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Home » Maps Celebrates International Credit Union Day 2023

Maps Celebrates International Credit Union Day 2023

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Happy International Credit Union Day!

On October 19, 2023, Maps Credit Union will join over 86,000 other credit unions worldwide to celebrate International Credit Union Day—and this year marks the 75th anniversary of the annual event.

Every year on the third Thursday in October, credit unions across the world celebrate International Credit Union Day, a day to reflect upon the history, spirit, and accomplishments of the credit union movement. It is also a day when we at Maps like to share our gratitude for the members who help make it all possible.

This year, to celebrate the global event, we are giving our members a chance to win 4 (yes, 4!) coveted tickets to the Ducks vs. Beavers rivalry game on November 24, 2023. The grand prize winner will be chosen on International Credit Union Day and notified soon after (see the details here). On that day, we’ll also choose lucky 10 winners (one from each of our 10 branches) who will win a branded blanket from the team of their choice (Oregon or Oregon State).

Our Origin Story

Like many of us, Maps Credit Union has teachers to thank for its success. We were founded by a group of educators and school employees who wanted a safe place for teachers and their families to house their money and get low-cost loans.

To address those needs, an organizational meeting was held on June 6, 1935, in what was then called Salem Senior High School. That day, a handful of teachers agreed to volunteer their time and talents to start a credit union that would benefit all employees of Marion County Public Schools and Willamette University.

Just one year earlier, in June of 1934, the Federal Credit Union Act had become law under President Franklin D. Roosevelt. This new law created unprecedented possibilities for people with common bonds to pool their relatively scarce resources for their greater good. Instead of traditional banking, people of all walks could now purchase shares in a credit union and find the financial independence necessary to build a new and better quality of life—even amid the hardships of the Depression.

The credit union movement took off like a rocket and by 1952, there were nearly 6,000 federal credit unions nationwide with more than 2.8 million members. Around the same time, founding Maps treasurer Harry Johnson retired from his role as principal of Salem Senior High and moved the entire credit union operation to his home kitchen at 2810 South 12th Street (around where Java Crew now stands). By 1955, the (then-called) Salem Public School Teachers Credit Union membership base had grown to 259 members and assets had reached $141,363. It would take just 7 years for the (soon-to-be-named-Maps) credit union assets to top the $1 million mark.

How We’ve Grown and Where We’re Going

We’ve come a long way since the days when our member deposits were kept in a teacher’s locked desk drawer. For one thing, our community now encompasses the entire Willamette Valley—not just teachers and school employees. And, our membership has soared from just 17 members (recorded on November 18, 1935) to more than 76,000 members. All this, and the cost of a share in the credit union (a.k.a., the opening deposit for your Membership Savings Account) is still just $5 (as it was in 1935). 

Our products and services have changed a lot over the years too, but the security of our members and the cooperative values we were founded on are still at the forefront of each development. We keep this commitment because our members allow us to provide increasingly innovative and forward-thinking financial services while also empowering us to give back to the communities we serve.

We’re growing, but our foundation remains the same—and as we continue to grow, we’ll never forget our roots. That’s why every step forward is a step we make together. Every goal is focused on the founding principle of helping our members find financial empowerment so that they, in turn, can help their community thrive. 

Our mission, Every Member Benefits, calls for us to be thoughtful and innovative. It asks us to focus on giving back to members through affordable loan rates, competitive savings rates, and products designed to meet our members’ needs. It calls us to serve our communities through volunteerism, charitable giving, sponsorships, and more. We do this both for and with our members.

We are deeply invested in the communities where we live in work. After all, our members are more than just our customers, they are our friends, our neighbors, and our families. We are committed to treating all members with respect and dignity and offering honest, fair options to all members at all times. As we grow and change, we hope to deliver the best possible collection of personalized services, financial guidance, innovative tools, and state-of-the-art technology to make our members’ lives easier.

This is our commitment to you—our members and our community—because you are the reason we are here.

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