Russell Country FCU recently launched a campaign with the intention of saving local residents $1,000,000 while benefiting three local non-profits.
The endeavor, coined the “Unity Project,” fits perfectly with the credit union’s mission of helping members achieve financial success while building a better community. It works by members refinancing any debt currently held at Russell Country. Staff will assist with restructuring debt to reduce monthly payments, improve household cash flow, and increase credit scores. The amount of money saved over the life of the loan will be tracked with a goal of $1 million.
Each time an approved borrower participates they’re eligible to cast their vote for one of three charities: the YWCA Mercy Home, Kairos Youth Services and the Great Falls Public School- Foundation – Homeless Student Program. At the end of the year $5,000 will be split between the three organizations with $2,500 going to first place; $1,500 to second; and $1,000 to the third place winning organization.
Sharon Dixon, financial services manager, said she loves the project because everyone wins.
“The member saves money on loan interest, the community gains by people having extra cash to spend, the community organizations receive recognition, awareness, and a nice donation, and the credit union makes loans,” she said. “It’s a feel good thing.”
Russell Country, like all credit unions, is a cooperative that’s owned by their members. The only requirement to become a member is to live, work or worship in Cascade, Chouteau, Pondera, or Teton Counties and a $25 deposit into a savings account. There are branches at 810 1st Ave South in Great Falls; 2800 Airport Ave. at the Montana Air National Guard Branch; 105 4th St. South in Fairfield; and 1510 St. Charles in Fort Benton.
Russell Country FCU started in 1946 as the primary financial institution for federal employees. Since that time, and a few name changes along the way, it’s become a community credit union. To compliment the enhanced field of membership local artist Brain Morger was commissioned to depict the area which famed cowboy artist Charles M. Russell often used as a backdrop for his paintings. His piece “Russell Country” evokes the mystique and grandeur of Russell’s vanishing west. The butte featured in Morger’s painting is located near Sun River, west of Great Falls, and is often referred to as the C.M. Russell Butte, which is the basis of the credit union logo.
Visit Russell Country FCU online at www.russellcountryfcu.com