Thursday, May 28, 2015

St. Cloud Federal Credit Union Matches Grant Funding for Sartell High School Financial Education and Micro-financing Initiative

St. Cloud Federal Credit is proud to announce a $2,500 grant submission to the Minnesota Credit Union Foundation on behalf of Sartell High School was awarded. The credit union also committed to matching the grant if it was awarded; the high school now has $5,000 to fund a financial education program focused on helping people in developing countries.

The social studies department of Sartell High School is now teaching Human Geography to create a lending curriculum to fund student led micro-financing to people in developing countries around the world. The 9th grade students will create development plans for different parts of the world which will be presented to a panel. Finalized plans will result in research for micro-lending opportunities in those areas of the world selected. In turn the students will partner with Kiva, a global non-profit organization that helps people around the world alleviate poverty through small loans.

Sartell High School Teacher Roy Snyder researched and launched the program. Since the project’s inception, he has seen the students gain an immediate increase in financial and world knowledge and issues surrounding poverty, “these are real life stories; the biggest thing I see is empathy and increasing understanding that helping is not about a handout but about a partnership. They are acquiring financial and world knowledge, confidence and skills to develop passion by having to present their findings that result in a real impact,” stated Snyder.

Jed A. Meyer, President and CEO of St. Cloud Federal Credit Union submitted the grant and committed to the matching funds. The credit union created a panel of experts that the students will present to in order to help determine which countries will receive the grant money. “We are really excited about this opportunity to help kids in our community! We care about improving financial education and this program accomplishes that for these 9th grade students. In addition to the students, this program is improving the lives of people around the world and is an awesome opportunity that we are extremely proud to be a part of,” stated Meyer.

Most of the loans granted will be between $50 and $100 and will help the students with lending and collection knowledge in addition to global knowledge of developing countries. The payback of the loans will create a self-perpetuating program to be used by students in future years.

Friday, May 15, 2015

4 Fun, Inexpensive Things to Do in St. Cloud This Summer

Summer is right around the corner— as long as the typically temperamental Minnesota weather mood swings calm down. So what are your plans this summer? Lengthy road trips, summer camps for the kids, and excursions to the Mall of America can get expensive very quickly. If you’re looking for fun, inexpensive activities to do this summer while sticking to your budget, read on.

1. Parks and Rec
Whether you are interested in strolling around, people watching, dog walking, or disc golfing, St. Cloud offers a variety of parks for you to enjoy your time outdoors. In fact, with over 90 recreational parks to choose from, you have a site to suit your every need. Additionally, visit one of our specialty parks; you can learn about local history at the Stearns History Center and Nature Reserve, smell the beautiful roses at Munsinger and Clemens Gardens, canoe along the Beaver Island Trail and Park, or swim in the Quarry Park and Nature Preserve in neighboring Waite Park.

2. Sports, Sports, Sports!
What better way to spend a warm summer night than catching a baseball game with the St. Cloud Rox at Joe Faber Field. St. Cloud also hosts a variety of summer league sports programs such as the Central MN Youth Soccer Association for kids or adult-league softball and volleyball. If you are more fan than athlete, visit the Minnesota Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame.

3. St. Cloud Standbys
Every August, the Benton County Fair arrives to the thrill of St. Cloud natives. With amusement rides, a petting zoo, numerous talent contests, fair food classics, and a beer garden, the Benton County Fair offers a mix of fun and entertainment for everybody. This year, the fair will be hosting, ‘The Wall that Heals,’ a 250 foot traveling replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Don’t miss it!

4. New Classics
Summertime by George at Lake George hosted by the St. Cloud Rotary Club has recently become a summertime classic. Every Wednesday night, Lake George plays host to a free music concert with different local artists every week. Set out a blanket and listen to wonderful music, then visit the craft and food stands with local fare available. This year also marks the 10 year anniversary of the Downtown St. Cloud Art Crawl. With two opportunities to enjoy free art, music, and entertainment, be sure to wander about St. Germain Street on the evening of June 12th and all day August 14th. 

Bonus for Kids A family-oriented town, St. Cloud hosts a variety of kid-friendly activities to enjoy. There are many playgrounds and splash pads around town, such as the River’s Edge Splash Pad, that offer sanctuary on days pushing 100 degrees. The Great River Educational Arts Theatre hosts a children’s theater year round for kids to engage in culture and entertainment on an affordable basis. St. Cloud institutions such as Parkwood Cinema and the Municipal Athletics Complex offer kid-friendly discount days for inexpensive fun for the family.

There are many options all around St. Cloud for you to enjoy a fun, carefree, and budget-friendly summer. Now get out there and enjoy the sun while Minnesota weather allows us!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Four St. Cloud Federal Credit Union Services You May Not Know About

St. Cloud Federal Credit Union provides personal financial care to its loyal members and community partners. We are a not-for-profit credit union that emphasizes building personal and genuine relationships and helping our members get the most out of their finances. Read on for four great St. Cloud Federal Credit Union services that you may not know about.

Free ATM Network

On the go and in need of cash? You should be able to have quick access to your own cash, and with a St. Cloud Federal Credit Union checking account, you can easily take advantage of a free ATM network service through CO-OP Network and the MoneyPass Network. By texting your location to a provided code, you’ll be able to find the nearest surcharge-free ATMs. Make sure to utilize all the available credit union benefits such as making free withdrawals up to $500 a day, transfers, and inquiries with a St. Cloud Credit Debit Card or ATM Cash Card, accessing your primary savings account or checking account 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Youth Savings Accounts

Help your kids develop an excellent financial future by helping them create a savings account. The St. Cloud Federal Credit Union has a variety of options for your child to begin saving at any age. They offer valuable benefits that include, but are certainly not limited to providing special incentives for deposits made by children, special gifts when a youth account is opened, a low minimum balance of only $10.00, no fees for monthly maintenance, and free 24 hour account access by phone. Opening a Youth Savings Account will help your child develop healthy financial habits at a young age, and it will help you in the long run as they save for their first car or budget for college.

Payroll Deductions and Direct Deposit

With the benefits of automatic payroll deductions, you can consistently add to your savings account without even thinking about it. It’s as easy as determining what percentage of your paycheck you would like to deduct, and watching the money enter your savings. This will make it much easier to visualize that new car or trip to Aruba that you’ve been saving your hard-earned money for.

St. Cloud Federal Credit Union also offers direct deposit, meaning that on payday, you can avoid the hassle of driving to the bank and waiting in a long line. On payday, you can withdraw cash at an ATM, transfer money and make payments online instantly.

Discounted Tickets

Planning for events for the whole family to enjoy shouldn’t create a huge hole in your bank account. In addition to excellent member services, you can take advantage of the community benefits and score great deals on tickets for the whole family to popular Minnesota summer events like Valleyfair and the Renaissance festival. St. Cloud Federal Credit Union even offers discounted movie tickets to Marcus Parkwood Cinema so that you can see all the latest summer blockbusters at a great value!
Don’t wait to get access to these great St. Cloud Federal Credit Union services!