Celebrating 40 Years! Thanks for Joining Us on the Journey
Forty years ago this month, Self-Help started as the Center for Community Self-Help. Maybe you know the story ... Self-Help began as an effort to help worker-owned businesses. Our founders, Martin Eakes and Bonnie Wright, quickly realized that workers couldn't get far without affordable financing. Thus, the idea of Self-Help Credit Union was born.
When we started, we never would have imagined all the challenges and joys that lay ahead. Over the years, we have been privileged to lend $8.5 billion to help families buy their first home, support small entrepreneurs in realizing their dreams, and invest in communities that have been ignored.
We've also been able to join forces with other community-based credit unions and banks that needed a partner in today's high tech, high pressure financial environment. As we celebrate our anniversary, we remember that many of our merged partners started long before we did. We're proud of their legacies, including Turbine Federal Credit Union (Greenville, South Carolina) and First Legacy Community Credit Union (Charlotte, North Carolina) that joined our family just recently.
We'll be celebrating with various activities through the year, always with appreciation for YOU--all the members who own Self-Help.
To kick off our anniversary celebration, our branches hosted a Member Appreciation Day on February 14. See below a small sample of photos from, clockwise, our branches in Apopka, Florida; Galax, Virginia; and Asheville, NC.
Offering Fair and Affordable Services in Raleigh, NC
Isabel Padilla, a loan officer who recently joined the Self-Help CU team in Jacksonville, Florida, talks to a member about pre-qualifying for a mortgage.
If you're dreaming of owning a home, now could be a good time to buy. Mortgage rates are generally favorable, and it's also a great time to refinance on your existing home. Find out more and talk to one of our home loan officers—we would love to help you qualify!
First Legacy Merger: A New Alliance Between Long-Time Partners
Octavia Alexander is a living example of Self-Help CU's longstanding partnership with First Legacy Community Credit Union in Charlotte, NC. When the two credit unions recently merged, Ms. Alexander – who has been with First Legacy for 12 years—shared her thoughts on the merger, her work, and her own long quest to buy a home. Find out about her story.
Financing for a Cutting-Edge Company in Archdale, NC
Left to right: Valerie Greenstein and Steven Greenstein, owners of Method Sourcing, and two of their employees, Mitchell Sweeting and Avishai Greenstein.
The Greensteins, who are naturalized U.S. citizens originally from South Africa, own Method Sourcing Corporation in Archdale, NC, near Greensboro. Method Sourcing's primary line of business is sourcing home products for major retailers, and our loan allowed them to buy their headquarters building.
The Greensteins also have developed their own unique line of sustainable kitchenware, marketed under the brand Bamboozle. Bamboozle goods are made with biodegradable materials and durable bamboo fiber, designed to be both sturdy and sustainable.The latest generation of these products uses a new material called Astrik, which is 100% plastic-free.
Michelle Curtis (left) and Elizabeth Benson, both on Self-Help's SBA 504 lending team, shown here with samples of Bamboozle sustainable kitchenware.
"Astrik is completely made of plants, is dishwasher and microwave safe, and biodegrades in two years," said Steve Greenstein. "With Astrik, Method Sourcing is partnering with other brands and retailers to bring more sustainable options to the marketplace."
Coalition Gathers at Bennett College for Fines and Fees Conference
The conference included a panel highlighting local practices. Left to right: Charla Rios of the Center for Responsible Lending (moderator); Judge Elizabeth Trosch of Mecklenberg County; Allen Buansi, Chapel Hill Town Councilman; District Attorney Satana Deberry of Durham; and Judge Josephine Kerr–Davis of Durham.
On February 14 and 15, advocates, elected officials and impacted people gathered at Bennett College in Greensboro, NC to launch a campaign to end unjust criminal justice debt in NC. Court-related fines and fees have been increasing in recent years, and these fees fall hardest on people who can least afford them—often before they have even been tried for a crime.
The conference, held by the NC Fines and Fees Coalition and the Aspen Institute Financial Security Program, presented opportunities to hear directly from people who work in the justice system and those who bear the costs of fines and fees. Self-Help Credit Union and the Center for Responsible Lending were among the sponsors.
Scholarship Applications Due on April 30
Attention students! Each of our branches (located in NC, SC, VA and FL) will offer a $1,000 scholarship to a local student. The purpose is to provide support and public recognition to students of any age who have shown a commitment to community service. This is for students who have been accepted to attend or who is attending any educational institution after high school—a university, college, technical school, trade school, or vocational school. Deadline is April 30. Find out more.
In Case You Missed It ...
Be sure to catch our latest legacy video, telling the story of United Savings Federal Credit Union. When United Savings joined Self-Help Federal CU, it brought a long history of serving steel workers in Pittsburg, California.
In January, a town hall meeting in Greenville, SC drew 150 people supporting legislation to fight predatory lending. A Center for Responsible Lending study found that in 2018 lower-income families in SC paid nearly a quarter billion in fees on payday and car title loans.
If you're in the market for a new phone or phone lines, consider this special offer: Sprint pays a $100 cash reward to credit union members for each new line switched to Sprint. Learn more here.
Self-Help | 301 West Main Street, Durham, NC 27701 | (919) 956-4400