth. This was a record year in fundraising for credit unions making them the third largest corporate donor in the Fort Worth market. CMN presented an award hand-painted by a Cook Children’s patient during a recent credit union dinner to commemorate the incredible year.

Natalie Houghton, Children’s Miracle Network Coordinator; Scott Ward, Fort Worth Chapter of Credit Unions Board President; and Natalie Parish, EECU Business Development Manager

Twelve deserving students were recently recognized as a “Scholar of the Month” in the Eagle Mountain-Saginaw ISD. The prestigious award program, originated in 2010 by the district’s Education Foundation, recognizes and applauds academic excellence for students in grades 6-11.

Students voluntarily submit an essay that answers the question, “Why I Should Be Scholar of the Month.” Entrants are evaluated on their essay, extra-curricular activities and volunteerism. A different middle school or high school is highlighted each month throughout the school year.

Congratulations to all the winners; each received a $50 Savings Bond, sponsored by EECU Community Credit Union and Crestview Printing, a $25 Wal-Mart gift card and a certificate of achievement from Senator Jane Nelson’s office.

Click here to view a list of the winners.

Kevin Spikes, EECU Saginaw Branch Relationship Manager; Emily Harrell, Scholar of the Month; and Representative Chandler Cochran, Senator Jane Nelson’s Office

On behalf of EECU, I would like to say thank you to our members and to our EECU staff for all that was done to make our “Collaborating Against Hunger” Food Drive a tremendous success. Because of your efforts, we were able to donate 818 pounds of food to the Tarrant Area Food Bank just in time for Thanksgiving.

Together we made a difference. Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Lonnie Nicholson, President / CEO

(left to right) Business Development Manager Natalie Parish, Chief Information Officer John Bock, Texas Business Lenders Group President Robert Campbell, Fort Worth Branch Relationship Manager Vija Moncure, President/CEO Lonnie Nicholson and Chief Commerce Officer Cindy Baker

Mound Elementary School in Burleson ISD is the oldest school in the district and was built in 1962. It is a school that is overflowing with school spirit and team work. EECU’s Burleson branch has worked with Mound Elementary for more than ten years as a community–business partner.

Each school year EECU representatives and the Mound Leadership Team meet to design a plan for the best allocation of sponsorship dollars from EECU. After the 2010-2011 meeting last fall it was clear that the school needed assistance with reaching students struggling in science. The sponsorship funds were allocated for the purchase of new equipment and materials for the science lab, where science comes to life.

After a year of hard work and dedication by Mound Elementary School teachers and staff, Principal Rexanne Higgins was elated to announce that TAKS scores in science increased from 80% passing to 85% passing. The elevation in scores also helped Mound Elementary gain the Recognized Campus rating by the Texas Education Agency.

“We are so proud of the students, families, teachers and staff members at Mound Elementary! EECU is honored to play a very small part in the academic success of these kids. We look forward to another school year of partnering with a great group of people dedicated to learning,” says EECU Burleson Branch Manager Laurie Montgomery.

“We are very appreciative to EECU for donating funds that we were able to utilize in purchasing science lab materials which resulted in an increase in student achievement on state science assessment!” says Mound Principal Rexanne Higgins.

EECU’s Weatherford Branch donated a new bicycle to Wright Elementary first grader for achieving perfect attendance. Dollar Dog and Weatherford EECU Branch Director Linda Harris recently presented a new bicycle to Wright Elementary first grader Veronica Cruz for achieving perfect attendance during the first six weeks of the 2011-12 school year.

(top, left to right) EECU’s Dollar Dog, Weatherford Branch Director Linda Harris, Ikard First Grader Veronica Cruz and Teacher Jenny Mauney

Weatherford EECU selects one name during each six weeks period from all Wright students with perfect attendance, and the winner either receives a new bicycle or a gift card.

Credit unions are structured differently than banks

Shareholders and investors own a commercial bank, so the bank has a big incentive to generate profits for their owners. Credit unions are owned by the depositor, which means there’s less of an incentive to earn money because that money just goes back to the people who save their money with the credit union.

Higher interest rates on deposits, lower interest rates on loans

Credit unions are able to offer higher interest rates because they don’t have an incentive to generate large profits.

Credit unions are smaller

Most credit unions have a handful of branches and have a smaller footprint than a regional bank. While the smaller size doesn’t guarantee more personalized service, it’s more likely that a smaller bank with fewer customers will spend more time on each person.

Credit unions fail less often than commercial banks

As of the end of May, 44 FDIC insured institutions had failed in 2011 compared to nine NCUA insured institutions. This makes sense because, in general, credit unions take on less risk. Because there is no strong profit motive, they make less risky loans.

The board of directors is staffed with volunteer members

Because the credit union is owned by the depositors, the credit union is also governed and managed by customers. A credit union’s board of directors is made up of its customers and they all serve on a volunteer basis. As for the unusual names for accounts, they also reflect ownership. It’s called a share account to reflect the idea that you are part owner of the credit union.

Original article by Jim Wang at Bankrate.com