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KCU takes statewide honors

The Washington Credit Union League (WCUL) has awarded Kitsap Credit Union first place in the prestigious 2007 Louise Herring award for Philosophy in Action competition. The award was given for best demonstrating the credit union philosophy of “People Helping People” in 2007. WCUL honored Kitsap Credit Union for its dedication to education as one of its core values.

The credit union’s foremost effort for 2007 was fostering financial responsibility through free, educational outreach programs to help ensure future generations are sound money managers. Through Kitsap Credit Union’s extensive educational outreach program the credit union dedicated thousands of dollars, provided 683 volunteer hours of classroom instruction and reached 22,226 individuals with financial literacy education.

The credit union offers a broad range of special programs for its members from partnering with teachers in the South Kitsap School District to provide a ‘mock’ credit union for its sixth grade students to providing monthly AARP Driving Safety Program community classes. The credit union offers a variety of free courses to local junior high schools, senior high schools and alternative schools in addition to civic groups and clubs. These classes are facilitated by Kitsap Credit Union employees. Some of the many courses include budgeting, wise use of credit, savings and investing, and how to buy a car.

For its youngest members, Kitsap Credit Union offers events, giveaways and classes for its members focusing on the importance of establishing good savings habits. For young adults the credit union offers an opportunity called Varsity Checking for members 13 – 18 to open a free checking account and begin learning the practical aspects of personal finances. The credit union facilitates free Varsity Checking classes monthly at one of its branch offices and is open to members and non-members to teach young adults how to manager their checking account. Classroom tracking indicated that in 2006, Kitsap Credit Union reached 4,257 youth and adults with financial literacy education and information.

Kitsap Credit Union is a not-for-profit financial cooperative serving nearly 73,000 members from 16 branch offices, and more than 50 ATM’s in Washington state. Its web site is kitsapcu.org.

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