There will be a year or two during our lifetimes that’ll challenge us. For most of us, 2020 may be one of those years. We have experienced seismic shifts in our day-to-day lives since the coronavirus pandemic began sweeping throughout the world, upending any semblance of order or predictability, demanding strength, testing fortitude. It has been a difficult year to put it simply.
However, it was a year that gave us time to reflect upon and hone our organizational values, to understand how they affect our relationship with you. We determined our five core values of Members First, Integrity, Teamwork, Innovation, and Empathy. While we hold all these values equal, it has been Members First that has guided our response to this year’s events. Every substantive action we’ve taken this year has always started with the question, “How does this help our members?” The answer to this includes the development of programs that have eased our members’ financial challenges and our response to protecting the health of everyone coming into our branches, to the refinement of our digital resources—everything from improving our call center response times to upgrading our website’s transaction tools to handle increased usage. We're here because of you, and we take that responsibility to heart.
We here at Hanscom Federal Credit Union have doubled down to focus on delivering the programs, products, processes, and services that have met the fluid, and often unpredictable, needs of our member owners this year. As a result, we have quite a few positive outcomes to report including:
- An expeditious response to the effects the COVID-19 pandemic wrought on our many of our members’ financial lives. We opened our LifeLine Loan program, which gave members with furloughs or reduced hours a loan of up to $5,000 interest free for the first 60 days, and waived the fee on our Skip-a-Loan payment program that helped over 2,500 members. We also instituted a mortgage forbearance program for our first- and second-mortgage/home equity line of credit (HELOC) holders.
- Successfully funding over $10 million in lending for our small business members through the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program, processing loan applications quickly and efficiently even with 80% of our employees working remotely.
- Our lending department offering a record number of home mortgages, refinances and HELOCS, adapting old processes to meet new realities, such as bringing mortgage paperwork to parking lots and homes so our members could sign with less contact.
- The opening of our Beverly branch in a new, easily accessible location for our North Shore members.
- Our Partner Relations team, a group that takes financial education into the workplace and our communities, radically changing their in-person presentation model to provide virtual financial education programming to members and businesses.
- A record number of visits to our MoneyWisdom blog in 2020, where readers consumed financial content specifically created to help them through the pandemic.
- Being recognized by Mastercard® through its annual Community Institution Segment Awards with a “Doing Well by Doing Good” award for making an impact in the community with its innovation, leadership and philanthropic outreach.
- Continued improvements to our online and mobile tools that keep our members’ assets safe and secure, while providing them with more flexible ways to transact and manage their finances.
- The outstanding work of the Hanscom FCU’s Charitable Foundation during challenging conditions, raising money for worthy charitable causes and supporting organizations such as the Home Base Program, Credit Unions Kids @ Heart/Boston Children’s Hospital, the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless, the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, and Crossroads, as well as $10,000 in donations for COVID-19 relief efforts among many other donations to other organizations.
True, it hasn’t been an easy year, but as the sages say, “This too shall pass.” I’m heartened and humbled by the small but meaningful acts of kindness, grace, and generosity I’ve been witnessing nearly every day, and I’m confident as we move into 2021, we’ll be bringing the best that we gave in 2020 along with us.
Our Hanscom Federal Credit Union family of dedicated and committed employees and volunteers wish you and your family a happy and healthy holiday season.
Chairman of the Board
Hanscom Federal Credit Union