Mid American repeats win of state financial literacy award for kids’ camp courses
For the second year in a row, Mid American Credit Union has won the state-level Desjardins Youth Financial Education Award, the Kansas Credit Union Association announced Tuesday, April 24.
As the first place winner, Mid American will go on to compete in the national credit union competition, sponsored by the Credit Union National Association.
Mid American won the award for expanding the reach of a financial literacy course it started offering in 2010 as part of a summer youth program in Wichita’s most culturally diverse and economically disadvantaged neighborhoods. In 2010, Mid American piloted the program to 200 students in two summer camps; in 2011, it offered the program in all five of the PACK camp sites in Wichita, reaching more than 500 students.
Every week during the seven-week camp, Mid American staff members, assisted by staff of the local Consumers Credit Counseling Service, taught the youth about various aspects of money — its history, how it’s used and how it’s earned and saved —during one-hour sessions.
To emphasize the importance of earning and saving money, participants were given Mid-American-imprinted piggy banks to take home to begin saving. The kids were asked to consider ways to earn money, with some doing extra chores around the house, running lemonade stands and mowing lawns. One child went to “work” for his father, helping separate hardware that his father needed for the job.
The most anticipated day of the camp was on the final day, when the children brought back their savings, some of which had overrun the flesh-colored piggy banks, for final tallies. Mid American provided cash prizes to the top earners at each camp, ranging from $20-50. The prize “earnings” represented the interest-earning concept of savings.
“This program has not only helped us make community partnerships but allows us to teach young kids, and maybe even their families, about the importance of saving money and other financial choices,” said Sarah Meehan, marketing manager, employer partnerships and advocacy. Meehan was the impetus behind coordinating the financial literacy course. When she was asked if Mid American would make a financial donation to the program by one of the sponsors, she suggested taking part in the camp activities.
The summer PACK youth program is sponsored by the Wichita Police Department, the Park and Recreation Department, and the city manager’s Community Education Section, and is offered in five Wichita neighborhoods.
Mid American has free ID theft resolution service
As many as 9 million Americans have their identities stolen each year, according to the Federal Trade Commission.
While some ID theft victims can resolve problems quickly, some spend hundreds of dollars and hours repairing the damage ID thieves have done.
If you have a Mid American checking account and you are an ID theft victim, you are covered by our free Fraud Victim Resolution Service provided by Identity Fraud Inc. This coverage applies even if your Mid American account isn’t affected.
If you believe you are an identity theft victim, you can reach a dedicated case specialist at Identity Fraud Inc. 24/7 by calling 866-443-3728. The specialist will help you create a case file and provide resources for resolving the damage and protection tools.
If you do not have a Mid American checking account and need to resolve ID theft, here are four steps recommended by the FTC. More information is available at www.ftc.gov.
- Place a fraud alert on your credit reports and review your credit reports regularly. You need only call one of the three consumer reporting agencies – TransUnion, 800 680- 7289; Equifax, 800-525-6285; and Experian, 888-397-3742. The company you call is required to contact the other two.
- Close the accounts that you know or believe have been tampered with or fraudulently opened. Make sure you follow up in writing and send letters by certified mail, return receipt requested, to document your actions.
- 3. File a complaint with the FTC by going online to its website, www.ftc.gov or calling 877-ID-THEFT (438-4338).
4. File a report with local police or the police in the community where the fraud took place.
With you all the time
By Jim Holt, president/CEO
You are never far from accessing your accounts at Mid American Credit Union. From networks of shared credit unions and ATM locations to a new, free downloadable app for your mobile device, Mid American is literally and virtually available to you all the time.
Mid American upcoming Mobile App will give you access from your mobile device anytime and anywhere. With this new app, which will be downloadable from the iPhone App Store or the Android Market, you can check balances, pay bills, transfer money, and find Co-op Network ATMs and Credit Union Service Centers.
We are also using social media to give our members another way to interact with us. Our Facebook business page made its debut last month (March 2012). While this is not a place for sharing account information, it is a medium for announcing events, answering general questions and of course, listening and responding to general comments. Find the page at www.facebook.com/midamericancreditunion.
This quarter, we will offer a new bank to bank transfer function to Desktop Banking. Members will be able to transfer money from a Mid American account to another institution’s checking or savings account or pay a loan payment with an ACH debit from a non-Mid American account.
Here are various ways – old and new – that you can interact with us.
Branches and ATMS. Besides using Mid American’s branches, members can conduct cash transactions – deposits, withdrawals, loan payments and fund transfers – at nearly 4,500 credit union facilities nationwide through the Credit Union Service Center network. You can avoid ATM fees by using one of the more than 25,000 Co-op Network ATMs nationwide. You can find shared branch and ATM locations through the Branches link and ATM link.
Desktop Banking. Our online service provides you with many functions, from account transactions to paying bills to reordering checks. You can even sign up for e-statements to eliminate paper. If you’re not already signed up for Desktop Banking, see a financial service representative and you’ll have 24/7 access to your account. You can also download a sign-up form from online and mail or fax it to us. To find out more contact financial services, 316-722-3921, ext. 202.
Mobile banking. This is similar to our Internet banking, with members using tablet computers or smartphones to get online. Check balances, view account history, transfer funds and do national and local searches for the nearest ATM or branch. The new mobile app will provide more efficient access.
Text banking. Text us for your account balance and recent transaction history and even transfer funds. To sign up, go to www.co-opmobile.org.
Automated telephone. We’ve recently made changes to make this service, available by calling 316-722-3921, and pressing 3 ,faster and more efficient. You will need a PIN to access this service, which provides you with account information and allows you to do transfers. Contact a financial service representative or download the sign-up form from our website and mail or fax it.
Mid American breaking ground for new faclity
Mid American Credit Union will break ground on its new northeast Wichita facility. A March 13 article in The Wichita Eagle featured comments by President and CEO Jim Holt and the new facility.
Read the article here: http://www.kansas.com/2012/03/13/2252880/mid-american-credit-unions-newest.html
Mid American employees, members give back to the community
Mid American Credit Union employees call it their “Love Drive” – an effort to help girls living at a Wichita safe haven get everyday items ranging from snack packs to personal care items.
The Love Drive, held annually during Valentine’s Day and benefiting girls ages 6-24 who live at Carpenter place, is just one of several community efforts that Mid American employees undertake as a way to give back to the community.
Employees also support Carpenter Place with payroll deduction donations throughout the year. This year, Mid American members also helped the Love Drive effort, as well as another charitable drive effort.
Employees and members joined together this past holiday season to adopt and provide for four families who sought services through the Salvation Army.
As a financial institution, Mid American believes strongly in financial literacy.
Md American financially supports, as well as provides volunteers, for the Reality U program run by Communities in Schools. The program helps teach budgeting and financial skills to more than 2,000 area middle and high school students, who are given a scenario 10 years in the future – based on their grades, expressed career interests and other factors – and has them make important financial decisions while setting up a monthly budget.
In 2011, Mid American started offering a series of financial literacy seminars to help Boy Scouts members earn the personal financial management merit badge.
For the past two years, Mid American has provided a financial literacy component for a summertime program meant to help keep kids stay off the streets by providing organized recreation and educational activities. The PACK program is a project of the Wichita Police Department, the Park and Recreation Department, and the City Manager’s Community Education Section.
Mid American Credit Union hosts quarterly blood drives, with several employees participating, with the American Red Cross.
Adding value to an existing home
From Debbie Stang, Home Loan Officer
A big trend in real estate is remodeling an existing home. In 2009, Americans spent more than $114 billion on home remodels, according to the National Association of Home Builders. Remodeling is expected to surpass new home construction in the next few years, says the NAHB.
If you’re looking to add value to your home and enjoy some of the more modern trends of home living, here are some projects to consider:
Create a family room. Many new homes feature open floor plans with a family room playing center stage. You can remodel or renovate your existing home to be more new construction.
Remodel your basement. Game rooms and guest suites are also trends in new construction. Create the same spaces with a remodel of an existing basement or finishing an unfinished one.
Create a home office. More people are either telecommuting or starting home businesses. Create a dedicated space that is wired and outfitted to function as an updated office for yourself now and to attract potential future homebuyers.
Replace the roof. First impressions count, plus ensuring you have a solid roof over your head helps retain your home’s value.
Landscape your yard. Create curb appeal with the front yard and an outdoor entertainment space in the back to provide not only a good first impression, but an increase in your living space.
Make smaller changes. A couple of buckets of paint, new tile and trim, an upgrade in bathroom fixtures, adding or replacing cabinet hardware, some decorative detailing such as crown moulding – they can give your home a fresh, new look on relatively low-cost budget.
If you’re embarking on a large-scale renovation, consider either a home equity loan or a second mortgage to finance those costs. Click here to find out more about Mid American’s loans.
Spread the word
BY JIM HOLT, PRESIDENT/CEO
Matthew Kotch has become a walking advertisement for Mid American Credit Union. Whenever he can, he tells new hires at one of our more than 300 affiliate employee groups about the benefits of opening an account and establishing a membership with us.
“I tell everybody,” he says. He became a member nearly two years ago and has been an advocate ever since.
He tells others how easy it is to get his paycheck directly deposited into an account and that he can easily access it through free ATMs and shared branching nationwide. He tells them how we provided him with an account, when banks turned him down because he didn’t have an established credit history.
He tells them how he likes the fact that he knows there’s a local, caring person he can contact, rather than someone answering an 800 number, when he has financial needs.
There are many more benefits, and as banks are imposing more and more fees, credit unions are becoming a more attractive option for people who want to keep more of their money and benefit themselves. One of the key differences between banks and credit unions is ownership. Banks are owned by a group of investors, looking for a profit. As not-for-profit cooperatives, credit unions are owned by their members, looking for a way to access financial services at the lowest cost possible.
This past year, credit union membership jumped significantly – primarily when banks announced they would start charging fees for services such as a debit card. Following Bank of America’s announcement of such a charge in late September – which it later retracted – a survey of 5,000 credit unions showed
650,000 new members signed up, according to Credit Union National Association. According to Bloomberg News, the percentage of banks offering free checking has fallen from 76 percent two years ago to 45 percent, with the average monthly fee being $14. Free debit cards and checking accounts are the norm at credit unions, not the exception.
Increasing our membership benefits all credit union members. It makes it possible for us to continue to provide lower interest rates on loans, offer free or low cost services and for you to keep more of your own money to meet financial needs and wants.
We hope more members take up Kotch’s advocacy and help others find the benefits of credit union membership and ownership. If you have a chance, spread the word. It will help keep us – and, more importantly, you – financially strong.
Winner named in iPad2 giveaway
News that she won the iPad2 in a recent promotion to encourage mobile and text banking signups made Christina Jenkins day.
“I’ve had such a great weekend, and this just made it even better,” said Jenkins who had celebrated her birthday and earning her master’s degree from Baker University. Jenkins won the iPad 2 giveaway in a promotion that ended Dec. 16.
The new mobile and text banking options are also making it better for Jenkins and other members to get account information.
With Mid American’s mobile banking service, members can check balances, view account history, transfer funds and do national and local searches for the nearest ATM or branch.
With text banking, members can text the credit union for account balance and recent transaction history and even transfer funds.
To sign up for the new services, go to http://www.co-opmobile.org.
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