Gwynne Ann Unruh is an award-winning reporter formerly of the Alamosa Valley Courier, an independent paper in southern Colorado. She covers the environment for The Paper.

Credit unions have always been tied to the communities they serve. Recent events in Ukraine are severely impacting families, and the credit union system in Ukraine has been severely challenged to continue the critical support services they offer to the communities they serve.

To aid in their fight, the Worldwide Foundation of Credit Unions and the World Council of Credit Unions launched the Ukrainian Credit Union Displacement Fund. The credit union will be matching donations received of $25,000, totaling $50,000 towards the fund that will provide direct support to mitigate both short- and long-term impacts to Ukraine’s credit union system and for those that look to it for support, including both employees and members.

As of March 22, KFCU has received donations equaling $24,012 and anticipated hitting their goal of $25,000 by the end of March.

The Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions in partnership with the World Council, is leveraging its global network to identify the immediate priority areas where the donations and funding can be used to support the displaced credit union members and staff.  

“This is such a critical and unifying cause,” said Matt Rarden, Kirtland FCU president and CEO. “These Ukrainian communities and families are facing unimaginable hardship. Credit unions are known for serving our communities and the Ukrainian credit union system is no different. The work of the Worldwide Foundation of Credit Unions is integral, and we understand the immediate and desperate need of the Ukrainian people. There was no question or delay in our support of that mission.”

Established in 1958, with assets over $900 million, Kirtland FCU serves nearly 49,000 members from six branch locations in Albuquerque.

Anyone wanting more information or wishing to donate to the fund with a match from Kirtland Federal Credit Union can do so online at Kirtlandfcu.org, or stop by any branch or call 1.800.880.5328.

“Our members have big hearts and are unwaveringly patriotic,” Matt Rarden said. “We need to keep the momentum growing to meet the growing need we’re seeing in Ukraine.”