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Aim: Capture the credit union difference
For the 20th anniversary of Credit Union Journal’s annual Day in the Life of Credit Unions project, instead of producing the big slideshow and print spread of photos that were taken all on the same day a couple of months prior to International Credit Union Day, this year, we asked credit unions to shoot their photos on International Credit Union Day.

More than 60 credit unions from all over the world took photos on Oct. 19 during International Credit Union Day.

With participants hailing from Australia, Colombia, Moldova, Romania, Russia and Tanzania, as well as the U.S., this year’s project had not only the largest number of credit unions but also the greatest number of countries represented.

The Day in the Life of Credit Unions project was conceived to highlight the credit union difference, featuring not only the typical day-to-day business of being a financial institution, but also all of the ways these cooperatives help their members and their communities.

As you’ll see in the photos that follow today and throughout the week, what makes credit unions different isn’t merely the fact that they are not-for-profit, member-owned financial cooperatives, it’s how they approach the business of serving their members. It can be as surprising as buying a stranger’s breakfast, as challenging as making a collections call friendly and as fundamental as simply sharing a hug.

So even though many credit unions had all kinds of special events happening in their branches to mark International Credit Union Day, the real magic is in what credit unions do every single day. From unlocking the doors at the start of the day to locking back up at the end and all the moments in between, both the out of the ordinary and the mundane, we are showing one day — albeit a very special one — in the life of credit unions.
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Making lending look easy
Xceed Financial CU, El Segundo, Calif., associates David, Alfonso and Ricardo are ready to help members with their loans at the credit union’s headquarters.
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Helping teachers succeed
Representatives of WSECU, Olympia, Wash., drop off teacher care packages to Rainier Elementary full of things like rainy day recess supplies and school spirit boxes.
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Who wants a hot dog?
In Albuquerque, N.M., U.S. Eagle FCU employees prepare to serve hot dogs in celebration of International Credit Union Day.
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Let's do lunch
A pair of members enjoy lunch at U.S. Eagle FCU, Albuquerque, N.M.
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WOCCU trends presentation
Victor Corro, World Council vice president of member services, delivers a keynote presentation on “New Trends in Digital Banking: What Consumers Expect” at the TIAC 2017 hosted by World Council member Federación Nacional de Cooperativas de Ahorro y Crédito Financieras (FECOLFIN) in Cartagena, Colombia.
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Ready to help
Xceed Financial CU associates Jeff and Julio stand ready to help members with everyday banking needs at the El Segundo, Calif.-based credit union’s financial center.
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WSECU celebrates
WSECU Board Chair Carole Washburn and City of Bellevue Mayor John Stokes cut the ribbon on the CU’s 21st branch in Bellevue, Wash.
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Where's Waldo?
In Cheyenne, Wyo., Western Vista CU employees dress up as “Where’s Waldo” at a Halloween-themed networking event with the Casper Area Chamber of Commerce that just happened to be held on ICU Day.
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A Wauna winner
A member of Wauna CU, Clatskanie, Ore., holds a special prize she won for being the 50th person to walk in the door of the credit union’s Astoria, Ore., branch.
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Celebrating women in the CU movement around the world
Staff at the World Council of Credit Unions' Madison, Wis., office celebrate #ICUDay and “tie their pink on” in support of the Global Women’s Leadership Network, a World Council initiative to tackle the industry’s gender gap while also leveraging resources to strengthen the economic security of women and their families.
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Thinking pink
Western Vista CU, Cheyenne, Wyo., encourages staff to “think pink” in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
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Veridian gets into the spirit
In Waterloo, Iowa, Veridian CU’s top leaders get into the spirit, sporting their “Credit unions: Working for you, not for profit” T-shirts. From left: Nick Evens, CUSO president; Monte Berg, President and CEO; Renee Christoffer, chief administration officer; Keith Mesch, chief financial officer; Doug Gilbertson, chief operating officer.
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Making a difference around the globe
Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions Executive Director Calyn Ostrowski leads a presentation to members of Credit Union National Association in Madison, Wis., as part of ICU Day activities.
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Wauna snack while you drive?
A Wauna CU member gets a sweet surprise in the form of a cupcake at the St. Helens, Ore., branch’s drive-thru.