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Home > Credit Union Philosophy > Helena Community CU -- NAMI Stalwart

Helena Community CU works registration at NAMI Walk

By ALANA LISTOE, Montana Credit Union Network


[Helena, MT] For the fourth consecutive year, employees at Helena Community Credit Union worked the registration booth at the fundraising walk for the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Dozens of credit union employees helped to sign people up, manage the money, and answer questions.

Greg Strizich, president of HCCU, said he requires all staff to participate in community service activities, and most choose this one.

“The biggest reason is when our staff gets involved with the community it’s reciprocal — it comes back,” Strizich said. “A strong community translates to a strong credit union. We are all part of the same system.”

Faye Lippincott, marketing specialist, said NAMI resonates well with the staff. “We all know people that struggle with mental illness,” she said.

Strizich agreed saying it’s a universal concern that touches everyone in some way in the community.

Matt Kuntz is the executive director of the NAMI Montana advocacy group and said the service from credit union staff is “tremendous.”

“I can’t say enough about how much it helps us put the event on,” Kuntz said. “Managing the finances can be very painful for people outside of the financial industry and their volunteer work makes the event run smoother.”

Kuntz said the attitude that the credit union volunteers bring is outstanding.

“They are so much behind the cause and work so hard,” he said. “We have a very low level of expenses and that is mostly because of Helena Community Credit Union handling the money. That allows us to spend the vast majority of the money on where the donations are suppose to go.”

More than 2,000 people attended the NAMI Walk in 2013, raising a record amount of nearly $155,000.

“It’s a really neat event when you have volunteers from local health clubs, kids in the schools, credit unions, and everyone coming together to try to tackle one of the biggest challenges in Montana, which is Mental illness and the resulting suicides,” Kuntz said.

Strizich said the credit union is committed to helping for many years to come.

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