As a member owned co-operative, Education Credit Union (ECU), with a 43 year history in this community, demonstrates the power of co-operative values and adds strength to our community.

Credit unions are unique, conducting banking related business and serving their members,not customers. They open accounts, complete everyday transactions, protect your money, and so much more. Credit unions offer virtually anything a national bank offers but, what is celebrated as the credit union difference extends beyond financial services. "Our members know that we're here when they need us," says Sharon Feldmann, Office Supervisor of the Education Credit Union Techtown Branch. "They know that they can call or email with any question and have confidence that we'll be able to answer them".

ECU's owners are the members and their staff seeks to fulfill? the banking needs of members with care, expertise and sincere personal service. "The greatest reward is seeing the satisfaction on my members' faces when I've been able to make something that was overwhelming, to them, relatively simple," says Feldmann.

Locally, this small credit union is making an impact on the community. With a history in the education sector, their focus for 'giving back' is on education and youth. Over the past 5 years, more than $50,000.00 has been contributed by ECU and its members to projects such as Nutrition for Learning, UofW Team Up Community Outreach and local charity golf tournaments, supporting education and the KW Community Foundation. Scholarships through university staff associations and directly from ECU are helping youth with their post secondary education expenses. In addition to all of this, ECU staff volunteer on?their personal time to community services and charitable organizations dear to their hearts. All of this is adding strength to the community of today and tomorrow.

Historically, credit unions were established by community minded individuals who wanted to use their resources to help others?in their own community and Canadians have been credit union members for over 100 years. The experience that has been gained by Canadian credit unions and by credit unions all over the world is now being used to provide support to others - in developing nations - who want to make that same impact and help to provide financial resources to their own neighbours.

Feldmann finished by saying "Working for an organization with core values of education, co-operation and concern for community compliments my staff and me."

Did you know that credit unions...

1. Have been around since the early 1900s

2. Are co-operatives owned by their members and are community focused.

3. Were the first to allow a woman to borrow under her own name.

4. Were the first financial institutions to offer members debit cards.

5. Were the first to offer the feature of cheque deposit with your smartphone.