Community Service

Maine CUs Fill Void with Fuel Assistance

Five state CUs offer interest-free loans to help consumers heat their homes.

February 15, 2011
KEYWORDS consumers , credit , maine , unions
/ PRINT / ShareShare / Text Size +

Five credit unions with branches in Maine’s Midcoast region joined Governor Paul LePage and state Sen. Stan Gerzofsky at the State House in Augusta to announce a new credit union program to help consumers affected by the recent closure of Thibeault Energy in Brunswick.

At a press conference to announce the program, Governor LePage congratulated Maine's credit unions “for taking action to help others. I commend the Maine Credit Union League for helping to coordinate a quick response and to the credit unions for being willing to help.”

The new program will offer affected consumers 0% interest, no-fee loans to purchase home-heating fuel. Other loan program details outlined during the press conference:

  • $2,000 loan limit;
  • 12-month term;
  • No credit check;
  • Consumers must provide proof of loss;
  • Disbursements will be made via check directly to the oil company; and
  • Loans are available at the five credit unions on a first-come, first-served basis through April 1, 2011.

Notes John Murphy, Maine Credit Union League president, “Maine credit unions have once again shown a willingness to assist consumers and communities. This is an example of the cooperative spirit of credit unions coming together to demonstrate leadership during a crisis that has impacted a number of consumers in the Midcoast region.”

Participating credit unions include Atlantic Regional Federal Credit Union in Brunswick; Down East Credit Union in Baileyville; Five County Credit Union in Bath; Lisbon Community Federal Credit Union; and Midcoast Federal Credit Union in Bath.

“The recent and sudden closure of Thibeault Energy has impacted a number of area residents,” says Roger Sirois, president/CEO of Atlantic Regional Federal. “This action has caused financial hardship for many residents and, with a good three months of the heating season remaining, left wondering how they are going to come up with the funds to heat their homes.

“Indeed, this is one of those times when credit unions can make a difference in our communities,” he continues. “In the spirit of cooperation, the five Midcoast-area credit unions are offering these special loans not only because there is an immediate need, but because it is the right thing to do.”

Energy loans

From left: Maine State Sen. Stan Gerzofsky and Maine Governor Paul LePage listen as Roger Sirois, president/CEO of Atlantic Regional FCU, announces a program created by credit unions to help consumers affected by the closing of a local utility company.

Post a comment to this story

heroes

What's Popular

Popular Stories

Recent Discussion

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.

Your Say: Who should be Credit Union Magazine's 2014 CU Hero of the Year?

View Results Poll Archive