Community Service

Bethex FCU Awarded Grant

Award for $25,000 recognizes CU’s community impact.

November 09, 2010
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Bethex Federal Credit Union, a community development credit union serving the predominantly low-income South Bronx community in New York City, was presented with $25,000 from the Wachovia Wells Fargo NEXT Awards in recognition of its community impact.

Chartered in 1970 to provide affordable financial services and financial education, to “welfare mothers,” the credit union has grown to nearly $16 million in assets with more than 6,000 low- and moderate-income members throughout the South Bronx.

According to the Census Bureau, this is nation’s the poorest congressional district, with more than 38% of the population and 49% of children living below the poverty line.

Bethex Federal provides a full suite of services including savings and checking accounts, debit and credit cards, personal and auto loans, mortgages, small business loans, and online banking with bill pay.

Launched in 2007, the Wachovia Wells Fargo NEXT Awards “provide low-interest loans and grants totaling $8.25 million each year to two premier community development financial institutions [CDFI] with a history of outstanding accomplishment, a bold and compelling vision, and extraordinary potential for growth, innovation, and impact," as well as four $25,000 awards to CDFIs that demonstrate outstanding advocacy, community impact, innovation and financing.

This year's $5.5 million award was given to Boston Community Capital, the $2.5 million award was presented to Enterprise Cascadia, with the three other $25,000 awards going to Forward Community Investments, Appalachian Community Enterprises, and Business Carolina.

Alternatives Federal Credit Union, Ithaca, N.Y., was one of three finalists in this year’s competition for the $5.5 million award to organizations with more than $50 million in assets.

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Great article! Unfortunately, most employees don’t feel valued or appreciated by their supervisors or employers. In fact, research has shown that the predominant reason team members quit their jobs is because they don’t feel valued. This is in spite of the fact that employee recognition programs have proliferated in the workplace – over 90% of all organizations in the U.S. has some form of employee recognition activities in place. But most employee recognition programs are viewed with skepticism and cynicism – because they aren’t viewed as being genuine in their communication of appreciation. Getting the “employee of the month” award, receiving a certificate of recognition, or a “Way to go, team!” email just don’t get the job done. How do you communicate authentic appreciation? We have found people have different ways that they want to be shown appreciation, and if you don’t communicate in the language of appreciation important to them, you essentially “miss the mark”. Additionally, employees need to receive recognition more than once a year at their performance review. Otherwise, they view the praise as “going through the motions”. A third component of authentic appreciation is that the communication has to be about them personally – not the department, not their group, but something they did. Finally, they have to believe that you mean what you say. How you treat them has to match the words you use. If you are not sure how your team members want to be shown appreciation, the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory (www.appreciationatwork.com/assess) will identify the language of appreciation and specific actions preferred by each employee. You then can create a group profile for your team, so everyone knows how to encourage one another. Remember, employees want to know that they are valued for what they contribute to the success of the organization. And communicating authentic appreciation in the ways they desire it can make the difference between keeping your quality team members or having a negative work environment that everyone wants to leave. Paul White, Ph.D., is the co-author of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace with Dr. Gary Chapman.

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