A Message from Our CEO
Corporate responsibility begins with protecting our members’ financial interests, but it doesn’t end there. As a member-owned, not-for-profit financial cooperative, we are committed to the best and finest interests of our members and to the credit union philosophy of people helping people.
ACU believes there is a strong link between serving the community and our success. Throughout the year, our volunteers and employees actively participate in fundraising activities and food, toy and clothing collections, and they donate personal time and money to charitable organizations such as Susan G. Komen for the Cure® and Homes for Our Troops. Our employees have also conducted hundreds of educational courses in local schools to promote a better quality of life for the children in our community.
It has been most gratifying to observe our employees’ response to the needs of the community, and I am very proud of the participation and efforts put forth.
Once again, it is our intent to increase our support in 2013. To emphasize our commitment, next year we will begin providing our employees with paid time off to participate in qualified activities that promote and serve a worthy cause. And as an organization, we plan to invest in our community in three specific areas in 2013:
- Hunger — feeding those in need
- Youth — educating and mentoring
- Recycling — reducing consumption of raw materials
Hunger is a real problem in the United States. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, limited resources prevent more than 50 million Americans from getting enough food. With high unemployment and rising gas and food prices, food banks are feeding more people than ever. Our goal is to support local food pantries that provide meals for those who cannot leave their homes or have fallen on hard times, such as the Mid-East Area Agency on Aging. Another recipient will be the Fisher House, which serves as a "home away from home" for families of veterans receiving care at the St. Louis VA Medical Center and families of active-duty personnel who have loved ones in other area facilities.
Just like food, financial literacy and money management skills are needed by all. About 34 percent of parents have taught their teen how to balance a checkbook; even fewer have explained how credit card interest and fees work. Ninety-three percent of American parents with teenagers report worrying that their children might make financial missteps, such as overspending or living beyond their means (source: Charles Schwab’s 2008 “Parents & Money"). Our goal is to help the young people in our community develop healthy and positive habits with money and avoid the common financial problems that many adults make. Our plan reaches hundreds of teens by making classroom presentations, as well as participating in “career days” and other local school programs.
Arsenal Credit Union strives to be a good environmental steward. Our goal is to help the community reduce waste by providing recycling bins for cans and plastic containers at all our locations and assist with the responsible disposal of paper, computer and electronic equipment by holding several free “shred days” throughout the year, which are open to the public. We continue to revamp our operational processes to use fewer materials, incorporate energy-efficient designs into new branches and recycle as much as possible.
We continually strive to maintain our reputation for setting the highest standards of conduct in all areas of our business activities. Our success is driven by our employees and their focus on our members.
Linda G. Allen
President & CEO