A message from Juli Lewis, SECUF director:

As we prepare for a new year, the Southeastern Credit Union Foundation would like to take a moment to thank YOU for your support and generous donations in 2017. As you are aware, the year proved to be very challenging, for many people, including myself. Beginning with a serious boat accident right before our Southeast Credit Union Conference and Expo and continuing with Hurricane Irma, which caused a power outage at my home and caused us to run a generator that exploded and took our home, to a health scare for my husband right before Thanksgiving (not sure why he would have a heart attack with the quiet year we’ve had), and then a couple minor car incidences scattered about, it’s been a year that some may want to soon forget.

However, through the tragedy, I have seen first-hand the “people helping people” philosophy at work. I have become very aware of my blessings and of how fortunate I am to work within such a caring industry. By losing everything, my heart became full.

Through the disaster relief initiative of the Southeastern Credit Union Foundation, I have also been able to send aid and emotional support to others who experienced similar tragedy. We’ve heard stories of flood, fire, wind, and limited supplies, but we have also heard stories of recovery, rebuilding, determination, and cooperation. If anyone doubted the power of the Young Professionals before, there is no reason to doubt it now. The YP Groups pulled together and raised more than $15,000 to assist hurricane victims (including myself). Chapters, Credit Unions and loyal vendor partners also came to the rescue, including some in other states, with monetary donations, as well as supplies for some of the hardest hit areas.

Because of these generous donations and the overwhelming support, not only have we been able to assist 275 credit union employee families with almost $200,000 in disaster relief funds to date, but we have made it possible for these families to start 2018 with hope for a brighter year. So again, from all parts of my heart, THANK YOU for your support. Whether you donate to the Southeastern Credit Union Foundation individually, as a credit union, as a Chapter, as part of a Young Professional Group, or as a loyal sponsor, we appreciate every dollar and look forward to continuing our partnerships (and building new partnerships) in the new year.