UCU among top Maine credit unions for volunteer service in 2022
ORONO, Maine (April 27, 2023) – Here at UCU, caring means being sensitive to the needs of our members, being active in the communities where we live and work, knowing our members personally, and treating them with dignity and respect. In 2022, we continued to invest in people and programs that support financial well-being for individuals and the community.
“UCU is guided by our purpose and core principles,” said UCU President and CEO Renee Ouellette. “Caring, honesty, integrity, professionalism, quality, and fun define what our members, employees, and peers can expect from UCU on a regular basis. As we review our community investments from the past year, we remained dedicated to meeting members where they are– personally, financially, geographically– and giving the support they need to reach their goals.”
Community Engagement Team
UCU continued its impact by the Community Engagement Team with Jenn Deschene in Presque Isle and Lesley Ridge in Portland. Our Community Engagement Managers represent UCU as community ambassadors throughout the state, engaging with members, businesses, nonprofits, local leaders, and others to identify community needs and lend support in the areas of financial literacy, volunteerism, and public service.
The Maine Credit Union League CUs Share for ME program ranked UCU second in the state for most hours volunteered in 2022, with over 2,800 hours donated. UCU employees volunteered with dozens of organizations, events, and causes throughout the year, including Wayside Community Garden, ProsperityME, Christine B Foundation, Special Olympics of Maine, food pantries and a variety of volunteer committee and board positions.
Fostering Financial Literacy
In 2022, UCU expanded its financial education capabilities with multiple staff members completing the CUNA Financial Counseling Program (FiCIP). Joining Lesley Ridge and Jenn Deschene with this designation are: Amanda Allen, Madison Gray, Carla Theriault. They demonstrated the skill and knowledge to earn the Certified Credit Union Financial Counselor (CCUFC) designation, becoming certified to provide one on one financial education to members on a broad range of financial subjects, from savings principles to understanding types of debt and more.
Throughout the year, our staff partnered with area schools and Jobs for Maine Graduates (JMG) to coordinate financial education programming for Maine high school and college students around the state. Students were able to ask about common personal finance questions, from understanding credit scores to obtaining loans to basic budgeting and more. Our Community Engagement Team members also took an active role in advocating for financial education and sharing advice more broadly through appearances on local television and newspaper editorials.
Caring on Campus
Since 1967, UCU has served students, alumni, faculty and staff on University of Maine System campuses. In 2022, UCU supported UMaine campuses communities around the state through sponsorship of campus activities and events, such as Student Life focused events across campuses in a variety of topics; sponsorship of student athletics at many campuses across the state.
In January, UCU renewed its three-year athletic sponsorship agreement with the University of Maine Presque Isle’s Athletics Program, which provides $10,500 in added fundings for venue improvements, equipment upgrades, special services/events, and other activities not included in the departments’ regular operating budgets.
With the help of UCU members and friends around the state, UCU raised $40,185.21 in 2022 for the Maine Credit Union League’s annual Campaign for Ending Hunger, which provides critical supplemental funding for local food assistance programs, including campus-based food pantries spanning the state. The Maine Credit Unions’ Campaign has contributed over $12.3 million since 1990 to end hunger in the state – $1,000,434.19 in 2022 alone.
For an eighth consecutive year, UCU awarded scholarships to eight students furthering their undergraduate education at the seven University of Maine System campuses and Maine Maritime Academy in 2022. This scholarship continues to support UCU’s roots and dedication to encouraging students’ pursuit of higher education. Currently, applications for the 2023 UCU Scholarship are open online through May 1st at ucumaine.com/scholarship.
Looking ahead, UCU continues to invest in and support its greater community through engagement at hyper-local and statewide levels. Just this month, UCU launched an appointment page where people can make an appointment with a certified financial counselor to receive one-on-one financial education.
UCU looks to continue to support and align with groups that share its purpose-driven mission, continuing their efforts with the Ending Hunger Campaign and furthering the use of its U Financially Fit programs to help more individuals across the state.
About University Credit Union
Established on the University of Maine campus in 1967, University Credit Union is an innovative, full-service financial institution dedicated to promoting financial well-being for the individuals and communities it serves. UCU is the sixth largest credit union in Maine in terms of total assets, eighth in total members, and has retail locations across the state located in Orono, Bangor, Farmington, Gorham, Portland, and Presque Isle. For more information visit ucumaine.com.