Commonwealth - Cooperative Federal

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Commonwealth - Cooperative Federal
Commonwealth
News from Cooperative Federal, Syracuse’s community development credit union.
Fall 2013|#102
In this issue... (Click to jump to a story)
Homeownership
A True Member Story
New Food Coop
Open Hand’s Festival
SINCE OUR FOUNDING DAYS,
COOPERATIVE
FEDERAL
Be A Hero!
HAS RELIED ON THE SKILLS AND STEWARDSHIP
OF VOLUNTEERS
OUR MEMBERS HAVE SERVED AS
5 Things You Can Do to Get
Ready for Homeownership
Life in Syracuse brings a lot of perks. We live in a place
that looks like a city, but feels a lot like a small town. We’re
surrounded by breathtaking lakes, gorges and mountains,
with some of the cleanest drinking water on the planet.
Local agriculture yields a bounty of tasty and wholesome
ingredients, both to our own kitchens and a growing list of
fantastic, independent restaurants. We have a rich legacy of
social activism, and our urban center is home to prestigious
cultural, educational, and medical facilities.
This list goes on and on, but there’s one more perk that cannot
be overlooked: Syracuse is one of THE most affordable
places to own a home in the United States. Homeownership
is a powerful tool for strengthening neighborhoods, and
Continued on Page 2
Building a Family
A True Member Story
Loans from our credit union have helped many people
establish a home or a business, but this may be the first time
we’re helping someone start a family! Kishi and Bradford
Ducre took a personal loan to pay for some of the placement
fees associated with the adoption of their first child.
Kishi holds her doctorate in environmental justice and moved
to Syracuse eight years ago to accept a faculty position at
the University. She and her husband found a new home on
a quiet street in the University neighborhood, and it wasn’t
long before she became a member of Cooperative Federal.
TELLERS, LOAN REVIEWERS, PAINTERS,
GARDENERS , ROOFERS, AND WRITERS
Prepárese para
ser
propietario AND STUFFED THOUSANDS
THEY HAVE FIXED LEAKS, VOTED ON POLICY,
UPON THOUSANDS OF ENVELOPES
¿Sabía usted que Syracuse es uno de
BUT BEHIND THE SCENES, WE ARE STILL A
los sitios más económicos
de los EEUU
GRASSROOTS CO-OP:
en términos de comprar una casa? No
obstante,
aunque
OWNED
, CONTROLLED
, AND STEERED
OUR MEMBER-OWNERS
los precios sean bajos, el camino a BY
comprar
una casa
puede ser largo. Y tan pronto como obtenga su casa, va a
requerir una vigilancia constante para asegurarse que no la
pierda — destruyendo su crédito y perdiendo el valor de
la propiedad en este proceso. Si usted está considerando
hacerse propietario, le ofrecemos 5 cosas que puede hacer
ahora para prepararse.
WE HAVE COME A LONG WAY OVER THE PAST 3 DECADES,
1. Ahorrar, ahorrar, ahorrar. Nunca es demasiado pronto
para comenzara ahorrar para su casa. Necesita ahorrar
no sólo para el depósito, sino también para emergencias y
reparaciones de la casa. ¿Qué hará si alguien en su familia
se enferma de repente, o pierde su trabajo? ¿O si se rompe
el horno durante la primera tormenta de nieve del año?
Necesita tener suficientes ahorros para seguir haciendo sus
pagos de hipoteca e impuestos cuando las cosas están mal
temporariamente — y estar al tanto de los costos inevitables
de reparación y mantenimiento de casa.
2. Conocimiento de su reporte de crédito. Si usted tiene
cobranzas sin pagar, pagos atrasados, juicios abiertos, o
ha agotado la línea de su tarjeta de crédito, puede ser
muy difícil calificar para una hipoteca con una tasa baja de
interés. Es esencial saber que los acreedores, del pasado y
del presente, han reportado al buró de crédito, para que
Usted pueda enmendar los errores, y formar un plan de
acción para reparar su crédito.
3. Aumentar su capacidad crediticia. Tan pronto como
Continued on Page 7
Continua en la Pagina 3
Cooperative Federal • Finance for the People since 1982
Tel: (315) 471-1116 • www.cooperativefederal.org • [email protected]
Eastside Office • Mailing Address
Fall
7232013
Westcott Street, Syracuse, NY 13210
Northside Office • Assisi Center
Southwest Office • Southwest Community Center
Page
1
#102
800 North Salina Street,Commonwealth
Syracuse, NY 13208
401 South Avenue,
Syracuse,
NY 13204
Homeownership, Continued
building wealth that can be passed down to future generations
– helping to break the cycle of poverty and ensure that our
children have a real shot at success.
plan. Call (315) 473-0211 to register for a free Homebuyer
Matched Savings Orientation Workshop.
2. Know what’s on your credit report.
You know that saying, “what you don’t know can’t hurt you?”
Well, when it comes to your credit history, that is most definitely
not true! If you have unpaid collections, late payments, open
judgements, or maxed-out credit cards, it can be very difficult
for you to qualify for a mortgage and get a nice, low interest
rate. It’s essential that you know what your
current and past debtors have reported to the
1. Save, save, save.
Syracuse is one of THE
credit bureaus so that you can address blemishes,
It’s never too early to start saving for your home.
most affordable places to
dispute errors, and make an action plan for
You need savings not only for a downpayment,
own a home in the United
getting your credit into good shape.
but for emergencies and home repairs. What will
States. ... Yet, even with
you do if someone in your household suddenly
] Start Here: By federal law, you’re entitled to a
low real estate prices, the
becomes ill, or gets laid off from work? Or if road to buying a home can free copy of your credit report each year, from
your furnace breaks during the first snowstorm
each of the 3 major credit bureaus – TransUnion,
be long and steep.
of the year? What happens if both of those
Equifax, and Experian. You can access these
things happen at the same time?
free reports at annualcreditreport.com. Or,
if you’d like hands-on help retrieving and deciphering your
The first rule for successful homeownership is to expect the
credit report, you can make an appointment with a Financial
unexpected. You need to have enough savings to keep on
Counselor at Cooperative Federal. A $15 fee gets you a
paying your mortgage and taxes when things temporarily go
30 minute consultation, and a copy of your credit report –
awry – and to keep up with the inevitable home maintenance
including your credit score (which is not included in the free
and repair costs.
reports from annualcreditreport.com). Call (315) 476-1451
for info or to make an appointment.
] Start Here: With Cooperative Federal’s Homebuyer Matched
Savings Program, you can earn up to $9,500 in down payment
3. Boost your credit score.
matching grants when you save $2,000! Along the way, our
Once you understand what’s on your credit report, you can take
counselors will work with you to create a budget and savings
steps to improve your credit score! First, clear up delinquent
debts or collections – either by paying them off, requesting a
payment plan, or disputing them (if you don’t recognize the
debt, or think you already paid it) – and be sure to pay all
of your bills on time, every month. Next, compare your credit
balances to your credit limits. If you have three credit cards with
a combined credit limit of $5,000, but you have a combined
balance of $4,950, your credit score will take a real beating.
Try to pay down your balances, request a higher credit limit, or
even apply for a new card that you can keep at a $0 balance.
(Make sure you can resist the temptation to use up any new
credit you receive!)
Yet, even with low real estate prices, the road to buying a
home can be long and sometimes steep. And once you own a
home, it takes constant vigilance to make sure you don’t lose
it – tanking your credit and loosing your equity in the process.
If you’re considering homeownership, here are five things you
can do NOW to start preparing.
Homebuyer
Matched Savings
Workshops
First-time homebuyers can quadruple their savings
toward home purchase through our Matched
Savings Program. The combined fundscan be used
for downpayment, closing,
or pre-closingcosts!
] Start Here: The math behind your credit score is extremely
complex, so make sure you understand how things work before
you make major changes. Consult resources like http://www.
myfico.com/CreditEducation – or, come to Cooperative Federal
for expert advise that is tailored to your situation. We have
several fantastic products that can help you deal with debt,
such as free balance transfers to our low-rate credit card, debt
consolidation loans, and a unique Credit Builder Club. Our
Counselors can also help you make an action plan and track
your progress over several months, or more! Call (315) 4761451 to speak with a counselor, or (315) 473-0242 to speak
with a loan officer.
Attend an Enrollment Workshop to learn more.
Call Kira Crawford at (315) 473-0211 for more
information or to register.
4. Hit the books.
Buying a home is a complicated process, and homeowners
have many responsibilities. You need to arm yourself with
Continued on Page 3
Commonwealth #102
Page 2
Fall 2013
knowledge to ensure that you get a good deal on a quality
home you can truly afford, and to make sure you’re prepared
for the full scope of responsibilities that come with being a
homeowner. Have a list of questions to ask sellers, realtors,
insurance agents, and mortgage officers, and be sure that you
know the pros and cons of different mortgage products.
] Start Here: There are many books and articles that you can
use to educate yourself. You can also speak to a counselor at
Cooperative Federal, or take a class with agencies such as
Home HeadQuarters. Learn more about Home HeadQuarters’
homebuyer education classes at www.homehq.org, or call
(315) 474-1939 x283.
5. Plan ahead.
There is a wealth of information and assistance available to
homebuyers in Syracuse, from non-profits like Cooperative
Federal, Home HeadQuarters, the Northeast Hawley
Development Association (NEHDA), UNPA, Syracuse Model
Continued on Page 8
Ojo, Continua
Usted entienda lo que está en su reporte de crédito, puede
tomar pasos para aumentar su puntaje de crédito. Lo más
importante es establecer una buen historia de pago en
todas sus deudas. Resolver los pagos atrasados—puede
pagarlos en su totalidad, o pidiendo un plan de repago,
o tambíen puede cuestionarlos (si no reconoce la deuda, o
si usted piensa que ya lo ha pagado) —y asegurarse de
pagar todos sus cuentas a tiempo cada mes. Luego, revise sus
balances pendientes y compárelos con sus límites de crédito.
Si tiene tres tarjetas de crédito con un límite de crédito total
de $5,000, pero entre las tres debe un total de $4,950, eso
va a dañar su puntaje de crédito. Intente pagar sus balances,
solicite incremento de límite de crédito, o solicite una nueva
tarjeta que puede mantener a un balance de $0. (Cuidado:
¡Asegurarse de poder resistir la tentación de usar el nuevo
crédito que recibe!)
4. Ser un buen estudiante. Comprar una casa es un
proceso complejo, y los propietarios de casa tienen muchas
responsabilidades. Usted necesita llenarse de conocimiento
para asegurarse que obtenga un buen precio para una
casa de calidad que usted pueda mantener, y que esté
preparado para todas las responsabilidades de convertirse
en propietario. Debe tener una lista de preguntas para
hacer a los vendedores, agentes inmobilarios, agentes de
seguro, y corredor hipotecario, y estar seguro de saber lo
bueno y lo malo de los distintos productos hipotecarios.
5.Planificar. Hay una abundancia de información y ayuda
que está disponible a los compradores de casa en Syracuse,
pero independientemente de donde usted solicite ayuda,
¡HAY QUE planificar! Si espera hasta que la casa de sus
sueños aparezca a la venta en el mercado, puedes perder
la oportunidad de asistencia financiera. Comprar una casa
sin la educacíon y preparación adecuada puede resultar en
Fall 2013
más deuda de la que puede manejar, o puede pagar más de
lo necesario. De todos modos, las consecuencias pueden ser
serias: problemas con el flujo de caja, mayor deuda, e incluso
la ejecución de la hipoteca.
Listo para empezar? Cooperative Federal tiene muchos
productos y servicios diseñado a ayudar a la gente a lograr
su meta de comprar una casa.
] Homebuyer Matched Savings. ¡Obtenga hasta $9,500 en
subvenciones cuando ahorras $2,000 durante 10-24 meses!
Sobre la marcha, nuestros consejeros trabajaran con usted
para crear un presupuesto y plan de ahorro, para que esté
preparado a enfrentar los contratiempos antes y después de
comprar su casa. (Aplican limites de ingreso.) Llama ae 4730261.
] Construir el crédito. Nuestros consejeros pueden ayudarle
a obtener y entender su reporte de crédito. Recibirá una copia
de su reporte, incluyendo su puntaje de crédito. Podemos
trabajar con Usted para crear un plan de acción y mejorar
su puntaje. Además, tenemos productos fantásticos para
ayudarle así a lidiar con su deuda, como transferencia de
balance gratis a nuestra tarjeta de crédito con una tasa de
interés baja, préstamos de consolidación de deuda, y nuestro
exclusivo Club de Construir el Crédito. Llama a 473-0212.
] Asesoramiento para compradores de vivienda. Si tiene
preguntas o necesita ayuda navegando en el proceso de
comprar una vivienda, ¡le podemos ayudar! Prepárese a
comprar una casa con ayuda experta, a través de Home
Base, nuestro programa de asesoramiento de comprar una
vivienda (aprobado por HUD, el Departamento de Vivienda y
Desarrollo Urbano de los EEUU). Llama a 473-0231.
Page 3
Continua en la Pagina 4
Commonwealth #102
Cooperative Thinking | A Column by Carl Mellor
Fostering a Cooperative Economy
In the last issue, I talked about how the proposed National
Cooperative Development Act would pave the way for a fairer,
stronger economy. This time let’s look at the resources that do
exist for cooperative development and how the cooperative
economy is growing in our region.
The primary resource in existence today is a network of centers
that provide technical assistance, training and education for
groups starting or already operating cooperative enterprises.
In the Pacific Northwest, the Northwest Cooperative
Development Center plays that
role. In the Midwest, Cooperative
Development Services serves
communities in Iowa, Wisconsin
and Minnesota.
cleaning supplies, offers an alternative
to convenience stores with high prices
and limited selections. Beyond that, it’s
situated in a new eco-efficient building,
a rarity in a South Side neighborhood
where that kind of construction hasn’t
happened for almost 40 years.
There are other positive implications as
well. In an area where unemployment is rampant, Eat to Live
provides jobs. It validates the notion
of community control by operating as
a member-owned organization. Most
importantly, it challenges the notion
that economic empowerment for an
urban neighborhood is improbable
and unrealistic.
And in the Northeast region,
the Cooperative Development
To be sure, the new cooperative
Institute
(CDI),
based
in
didn’t arise overnight. There were
Sherburne Falls, MA, covers
Source: https://www.facebook.com/EatToLiveFoodCoop
conversations with neighborhood
New England and New York
residents, organizations working together under the leadership
State. CDI, like its counterparts across the United States,
of the Southside Community Coalition, and an extensive
doesn’t certify cooperatives or approve their plans. It exists
campaign to generate funding for Eat to Live. Indeed, the coto support organizations embracing collaboration, democratic
op received funds from 3 foundations, New York State, and
governance, and other cooperative principles. The groups
entities such as Syracuse University and National Grid. All in
they serve come in many flavors—food co-ops, housing and
all, the organizing process has taken more than 5 years.
healthcare providers, retail operations and others.
That mix mirrors the overall composition of the cooperative
movement in the USA. CDI participants include dairy farmers
in New England, the folks who founded the Liberty Ship Café
in Richmond, California, and the roughly 200 taxi drivers who
belong to Union Cab in Madison, Wisconsin. Union Cab is the
largest taxi operation in Madison.
When new cooperatives spring up, they reflect local needs
and local energy. This summer, for example, a worker-owned
venture in Boston began an innovative recycling project based
on reusing left-overs from restaurants. The group composts
food scraps for farmers and collects discarded vegetable oil
for biofuels.
In our own city, the Eat to Live Food Cooperative is just about to
open its doors to the public at 2323 S. Salina St. The brand-new
store, which will sell fruits and vegetables, meats, dairy, and
Don’t miss the 2013 New York
Cooperative Summit!
Saturday, September 28 , 9:00 AM-5:30 PM
South Side Innovation Center
2610 South Salina Street, Syracuse, NY 1320
For more details, please visit www.newyorkcooperative.net
Commonwealth #102
Once it opens, Eat to Live is moving forward with an ambitious
agenda including purchases from local farmers whenever
possible, holding nutrition classes, and evaluating access issues.
How can the store best serve people who have difficulty
traveling to the South Salina St. site?
This and other issues will be resolved by the co-op’s staff and
members who own the store. As in any cooperative, member
participation is a critical resource. Find Eat to Live on Facebook
to stay in the loop, and learn how you can become a memberowner.
-Carl Mellor, Volunteer Columnist
Ojo, Continua
¡Un Nuevo Cooperativa de Comida Viene
Pronto!
Los negocios cooperativos son una herramienta importante para
fortalecer las economías locales y crear un mundo que sea más
justo para todos. En algunas cooperativas, como Cooperative
Federal y cooperativas de comida, los socios son los propietarios;
en otros, llamados cooperativas de empleos, los empleados
son los propietarios. En cualquier caso, este modelo de negocio
contradice el “status quo,” operando democráticamente y
poniendo al pueblo primero.
Continua en la Pagina 5
Page 4
Fall 2013
Member Orginization Spotlight:
Open Hand’s Festival Welcomes You to the North Side
When you think of puppets it’s often on a small scale—a mitten
over one’s hand with a jolly face and moving arms in the style
of Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood or Punch and Judy. But our friends
at Open Hand Theater have completely exploded this idea
from our childhood, using larger-than-life puppets to tell stories
that celebrate the human experience. On September 14 from
11:00 AM-4:00 PM, the puppets from Open Hand’s Castle at
the corner of Prospect Avenue and North Salina Street will take
to the streets for the International Arts & Puppet Festival, a
free, family-friendly event filled with surprises.
“We’re celebrating a sense of family,” emphasizes Geoff
Navias, Artistic Director at Open Hand. Truly, family is at the
forefront of any Open Hand event, but the Festival will be on
a much larger scale than we’ve ever seen from the Theater
before. Rooted in a variety of different cultures, attendees will
enjoy an assortment of performances, music, art, and dance
that will appeal to all generations. The idea of family will
further extend to include camaraderie among businesses and
organizations on the North Side. Geoff hopes that festivalgoers will treat the event like a North Side “open house,” taking
the opportunity to venture out and explore the neighborhood.
Several members of the Northside Business Partnership will
offer specials to customers during the big day.
Cooperative Federal may be relatively new to the North Side
business family, but our ties run deep. Open Hand has been
a member of our credit union for 25 years.“It’s been great
to have the credit union join us over on the North Side by
opening the local branch on North Salina Street,” Geoff says.
“It’s been a good partnership, investing locally and being able
to gather and use our resources for building the community.”
The International Arts & Puppet Festival is another way Open
Hand can bring people together and show families all of the
great things happening on the North Side, including “giant
puppets walking about,” he laughs.
Unique performances are scheduled throughout the day of
the Festival, and will include African drumming, South Indian
dance, and a classical string quartet. There will be arts and
crafts activities for kids and live painting performances. The
International Arts & Puppet Festival is made possible, in
part, by an Economic Development grant from the County of
Onondaga, administered by CNY Arts. Stay tuned to Open
Hand Theater’s website (www.openhandtheater.org) for more
details. We’ll see you there!
-Mary Beth Schwartzwalder
Marketing Specialist
Ojo, Continua
Syracuse ya tiene varias cooperativas, pero hay una nueva que
abrirá este otoño. Después de varios años de planificar, organizar,
y recaudar fondos, un grupo de activistas del South Side están
preparándose para abrir Eat to Live (Comer para Vivir). Su nuevo
edificio en 2323 S Salina St. acaba de ser terminado, y pronto
vendrán productos agrícolas frescos, comestibles, y otras cosas
para la casa. La tienda será abierta al público, pero ¡también
puede convertirse en socio propietario! Encuéntrelos en Facebook
(/EatToLiveFoodCoop) para estar informado.
Divertirse con la familia en la feria
internacional de las artes y las
marionetas
Una de las organizaciones únicas en el membresía de Cooperative
Federal es Open Hand Theater (Teatro de la Mano Abierta), un
grupo de artistas que usa marionetas enormes para contar cuentos
que celebran la experiencia humana. El 14 de Septiembre, desde
las 11:00 AM hasta las 4:00 PM, las marionetas del Castillo de
Open Hand (en la esquina de Prospect Avenue y North Salina
Street) saldrán a la calle durante La Feria Internacional de las
Artes y Las Marionetas, un evento gratis para la familia lleno de
sorpresas. Actuaciones serán programadas a través del día, no
sólo marionetas sino la danza del sur de India, una banda de
Open Hand performers at a past event
Continua en la Pagina 6
Coming this October, don’t miss Open Hand Theater’s A World of Puppets performance season! Beginning
October 5, children are invited to the Castle on N. Salina Street for two magical performances each month.
Visit www.openhandtheater.org for more details.
Fall 2013
Page 5
Commonwealth #102
AND WE STILL NEED
OUR MEMBERS TO BE
INVOLVED
AND ENGAGED
IN ORDER FOR OUR
CREDIT UNION TO
GROW AND THRIVE
PAID INTERNSHIP
Help staff our Youth Credit Union
Program at Henninger, Fowler,
and Nottingham Schools.
TALK ABOUT US
Tell your employer or local
community center about the
educational programs and
services we offer.
SINCE OUR FOUNDING DAYS,
LEND A HAND
HAS RELIED ON THE SKILLS AND STEWARDSHIP
Join our Building & Grounds
Committee, volunteer in our
financial education and outreach
department, or help us move
forward with adoption of
Green Business Standards.
OUR MEMBERS HAVE SERVED AS
BE A LEADER
COOPERATIVE FEDERAL
OF VOLUNTEERS
TELLERS , LOAN REVIEWERS, PAINTERS,
GARDENERS , ROOFERS, AND WRITERS
THEY HAVE FIXED LEAKS, VOTED ON POLICY,
AND STUFFED THOUSANDS
UPON THOUSANDS OF ENVELOPES
WE HAVE COME A LONG WAY OVER THE PAST 3 DECADES,
BUT BEHIND THE SCENES, WE ARE STILL A
Nominate yourself for the Board
of Directors or Credit
Committee, and learn what it
takes to run Coop Fed.
Elections are every March.
SPEAK UP!
Let us know what you love, what
you hate, what you’d like to see
us do differently. We appreciate
hearing from our members!
GRASSROOTS CO-OP:
INTERESTED
BY OUR MEMBER-OWNERS
HERO?
OWNED, CONTROLLED , AND STEERED
IN BEING A
Contact Rachel Greene:
call 473-0214 or email
[email protected]
Ojo, Continua
tambores africanos, y un cuarteto de cuerdas clásico. Habrán actividades de arte para los niños, representaciones de pintura
en vivo, y ofertas especiales de los negocios locales. ¡Unase a Cooperative Federal, Open Hand, el resto de la comunidad del
Northside para un día increíble!
Continua en la Pagina 7
Commonwealth #102
Page 6
Fall 2013
Building A Family, Continued
Ojo, Continua
Sea un héroe del Credit Union
Desde nuestros días de fundación, Cooperative Federal ha
confiado en los talentos y la gestión de nuestros voluntarios.
Nuestros socios han servido como cajeros, escritores, pintores,
jardineros, techadores y evaluadores de préstamos. Ellos han
arreglado goteras, votado en la elección de la política de
nuestra organización, y empaquetado miles y miles de sobres.
Hemos logrado mucho en las últimas tres décadas, pero
todavía necesitamos que nuestros socios sigan involucrados
para que nuestra organización sea exitosa. ¡Aquí hay algunas
maneras en las que Usted puede ayudar!
• Dile a tu empleador sobre los programas educativos y
servicios que ofrecemos.
• Hágase socio de nuestro “Building and Grounds Committee”, o en nuestra oficina de educación financiera.
• Nomínese para nuestra Mesa de Directores o Comité de Crédito
• Denos su opinión! Diganos lo que le encanta, lo que odia, y lo que le gustaría cambiar.
Llama a Raquelita a 473-0214 para participar.
Construyendo una Familia: Historia
verdadera de una de nuestras socias
Los préstamos de nuestra cooperativa han ayudado a muchas
personas a establecerse como propietarios de su propia casa
o negocio, pero ¡esta puede ser la primera vez que estamos
ayudando a alguien a empezar una familia! Kishi y Bradford
Ducre tomaron un préstamo personal para pagar algunos de
los cargos de adopción de su primer niño.
Kishi se mudó a Syracuse hace ocho años para aceptar un
posición en la facultad de la Universidad de Syracuse. Ella
y su esposo encontraron una casa en una calle tranquila en
el vecindario de la Universidad, y poco tiempo despúes ella
se hizo socia de Cooperative Federal. Su carrera progresó
rápidamente, se ganó la permanencia; recientemente le
ofrecieron la cátedra del departamento de Estudios AfroAmericano.
Sobre la marcha, Kishi y Bradford
vinieron a Cooperative Federal
para ayudarles a mantener las
finanzas en orden—incluyendo
una transferencia de balance a
nuestro programa de tarjeta de
crédito la primavera pasada. Con
esta transacción ellos obtuviernon
una tasa de interés más baja y
al mismo tiempo apayaron las
finanzas de la comunidad, Kishi
ganó un Kindle Fire a través de
nuestro concurso “Gana, Gana,
Continua en la Pagina 8
Fall 2013
Her career has progressed rapidly. She earned her tenure,
and was recently named chair of the African-American Studies
Department.
Along the way, Kishi and Bradford turned to Cooperative
Federal for help with keeping their finances in check – including
making a balance transfer to our credit card this past spring. In
addition to getting a lower interest rate and the satisfaction of
supporting community finance, Kishi won a Kindle Fire through
our “Win, Win, Win” balance transfer contest.
Getting a family started has not gone as smoothly. A
devastating stillbirth in 2008 was followed by a period of
infertility. Finally, Kishi and Bradford started pursuing other
options. They probably know more about the options available
than most people. They have an adopted niece, as well as a
close friend who is adopted.
Bradford’s parents also
The couple was told that,
fostered 25 children over
once they had completed their
the years. Given all the
home study, it would take
options for adoption and
about 10 months to match
fostering, they felt the
them with an available baby.
best choice for them was
Less than two weeks later,
an open adoption of a
over the Fourth of July long
newborn through a private
weekend, they got the call.
agency. Kishi prefers this
option because “the mother
chooses you and you know who the mother is. I think that’s the
best arrangement for our family.” As their child grows up, they
will send pictures to the birth mother through the agency. Later
on, if both parties decide they would like more contact, it can
be arranged through the agency. As Kishi describes it, “You
choose your level of openness.”
The credit union became an important part of the process in
July when an infant suddenly became available. The couple
was told that, once they had completed their home study, it
would take about 10 months to match them with an available
baby. Less than two weeks later, over the Fourth of July long
weekend, they got the call.
Kishi describes her call to Coop Fed on July 5 as “desperate.”
Our lobbies were packed with members preparing for a long
holiday weekend, and some staff were on vacation. In spite of
the frantic circumstances, the credit union approved the loan
in just a few days. But it just wasn’t fast
enough. Kishi recalls, “I missed out on my
first placement because I didn’t have the
money in place.”
Members Kishiand Bradford
at their Westcott neighborhood home.
Page 7
Since then, the Ducres have been on a bit
of a roller coaster. Far from waiting ten
months, they have already had several
calls for permission to show their profile to
potential birth moms. Meanwhile, Kishi and
Bradford are stocking up on diapers and
formula and, with the help of Cooperative
Federal, they are financially prepared for
the call that will change their lives.
-Barbara Kobritz, Outreach Volunteer
Photos by Stasya Erickson, Board of Directors
Commonwealth #102
Ojo, Continua
Homeownership, Continued
Gana” de transferencia de balance.
Neighborhood Corporation, Jubilee Homes and
Empire Housing. But no matter where you seek
help, one fact remains the same: you MUST
plan ahead!! If you wait until that dreamy little
bungalow down the block hits the market, you can
miss out on a great deal of financial assistance.
Empezar una familia no ha sido fácil. El devastador nacimiento de un
bebé muerto fue seguido por un periodo de infertilidad. Finalmente, Kishi
y Bradford empezaron a perseguir otras opciones, y se decidieron por
una adopción abierta con una agencia privada. Kishi prefiere esta opción
porque “la madre te escoge a ti, y tu sabes quién es la madre. Pienso que
es el mejor acuerdo para nuestra familia.” Mientras su niño crece, ellos
pueden enviar fotos a la mamá biológica a través de la agencia. Como
explica Kishi, “Tu puedes escoger su nivel de apertura.”
El credit union se convirtio en una parte importante del proceso de
adopción en Julio cuando un infante estuvo disponible inesperadamente.
Les informaron a la pareja que tan pronto como completaron el estudio
casero, sería cerca de 10 meses para emparejarlos con un niño disponible.
Menos que dos semanas después, durante la festividad del 4 de Julio,
ellos recibieron la llamada.
Kishi describe su llamada a Cooperative Federal el 5 de julio como
“desesperada.” Nuestros vestíbulos estaban llenos de gente preparándose
para la fiesta del 4 de Julio, y algunos empleados estaban de vacaciones.
A pesar de las circunstancias frenéticas, el credit unión aprobó el préstamo
en solo pocos días. Pero eso no fue suficiente. Kishi recuerda “Yo perdí el
primer puesto porque no tenía el dinero en ese momento.”
Desde entonces, la vida para los Ducres ha sido un poco como subirse en
una montaña rusa. En vez de esperar diez meses, ellos ya han recibido
varios llamadas para pedirles autorización a compartir su perfil a
madres biológicas potenciales. Mientras tanto, Kishi y Bradford están
acumulando pañales y leche de fórmula y, con la ayuda de Coop Fed,
están preparados financieramente para la llamada que cambiará sus
vidas.
For example, Empire Housing provides grants to
renovate and rehabilitate aged homes, but you
need to apply for those grants before you close
on your mortgage in order to qualify. (Check out
http://empirehousing.org/)
Rushing into a mortgage without proper
preparation and education can also lead you to
take on more debt that you can handle, or to pay
much more than you really need to. Either way,
the consequences can be serious: tight cash flow,
mounting debt, and even foreclosure.
Owning your own home is a fantastic feeling,
and we’re so lucky to live in a place where even
people of modest means can achieve that goal.
But like all of the best things in life, homeownership
takes hard work and dedication – and you don’t
need to figure it out all on your own! When you’re
ready to get started, Cooperative Federal will be
waiting.
-Meagan Weatherby
Program Sustainability & Outreach Coordinator
-Traducido por Rachel Greene y Patricia Farfan-Cáceres
SPECIAL HOURS
Monday 10/14 — CLOSED for Indigenous People’s Day (Columbus Day)
Monday 11/11 — CLOSED for Veteran’s Day
Thursday 11/28 — CLOSED for Thanksgiving
Got Feedback?
We want to hear from you.
Send questions & comments to:
Board of Directors: [email protected]
Staff - General: [email protected]
Staff - Member Service:
[email protected]
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Commonwealth Newsletter
in your email!
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Syracuse Cooperative Federal Credit Union - Established 1982
Our mission is to rebuild the local economy in ways that foster justice, serve people and communities that are
underserved by for-profit financial institutions, and responsibly manage our members’ aggregate assets.
Federally insured by NCUA
Commonwealth #102
Page 8
Fall 2013

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