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It's On Us Make a Difference Event
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Working the drive thru
at the Kansas City location

United Northwest Federal Credit Union
and Norton, KS resident

Emporia State Federal Credit Union staff.

New Century Credit Union and Quest Credit Union outside the Classic Bean in Topeka
A group of Kansas credit unions wanted to live up to the credit union philosophy of "people helping people.”

On May 14, in seven locations across Kansas, eleven Kansas credit unions surprised consumers with gift cards, cash, free coffee or a free lunch. It was part of the Kansas Credit Union Association’s Make a Difference campaign.

Coffee houses and cafes in Emporia, Ness City, Norton, Kansas City, Topeka and Wichita were the sites for the "It’s On Us” Make a Difference event. Many of the coffee houses and cafes were locally owned. Some locations covered the early morning crowd, beginning at 6:30 a.m., while others covered the lunch hour.

"It’s the simple gestures that mean the most,” said Susan Dyer, Communications Director for the Kansas Credit Union Association. "We wanted to brighten the day of Kansas residents, and we hope they will pass it on and do something nice for someone else.”

Each location had $1000 to use in the form of cash or gift cards. Depending on the location, people were surprised with a gift card, cash or a free purchase of coffee or lunch. Between all the locations, approximately 1200 consumers were reached.

Several credit unions teamed up at the same location. Participating credit unions included: 
  • Emporia State Federal Credit Union, Emporia
  • United Credit Union, Ness City
  • United Northwest Federal Credit Union, Norton
  • Mainstreet Credit Union, Kansas City
  • Reliance Credit Union, Kansas City
  • Educational Credit Union, Topeka
  • Quest Credit Union, Topeka
  • New Century Credit Union, Topeka
  • EquiShare Credit Union, Wichita
  • Mid American Credit Union, Wichita
  • Wichita Federal Credit Union, Wichita

"This is the perfect way for credit unions to illustrate the philosophy of ‘people helping people’, said Dyer. "It’s why credit unions exist…to serve their members. And it’s a way for credit unions to show they are dedicated to serving their communities.”

There was no advance promotion, except for teasers posted via Twitter and Facebook. Many of the locations updated their Facebook page and Twitter accounts with information about where they were, and what they were doing. Local residents and other businesses retweeted or shared the posts.

Response from the public included lots of "thank yous” and "wow, this is great!” both in person and via social networks like Twitter and Facebook. Some hugs were exchanged and some consumers asked "what’s a credit union?” This gave the credit union staff a chance to explain how credit unions differ from traditional banks. Some customers were already credit union members, and mentioned that "events like this” is why they use a credit union.

Media coverage included CUBE TV, Credit Union Times, Ness County News, CUNA News Now, Credit Union Journal, Kansas First News, KAKE-TV (link not available), Wichita Business Journal,, and KVOE radio (link not available).

More photos on Flickr

This is the second in a series of events. The first event was a gas giveaway, held in October 2012. The third event will be in October 2013, during International Credit Union Week.