Youth's Savings Are Targeted

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Some will use clowns. Others will pass out balloons. Still more will offer free pizza. And many more of the 283 credit unions participating in National Credit Union Youth Week this week, will lure young members with contests for prizes and money.

Their goal: To show young people how credit unions can help them earn, spend, save and manage their money.

"As of today, there are 283 credit unions registered to participate,'' said Pat Keefe, spokesperson for CUNA, as The Credit Union Journal was going to press. "They expect nearly 60,000 youths to deposit more than $2.5 million in their savings accounts throughout the week.''

This year's event includes the Credit Union National Association's "Want it . . . Save it . . . Get it!'' Saving Challenge that will tally the total amount of deposits, the number of new accounts opened and the total number of deposits made by members 17 and younger.

The 2004 inaugural year of the saving challenge more than doubled the nearly $600,000 in total deposits that was originally anticipated, as young members collectively deposited $1.4 million in their savings accounts, made almost 16,000 total deposits and opened more than 1,850 new accounts.

At Aberdeen Proving Ground Federal Credit Union in Aberdeen, Md., young members are being asked to set savings goals and "Write it Down,'' said Stuart Clode, SVP. "Open up an account with us and join in on all the fun on the website as well as the outreach programs that blend entertainment with the serious work of money management and the benefits of smart credit and thrift.''

Clode said that National Credit Union Youth Week is a natural extension of APGFCU's passion for education. The CU with $547 million in assets has a four-person education department dedicated to seminars, school visits and nurturing the youth, he said.

"Last year, about 7,500 adults and children saw our presentations,'' he said. "Approximately 17% of our membership of 73,000-plus are 18 years old or younger."

Clode said he expects this year's youth week campaign to break its 2004 record that included 3,780 deposits totaling $215,374.75 and 19 new youth members. During that campaign, APGFCU made a Double Dog Dare Savings Challenge to its members 17 and younger, offering chances for prizes in exchange for deposits.

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