When natural disasters strike, it’s hard to think about anything else. Since late Monday night, many Americans have been glued to their screens and searching for more information on the EF5 tornado that blew through Moore, Okla. The two-mile wide tornado decimated homes and businesses—at least 26 credit union employees in the Oklahoma City area may have been affected by severe damage or loss.
“The good news is there is no loss of life or injury to credit union staff and there is minimal property damage to credit unions,” said Gary Jones, president/CEO of the Credit Union Association of Oklahoma. “But a lot of people are hurting, and credit union employees are among them.”
In the face of this tragedy, credit unions in Missouri want to assist the victims of the tornado. There are two ways to get involved.
At the Missouri level, Assemblies of God Credit Union (AGCU) has teamed up with Convoy of Hope to assist the victims.
"Few organizations are better equipped to help in times of natural disaster than Convoy of Hope," said Chris Huff, director of Growth and Communications for AGCU. "For every dollar given to Convoy of Hope, they provide $7 in resources to hurting communities."
AGCU initially pledged $5,000 to Convoy for the Moore disaster, then offered their members and community the opportunity to give. AGCU will match member and community donations up to another $5,000.
"At our current donation pace and in light of the tremendous generosity of our community, by the end of the week we will be giving Convoy of Hope as much as $15,000," continued Huff," which they will in-turn provide over $100,000 in much-needed assistance to Moore, Okla."
Donations can be made at any AGCU branch or by calling 417.831.4398 or toll free 866.508.2428.
Additionally, contributions can also be made to the Oklahoma Credit Union Foundation. Please use this form and mail it in.
"We have had incredible amounts of outreach from around the nation from credit unions who have told us they want to help. It is humbling," Jones said. "We are still evaluating what is needed."
Within the path of the storm was Tinker Federal Credit Union (TFCU). Due to some quick actions and emergency protocols, 14 credit union employees and eight members safely rode the storm out in the credit union's vault. This morning, the credit union posted before and after photos on their Facebook page. The damage was devastating and the branch is closed indefinitely.
Just a street down from Tinker, Oklahoma Educators Credit Union fared a little better.
“We know our facility is not leveled, but we have not been allowed into the area yet,” said Cindy White, president of Oklahoma Educators CU. “Our employees that are there report that the building is still standing, and it is locked.”
The last Oklahoma credit union impacted by the storm was WEOKIE Credit Union, which was closed due to power outages. Additionally, Moore’s Credit Union Service Center, a shared branch, reportedly closed. WEOKIE said it will provide no-interest and no-payment loan options to assist members through the crisis.
Pictured (bottom): Before and after photos of the Tinker FCU building