We are happy to announce that Self-Help Credit Union has opened a branch in Charlotte, North Carolina, allowing us to continue work we've already started in NC's largest city. The new Charlotte branch will be staffed by employees who previously worked in our nearby Pineville branch, which we recently closed. They will be joined by our team of home lending experts, who have already been working in Charlotte and who know the market well.
Our commitment to the Charlotte area is strong. We are excited about having an expanded presence in this community, bringing fair and affordable financial services and expanding economic opportunities.
The new Charlotte branch, located at 1065 Providence Road, opened on April 30.
CRL Testifies Against Payday Lending
On May 1, Diane Standaert of the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) joined allies in testifying before the U.S. House Financial Services Committee in a hearing on “Ending Debt Traps in the Payday and Small Dollar Credit Industry.” Diane noted that these loans are designed to entrap borrowers, they target people of color and make the growing wealth gap even worse.
Far left, Kenneth Whittaker, activist and former payday loan consumer, testified at the House hearing along with CRL's Diane Standaert, shown next. Reverend Frederick Douglass Haynes III, senior pastor at Friendship-West Baptist Church, was also among those who testified.
Earth Month Activities
At Self-Help CU, we focus on sustainability all year-round, with every project we do, but we did have some special activities during April for Earth Month.
Shredding and Recycling: Our Lenox branch in Jacksonville, Florida invited members to bring their old electronics for disposal and old documents for shredding. “We had good participation,” said Pat Hoke, branch maanger. “It was a great way to keep electronics out of landfills, help members protect their privacy while also doing a bit of spring cleaning.”
James Sparks was an enthusiastic shredder on Earth Day. Mr. Sparks has been a Jax Metro member since 1997.
Earth Day was honored at Self-Help's first annual Florida Regional staff retreat, where participants received reusable straws.
Hosting a Summit: Self-Help CU in Durham hosted an “HBCU Green Fund Summit” in Durham, as this group pursues the mission of making HBCUs sustainable by reducing energy use and utility costs at historically Black colleges and universities. Attendees included Congresswoman Alma Adams, Shaw University President Paulette Dillard and many other university, nonprofit and business partners. Learn more at http://hbcugreenfund.org/.
NC Rep. Alma Adams spoke at the HBCU Green Summit.
Serving in the Community. A group of Self-Help CU staff in Durham, NC, celebrated Earth Day by volunteering for UCAN, Urban Community AgriNomics. This nonprofit group in Durham, NC grows food on a farm that serves food-insecure families.
Self-Help staffers Dave Bogaty (left) and John Herrera tackle a big job as volunteers for Urban Community AgriNomics (UCAN).
Self-Help volunteers pulled weeds and also brought donated plants to put in the ground. Left to right: Paul Frolich, Lucille Patterson (Garden Coordinator for UCAN), Brandon Coleman and Sarah Connette.
Organizing for impact. Most recently, Revolution Mill in Greensboro, NC (developed and owned by Self-Help) held an Earth Day Expo, which included the Mill’s first meeting of a Tenant Green Team. Special guests included folks from the City of Greensboro and Gallins Farm Composting, which provides composting services to tenants. Commercial tenants at Revolution Mill learned about recycling, composting and re-use.
A little messy, definitely dirty, but good! A rep from Gallins Farm demonstrates composting at the recent Revolution Mill Earth Day Expo.
Out in the Community
On April 28, Self-Help CU staff in Hendersonville, NC attended an International Children's Day is an annual festival hosted by Hola Carolina Community Arts. The festival included music, vendor sales from around the world, authentic Latin American food and more. Self-Help had a booth there (with a very cool prize wheel) to talk to families about credit union services.
Samantha Pratt, Self-Help's Hendersonville branch manager, shows our prize wheel to kids at an International Children's Festival in Hendersonville.
Have You Seen Our Annual Report??
Another big event for us in April was releasing our annual report. If you haven’t seen it yet, please check out stories, pictures and results from a year of faith, growth and impact.