International Credit Union Day, or also known as ICU Day, is a day all credit unions take the time to celebrate and recognize their achievements. Has anyone ever thought about why we celebrate this day or how it came to be? Well, we are here to give you a little bit of insight into how ICU Day started and will show you some credit unions who have celebrated.
Evolved from the early 19th century in Europe (1844 to be exact), a marketing cooperative started it off by helping out their community and taking ownership of the many types of societal efforts credit unions can be a part of. “On January 17, 1927, the Credit Union League of Massachusetts celebrated the first official holiday for credit union members and workers. They selected January 17 because it was the birthday of America's ‘Apostle of Thrift,’ Benjamin Franklin (1706–1790), who early credit union founders believed symbolized ‘the life and teaching embodied in the spirit and purpose of credit unions.’” The idea of rapid growth excited and scared many people within the industry, resolving in having Credit Union Day disappearing for a little bit. After some time, it came back alive and was set on the third Thursday of October. On October 17, 2019, we observed the 71st celebration.
Bringing it back into today’s world, it is so incredible to see how powerful we have all become. Taking the stand with our communities to help create a more comfortable atmosphere has truly made each and every one of us stronger. #CUdifference and #CUmovement hashtags were created to demonstrate and tag the credit unions who have taken the time to reach out to the members, volunteer, donate, fundraise, and support one another. Not only has working for a credit union or being the credit union industry as a vendor has been outstanding but having staff as incredible as they make it feel as if we are one big family. Our goals are to help each other and of course our members/clients, whether it involves filling out forms, talking to a loan representative, or just being involved in any type of community event like a credit union blood drive hosted earlier this year. Those efforts will make a member remember you and trust you. When looking through social media on #ICUDay, it makes us so proud to see all credit unions smiling, having a great time, and enjoying the fun times with their staff and members.
ICU Day is an excellent day for credit unions to celebrate their proud legacy as they hold picnics, contests, and fundraisers. You can find the “official” logos and marketing material on the World Council of Credit Union’s website, https://www.woccu.org/events_and_engagement/icuday.
Earlier this year, it was revealed by the World Council of Credit Union that the theme for this year’s celebration would be “Local Service. Global Reach.” After more than 100 surveys came back from 12 countries, the decision was made to have this as the theme (picked out of seven possible choices). A perfect idea, since it allowed credit unions to celebrate the many ways they interact with their local communities, and how those positive changes reach out globally in different ways. We discuss this very topic here every week with our Humanitarian Highlight, and so we were excited about this theme.
Showing the love for our #CUfamily, we wanted to show a few photos of some credit unions who took the time to celebrate this spectacular occasion.
We saw that Coastal Credit Union in North Carolina celebrated with a food truck festival that had food, drinks, and music.
Elevations Credit Union in Colorado celebrated ICU Day in style!
Evergreen Credit Union in Maine used ICU Day as a way to also help raise money for the American Cancer Society, as well as hand out some delicious free baked goods.
Capitol Credit Union in Austin, Texas, celebrated the day at all of their branches and had awesome raffles going on.
ICU Day only comes once a year, but the great thing about the credit union movement is that it is full of such great cooperatives who are always finding different ways to give back to their communities. You can read all about this in our weekly #HumanitarianHighlight blog posts such as the recent “Treat your Clique,” where we highlight tens of thousands of dollars from various credit unions helping out charities from all over the globe. International Credit Union Day is also a great day to drive membership numbers up, and when you are signing new members it is important to use compliant and member-friendly forms!
How did your credit union celebrate? Let us know!