WOCCU continues its relief efforts for storm-hit Caribbean

The credit union body has raised more than $100,000 in two months to help those affected when Hurricane Irma hit Dominica

The World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) says it is responding to pleas for help from Dominica Credit Union League after the devastation of Hurricanes Maria and Irma.

In the two months since the hurricanes struck the Caribbean and USA, WOCCU has raised over $100,000 through the Caribbean Disaster Relief Fund, and credit unions from the USA and Canada are continuing to contribute.

The money will be used for reconstruction and repair to support the Dominica credit unions and their 75,000 plus members who have been affected by Hurricane Maria.

Damage to credit union physical facilities reported in Dominica from Hurricane Maria includes loss of roofs, windows, gates, air conditioning units as well as the destruction of office equipment and damage to ceilings, electrical wiring and floors. The loss many suffered is significant and efforts of restoration and rebuilding are estimated to take years.

The storm caused chaos in the Caribbean country

“It’s the most endearing part of being involved in the credit union system,” said WOCCU president and CEO Brian Branch. “When there is a disaster like this credit unions are the first on the ground providing assistance and sister credit unions from around the world also step in to provide support. It’s inspiring.” 

The relief fund has been supported by American Heritage Federal Credit Union, Carolinas Credit Union Foundation, Coastal Federal Credit Union, CUNA Mutual Group, Ideal Credit Union, Schools First Federal Credit Union, as well as contributing credit unions and individuals worldwide.

Over the past four years, the Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions – WOCCU’s official gift-receiving and grant-making – has delivered nearly US $1m in aid to credit union organisations affected by natural disasters in the Philippines, Nepal, Ecuador, Malawi and Colombia.