JAY, Maine— On October 18th, 2018, credit unions in countries all over the world celebrated the 70th Platinum Anniversary of International Credit Union Day. This year, OTIS Federal Credit Union chose to stretch the one-day celebration into a weeklong campaign of Random Acts of Kindness. Armed with a budget of $1000, a committee of employees took turns visiting grocery stores and gas stations all over OTIS FCU’s field of membership—from Rangeley to Turner and points between—and surprising unsuspecting individuals by covering the costs of their purchases on behalf of the Credit Union.
Some of the locations at which OTIS employees made an appearance on October 15th through October 19th were CN Brown and Food City in Livermore Falls, Hannaford in Jay, Hannaford and Food City in Turner, Hannaford in Farmington, the Big Apple and Food City in Wilton, Edmunds Market in Phillips, and Rangeley IGA in Rangeley.
Said OTIS FCU’s Director of Marketing and Communications, Sarah Hayes, of the initiative: “This is the first year that OTIS has conducted a Random Acts of Kindness campaign, but I doubt that it will be the last. It brought us so much joy to go out into many of the communities that fall within our field of membership and to unexpectedly brighten people’s days. The gratitude and happiness that we witnessed were so touching to us, and we feel so fortunate to have been able to give back. Credit unions like OTIS operate under the fundamental principle of ‘people helping people,’ and we feel like this campaign succeeded in distilling the essence of this guiding maxim in a really powerful way.” OTIS Member Specialist/Loan Processor, Lindsay Sirois, added, “I’m very glad I was able to go out within our field of membership and conduct these acts of kindness for random people. I went back to work feeling a sense of satisfaction knowing I was able to help someone out and make their day or week a lot better. The looks on their faces when I asked them if I could pay for their groceries or fill their gas tank was priceless. I definitely hope this is something we can continue doing in the future.”
The Random Acts of Kindness Committee also chose to allocate $600 total to three field of membership school districts’ lunch programs, donating $200 to each of the following: RSU #73 (Jay-Livermore-Livermore Falls), MSAD #58 (Phillips, Eustis, Avon, Kingfield, Strong), and RSU #9 (Farmington, Wilton, Starks, Industry, Chesterville, New Sharon, Weld, Temple, Vienna and New Vineyard). These funds were used to reduce or eliminate outstanding lunch debt accrued by area families. “Ending hunger in Maine is a major initiative of the Maine Credit Union League, with credit unions across the state—OTIS included—coming together to raise money each and every year for the cause,” remarked Hayes. “Donating to school lunch programs within our field of membership seemed like a natural extension of these efforts, and we are so pleased to have had the opportunity to help. One of the cornerstones of the credit union movement, and a major differentiator between credit unions and other financial institutions, is the emphasis on cooperation in all that we do. Through the collective efforts of individuals and businesses, we are capable of making a real difference every day in the lives of those around us, and our communities are stronger for it. It is our hope that our campaign will serve as an inspiration to others; that, to us, will be the true mark of its success.”
About International Credit Union Day
In 1948, the U.S. Credit Union National Association (CUNA) decided to initiate a new national Credit Union Day celebration. CUNA and CUNA Mutual Insurance Society set aside the third Thursday of October as the national day of observance.
International Credit Union (ICU) Day celebrates the spirit of the global credit union movement. The day is recognized to reflect upon the credit union movement’s history, promote its achievements, recognize the hard work and share member experiences.
The ultimate goal is to raise awareness about the tremendous work that credit unions and other financial cooperatives are doing around the world and give members the opportunity to get more engaged. The day of festivities for credit unions and financial cooperatives globally include fundraisers, open houses, contests, picnics, volunteering and parades.
Contact: Sarah Hayes
Director of Marketing and Communications
OTIS Federal Credit Union
170 Main Street, Jay, ME 04239
About OTIS Federal Credit Union
OTIS Federal Credit Union was founded in April of 1954 by eleven local millworkers. Pooling their respective deposits of $5 each, they associated themselves as charter members of OTIS under the provision of the Federal Credit Union Act. At a time in America when obtaining a loan was difficult for the average family, the founders of OTIS sought to form a cooperative, independent financial institution operated and controlled solely by its local membership.
Since its inception, OTIS has been committed not only to providing quality financial products and services to its shareholders, but to giving back to the community. Today, OTIS is a full-service financial center offering real estate, auto, and personal lending; online and mobile banking; a variety of checking, savings, and investment accounts; VISA debit and credit cards; financial planning; and much more. OTIS serves more than 10,839 members and holds over $168 million in assets, employing 29 people from Jay and the surrounding area. The credit union is located at 170 Main Street in Jay, Maine. For more information, please visit www.otisfcu.coop or call (207) 897-0900.