Gene's Note: Coming Together and Providing Hope

Growing up, my family experienced some tough times. Times of financial hardship and uncertainty. My parents worked hard to provide for us, but it wasn’t always enough to get by. The recent events brought back a memory that is as vivid as if it happened yesterday. One day as a teenager, I was just getting home from school when I saw a neighbor placing groceries on our doorstep. It was a tough time and she knew our cupboards were bare. She didn’t want recognition, she just wanted to help someone in need. I will never forget that act of kindness and empathy. She was not someone who had a lot to give, but she did so selflessly. Not only did she give my family groceries, she provided me with a valuable lesson that to give without expecting anything in return is the most valuable blessing you can ever receive. This true act of taking care of one another and caring for community is something that I have always tried to live up to.

During the times of financial hardship and uncertainty, I encourage you to give hope to one another. Finding ways to care and connect is the best thing we can be doing at a time like this. Take a few extra minutes to introduce yourself to a neighbor (from six feet away), ask if there is something they need that you can provide, and help them as my neighbor helped my family so many years ago. I love hearing stories of neighbors meeting for this first time, grown children shopping for their parents, offering a roll of toilet paper or a prescription pick up to someone who needs it, or even sewing a cloth mask so they can run their own errands. Virtual conversations are happening all over the place with friends and family who have never engaged on such platforms before. Teachers are working through glitches to serve their classes and even hosting car parades in the school neighborhoods. Parents are not only becoming homeschool teachers, but are also working from home at the same time. Many other essential service providers are serving us daily to ensure we have groceries, gas, and financial services. People are coming together to create a sense of community stronger than ever, sharing resources and offering hope. 

Last month I wrote about our Loyalty Divided, which was shared with our member-owners on March 11th. The $6 million Loyalty Dividend came just before many of our members needed it most only two days before a national state of emergency was declared for the COVID-19 pandemic. After reading the blog article, a member reached out to me and shared the hope our credit union was able to offer him during these times of uncertainty. 

“The Loyalty dividend has added to my Ownership Account which I’m beginning to call my retirement fund.  I don’t have a 401k or any type of retirement plan. Rogue Credit Union has given me hope for my financial future.”

I hope the Loyalty Dividend that you received provided a glimmer of hope and some relief. That is what your credit union, and all credit unions, are all about--people joining together to help each other. There is no time like a crisis where the power of people joining together to help each other is more evident. 

This is a time when together, we are stronger!

I truly enjoy the messages I receive from our members in response to these posts. Please share acts of kindness and community that you have seen in your local communities. I also appreciate suggestions for future topics. Please share with me at