State

Maine CUs break record in Ending Hunger effort

FREEPORT, MAINE — On Tuesday, Feb. 7, representatives from Maine’s credit unions gathered at the Harraseeket Inn for the 2016 Ending Hunger Campaign results celebration luncheon.

Throughout the past year, credit unions raised funds for the Ending Hunger effort, raising a record-breaking total of $674,193.48, a new fundraising milestone.

The funds will help to purchase more than $2.7 million meals for hungry Mariners.

All four credit unions with ties to Aroostook County participated in the campaign, including Acadia FCU based in Fort Kent; NorState FCU, based in Madawaska; The County FCU, based in Presque Isle; and University CU, based in Orono, with a branch in Presque Isle.  

Both Acadia FCU and NorState FCU finished in the Top 25, with Acadia finishing fourth in total funds raised and fifth in per-member contributions, and NorState placing 11th in total funds raised and 10th in contributions per member. University CU finished in the Top 25 in total funds raised at number 24.

“The generosity of the more than 680,000 credit union members in Maine is extraordinary,” explained John Murphy, president/CEO of the Maine Credit Union League. “Hunger affects communities in many ways, however, credit unions use it as a chance to change lives and put forth the credit union philosophy of ‘people helping people.’ As we celebrate the close of another successful year of the Campaign, we are humbled by the remarkable efforts each credit union has made to make their communities a better place.”

The luncheon event featured an address by Jessica Buchanan, author of the New York Times best-selling book, “Impossible Odds: The Kidnapping of Jessica Buchanan and Her Dramatic Rescue by SEAL Team Six.”

In October 2011, while on a routine, humanitarian mission to help children in Somalia, Buchanan was abducted at gunpoint and held for ransom by a group of Somali land pirates for 93 days. Jessica was imprisoned outdoors in deplorable conditions, starved and terrorized by more than two dozen gangsters. In January 2012, the Navy’s elite SEAL Team Six heroically parachuted into the desert and successfully rescued her, along with her colleague.

Her kidnapping and dramatic rescue will also be made into a feature film by Clint Eastwood. Buchanan shared her harrowing experience and her belief in helping others, despite her experience. She called being part of the announcement “truly inspirational,” and said, “I applaud the efforts of you stepping up to help those in need.”

Since 1990, the Maine Credit Unions’ Campaign for Ending Hunger has raised $7.2 million.

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