Why Credit Unions Are Worth Celebrating
In 1924, Roy Bergengren, one of the architects of the credit union movement, reflected on what a credit union can do for people.
“The credit union is, in fact, a bridge,” Bergengren wrote in the inaugural issue of “The Bridge,” the official newsletter of the American credit union movement, which was then in its infancy. “It may be the bridge over which the tenant farmer travels the wide gap that separates him from ownership. It may be the way that opens the great land of opportunity to the wage worker, who finds his savings the ‘open sesame’ to broader possibilities for himself and his family.”
International Credit Union Day
Twenty-four years later in 1948, credit unions in America, and later around the world, began celebrating the philosophy and achievements of credit unions every year on the third Thursday in October.
Bangor Federal joins 56,000 credit unions around the world in celebration of International Credit Union (ICU) Day®. There are 200+ million credit union members around the world—more than 100 million in the U.S. alone—and we will always join them in celebration of the not-for-profit cooperative spirit that all credit unions share. *
This cooperative spirit has led to life-changing opportunities for people all over the world who have wanted to start a small business, own their own home or continue their education, but who were denied those opportunities through other financial institutions. In many parts of the world, some people’s first taste of democracy is through their credit union, where “one member, one vote” is the governing structure. At its most basic level, a credit union is people pooling their money to provide each other with affordable loans. It is literally people helping people. Credit unions empower people, wherever they are in the world or life, to take control of their financial future.
When we wish you a Happy ICU Day in October, know that we truly appreciate you for belonging to a movement that is helping your neighbors and community members’ dreams thrive.