Fat Tuesday … Our Day to Reflect on People Helping People

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No doubt you’ve seen the highlights from the Hedonistic party that is Mardi Gras in New Orleans … and maybe a few of you have traveled to The Big Easy to revel in years past. But of course, there’s a much deeper meaning to Mardi Gras in the Catholic community, as the day concludes Carnival season and ushers in Lent.

For those of us who work at the League, First Carolina Corporate Credit Union, the Carolinas Credit Union Foundation and the local offices of CUNA Mutual Group (we all share the same building) … Fat Tuesday has taken on a very special meaning the last three years. Each year the Louisiana Credit Union League express ships a King Cake to our building, and we all gather to enjoy the yummy baked goodness while searching for the Baby Jesus hidden inside the cake. (Here’s a link to a PDF slide show from the event this week, which includes the reaction by the NCCUL Director of Education & Financial Literacy, Ed Agnoli. Ed was the lucky guy who found the Baby Jesus.)

The LCUL sends the cake to say thank you for the assistance provided by credit unions in North & South Carolina in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina & Rita in 2005. Credit unions provided more than $120,000 in direct support to credit union staff affected by these storms through the CCUF Disaster Relief Fund. Many other credit unions also provided support individually and through the National Credit Union Foundation as well.

Patricia English, who heads up the League’s Audit Department, also drove a mobile branch to Mississippi to help a credit union whose facility had been destroyed in Katrina.

For us, the Fat Tuesday King Cake a remembrance of the powerful cooperative principles that bind us all together in one Movement, as well as a chance for us to reflect on the blessing it is to be able to humbly assist others in need.

It’s also a poignant reminder of the countless hurricanes, floods and storms that have struck the Carolinas, and the times when our credit union neighbors stepped in to help us. So to our friends in Louisiana, we in NC & SC offer thanks for your generosity, and wish you all continued success in your efforts to rebuild lives and communities along the Gulf Coast.

(It bears mentioning that we also offer our sincere sympathy to the people and communities impacted by the tornado outbreak in the South February 6th.)

In case you missed it, here’s a video recorded by the Mississippi Credit Union Association to say thank you for the hurricane assistance provided by credit unions worldwide …

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