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Staff To Assist Red Cross

PASADENA, Calif.-Wescom CU said a dozen of its employees have volunteered to travel to the Gulf Coast and work for the next three weeks to help victims of Hurricane Katrina. The employees, who will work for the American Red Cross, will all be paid full salary during their relief work.

Calling Cards Distributed

MARIETTA, Ga.-Looking to do something beyond cash donations for victims of Hurricane Katrina, Lockheed Georgia Employees FCU has donated 1,000 prepaid telephone calling cards to the thousands of refugees who have fled to Atlanta. "We were looking to drum up, not only monetary suppor for the Hurricane Katrina relief efforts, but tangible ways to help the people who were displaced form their homes," Tricia Szurgot, head of marketing for the $600-million CU, told The Credit Union Journal. The phone cards have 30 minutes of calling time on them. LGEFCU also sent two loan officers to the Lockheed Corp. plant it serves in Meridian, Miss. to offer immediate $1,000 unsecured loans at 6% interest for any member in good standing and is providing free wire transfers for victims of the massive disaster.

CU Operates From Pick-Up

PACSCAGOULA, Miss.-The destruction of Jackson County Federal Employees FCU's only branch by Hurricane Katrina did not prevent the $2-million CU from serving its members. With its market flooded, the credit union manager set up shop in the back of a pick-up truck, while an employee's husband armed himself with a shotgun to provide security for the makeshift branch. The tiny credit union did what it could to provide services for one of its members, Doug DeSilvey, who came by asking for $6,000 for burial expenses for his daughter, his ex-wife and both of her parents, who had all drowned when their home was flooded. It is unlikely the CU will be able to rebuild because it did not have flood insurance and its insurer deemed the damage was flood-related. The only insurance money it will receive is payment for two computers and one phone.

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