|Russell Country FCU celebrates saving the Great Falls community more than $1 million in interest fees.
[HELENA—JANUARY 10, 2014] Last spring, Russell Country Federal Credit Union launched the "Unity Project," aiming to help community members achieve financial success while building a better community. The goal was to save local residents $1 million in interest (over the life of their loans). Once that goal was met, the credit union promised to distribute $5,000 among three local non-profits.
It took a mere six months -- from June through December, staff tracked the amount saved and borrowers voted for their favorite participating charity to determine how the $5,000 would be divvied up. The charity with the most votes would receive $2,500, second place $1,500, and third $1,000.
Today, the credit union hosted a celebration of the project's successful completion and announced the final vote tally. The Homeless Student Program of the Great Falls Public School Foundation garnered the most votes, with the YWCA Mercy Home taking second and Kairos Youth Services third. Since the credit union decided to contribute an additional $500 to each of the three oganizations, they took home $3,000, $2,000, and $1,500 respectively.
"I love this project as it seems everyone wins here," said Sharon Lynde, Russell Country financial services manager. "The member saves money on loan interest, the community gains by people having extra cash to spend, the nonprofits receive recognition, awareness, and a nice donation, and the credit union makes loans. It's a feel good thing."