Breathe 379 Wins Freedom Federal Credit Union’s #FreedomToHelpChallenge

Credit Union Awards $1,000 to Small Local Non-Profit to Support their Hope Center

Breathe 379 awarded $1000

Bel Air, MD – Freedom Federal Credit Union is pleased to congratulate Mike Nolan, Founder, Executive Director, and volunteer for Breathe 379, for winning the 3rd annual #FreedomToHelpChallenge.   The six-week social media contest called for entrants to post pictures celebrating Harford or Baltimore County volunteerism for a chance to win $1,000 and other weekly prizes for their local charity of choice.  Each week individual volunteers and non-profit organizations posted pictures showcasing local volunteerism in an effort that reached all corners of the two counties.  Weekly winners and the Grand Award winner were chosen during public voting periods on Freedom’s Facebook page.

“I have to be honest, I’m completely blown away by it.  I wasn’t even going to enter thinking we didn’t have a chance to win, but on a whim, I posted a submission of our amazing volunteers, and our supporters took it from there.  We are so grateful for the Freedom To Help Challenge, for giving us the opportunity to showcase and thank our volunteers, and for everything Freedom has done for us in the wake of winning, not just in donations, but with publicity for our cause,” stated Mike Nolan.  “This award will now allow even more members of our community and beyond to be served by Breathe’s Hope Center! Thank you, Freedom Federal Credit Union, for helping us help others!”

Officially founded in 2016, Breathe 379 is based in the simple notion of helping others, whatever the need.  Breathe’s Hope Center, based in Edgewood, Maryland, looks quite different from most food and clothing pantries, providing a relaxing environment and complimentary coffee bar to help ease stress and offer the hope that is very much needed in everyone’s life from time to time.  The organization is probably best known for their B379 Toy Drive, which distributes thousands of toys to local Harford County children in need during the holidays.

Mike Nolan and volunteers Nick Nizer, Vice President and Manager of the Well at Breathe, Bailey Alampi, Manager of Bailey Sue’s Country Market at Breathe, and Cheryl Andrews, Manager of The Cabin at Breathe, were all recently honored in a check presentation held at Breathe’s Hope Center with the $1,000 grand award.  The Hope Center is located at 2124 Nuttal Ave. in Edgewood, Maryland and is open each Wednesday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. and the second Saturday of every month from 12 p.m. until 4 p.m. Learn more at breathe379.com.

 

About Freedom Federal Credit Union

Freedom Federal Credit Union is a community-chartered federal credit union offering consumer financial services to those who live, work, volunteer, worship, attend school, or have family in Harford or Baltimore County.  Additionally, Freedom offers a full-line of banking services for all businesses, associations, and other organizations that are based in Harford or Baltimore County.  Freedom has been in business since 1953 and has five locations throughout Harford County. To learn more, visit www.freedomfcu.org

Economic Forum

The 12th Annual Economic Forum – View from the Top

Presented By The Kelly Group

Business Loans

 

Please join our partners, The Kelly Group, along with Keynote Speaker, Anirban Basu, Chairman & CEO of Sage Policy Group, Inc., an economic and policy consulting firm in Baltimore, for this free, virtual event. Basu is one of the Mid-Atlantic region’s most recognizable economists. With wisdom, wit, and a keen economist’s grasp, Basu will focus on answering some of the top economic questions, on where we’ve been and where we’re headed—globally, nationally, statewide, and locally.

Click Here to register for this free event.

Wednesday, January 20th, 2021
6:30 pm – 8:00 pm

Registration for this free virtual seminar is required, and can be done ONLINE.

Estate Planning Seminars

ESTATE PLANNING VIRTUAL SEMINAR SERIES

Presented By Freedom Federal Credit Union

Foundations of Estate Planning

Beyond Estate Planning, How to Leave Your Greatest Legacy

Legacy Planning brings the human element into estate planning. What would happen to your loved ones if something should happen to you?  Would they have a process to follow? This seminar takes you beyond estate documents, discussing how you can convert chaos to clarity and closure. Legacy Planning follows a logical progression, and each participant will be given a workbook for planning purposes.  Legacy Planning is a dynamic process that is not hard—you just have to get started!   

Wednesday, January 13th, 2021
6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Registration for this free virtual seminar is required, and can be done ONLINE.

How Do I Give Myself an End-of-Year Financial Review?

Year End Financial Check Up

Freedom Federal Credit Union Recommends This 6-Step Financial Check-up Before 2021

Q: With 2020 drawing to a close, I’d love to give myself an end-of-year financial review before it goes.  Where do I begin?

A: Giving yourself an end-of-year financial review is a wonderful way to check on the progress you’ve made toward your goals, highlight areas needing improvement and update your accounts, funds and investments. Here’s all you need to know about this important end-of-year ritual from Freedom Federal Credit Union.

 

Step 1: Review all your debts and create a payoff plan

Take a few minutes to list all your debts and their interest rates. Have you made any real progress toward paying them off this year? Or have you stuck with minimal payments each month, leaving the actual balance to pile up since you’re mostly just paying for interest?

If your debt needs some help, you have two primary options for how to proceed:

  • The avalanche method. Focus on paying off the debt with the highest interest rate first, and then continue to the debt with the second-highest interest rate. Move through the list until you’ve paid off all debts.
  • The snowball method. Work your way through your debts, starting with the lowest-balance debt. Then, once it’s paid off, apply the payment that was previously committed to that debt to your new lowest debt. Repeat through the rest until all debts are paid off.

For both methods, be sure to pay the minimum balance on all your other debts each month. Try to boost your income and/or trim your monthly spending for extra cash and use it toward the first debt you are paying off completely.

Step 2: Automate your savings

Review your savings from 2020. Have you reached your goals? Have you forgotten to put money into savings each month?

Going forward, make it easy by automating your savings. Give us a call at to set up an automatic monthly transfer from your checking account to your savings account. [You can also set this up through your online and/or mobile banking with us.] This way, you’ll never forget to put money into savings again.

Step 3: Review the progress you have (or haven’t) made on financial goals

Have you made measurable progress toward your financial goals in 2020?

Take a few minutes to review your past goals, taking note of your progress and determining how you can move toward achieving them.

Step 4: Review your retirement account(s) and investments

As you work through this crucial step, be sure to review the following variables:

  • Your employer’s matching contributions. Are you taking advantage of this free money, or leaving some of it on the table?
  • The maximum IRA contribution limits for 2021. You will likely need to make adjustments for the coming year.
  • Management fees and expense ratios for your investments. Fees should ideally be less than 0.1%.
  • Your stock/bond ratio and investing style. You may want to take more risks in 2021 or decide to play it safer this year.
  • Your portfolio’s balance. Does it need adjusting?
Step 5: Create an ICE Binder

The events of 2020 underscored the importance of making plans in case one becomes incapacitated for any reason. Create an In-Case-of-Emergency (ICE) Binder to hold all your important documents in one place in case the unthinkable happens. Because of the sensitive nature of the information it holds, be sure to keep this in a safe place where it will not fall into the hands of identity thieves.

Include the following in your binder:

  • Medical information
  • Account information
  • Child care and pet care details
  • Online accounts and passwords
  • Insurance policy documentation and details
  • Investment accounts and details
  • A copy of your life insurance policy
  • A copy of your living will
  • A copy of your last will and testament

Step 6: Set new financial goals for 2021

As you finish reviewing your financial progress of the past year, look forward to accomplishing greater financial goals in the coming year.

A great way to turn dreams into reality is to set goals that are SMART:

Specific

Measurable

Attainable

Realistic

Timely

Here are some goals you may want to set for the coming year:

  • Create a monthly budget before January. Be sure to include all expense categories. Review on the first of each month and tweak as necessary.
  • Review the week’s spending with your partner each Friday night.
  • Pay off your largest credit card bill by 2022.
  • Start a vacation fund in February.
  • Cut out two subscriptions you don’t really use by mid-year.
  • Slash your weekly grocery bill by 10% before May.

Wishing you a financially healthy New Year!

Your Turn: Do you have any additional steps for your own end-of-year financial review?  Tell us about it on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. @FreedomFedCU

SVP of Business Banking Named to Department of Social Services Advisory Board

Bob Wehland
Bob Wehland
SVP of Business Banking
Appointed to Department of Social Services Advisory Board

Bel Air, MD –Freedom Federal Credit Union is pleased to recognize Bob Wehland, Senior Vice President of Business Banking, on his recent executive appointment to the Department of Social Services (DSS) Advisory Board in Harford County.   Wehland received commendations on his appointment by County Executive Barry Glassman and County Council President Patrick Vincenti.

The Department of Social Services Advisory Board is involved in every phase of DSS planning, operations, and funding.  The agency itself works under the mission to aggressively pursue opportunities to assist people in economic need, provide prevention services, and protect vulnerable children and adults.

Wehland comes to the board with over twenty years of banking management experience, and a long history of community involvement.  Wehland is currently the Vice President for the Mason-Dixon Business Association, for which he has also served as both President and Treasurer since his initial involvement in 1999. Around the same time, Wehland also joined the board of Mason-Dixon Community Services, for which he has been the Treasurer for the last eight years.

Wehland is also the current chair of the Veterans Committee for Abingdon Elks Lodge # 2354, where he recently coordinated and assisted in delivering 115 boxed lunches and 105 hot dinners to Veterans at Perry Point.

In addition to his role at Freedom Federal Credit Union, Wehland has coordinated employee volunteers to participate in over twenty different non-profit causes and over 1,500 hours of volunteer time as Chairperson of Freedom’s Community Outreach Committee, a role he has held since 2015.

When asked to join the DSS Advisory Board, Wehland expressed that he was both “humbled and honored to be considered for such an opportunity”.  “I have always believed it is important to give back to the community,” Wehland stated.   “Fortunately, Freedom Federal Credit Union shares this philosophy of giving back and people helping people.”

“Offering a hand up, especially in a time of crisis, makes our world and our community a better place,” Wehland continued.  “I hope to bring my knowledge, experience, and wisdom, along with my compassion and commitment to the DSS Advisory Board. I am very grateful for this opportunity and look forward to serving the citizens of Harford County in this new role.”

“Bob Wehland is as dedicated to his community as he is to the Freedom Federal Credit Union Team, and we could not be prouder” stated Mike MacPherson, Freedom’s President and CEO.  “Over the years, it has been incredible to see our community being served in meaningful ways by our Freedom employees, board directors, committee volunteers, and members.”

The Credit Union encourages employees to volunteer their time and skills to better serve the Harford and Baltimore County communities, including serving on local non-profit boards and county government boards and commissions.

WMAR-2 News Covers the #FreedomToHelpChallenge in a special segment

WMAR-2 Interviews Ashira Quabili

WMAR-2 News Segment and Article on Freedom’s #FreedomToHelpChallenge

WMAR-2 News recently interviewed Freedom Federal Credit Union Marketing Communications Coordinator, Ashira Quabili, on their 3rd annual #FreedomToHelpChallenge.

“The best part about the #FreedomToHelpChallenge is any charity any non-profit big or small can be involved and get something great out of it, you can enter a photo and reach thousands of people in a week that may never have heard of your cause,” said Ashira Quabili, the Marketing Communications Coordinator for Freedom Federal Credit Union. She added, “all of these charities are doing amazing things in our communities and this is a great opportunity for them to get their name out there and get their missions out there.”

Learn More about the Freedom To Help Challenge

 

Read more:

WMAR-2 News Segment and Article on Freedom’s #FreedomToHelpChallenge

About Freedom Federal Credit Union

Freedom serves and is open to anyone who lives, works, worships, attends school, volunteers, or has family in Harford or Baltimore County, MD. As a credit union, we are committed to putting you first, not shareholders, and helping you achieve your financial goals. Learn more at freedomfcu.org or call us 800-440-4120 to see how we can help.

Your Turn: Submit a photo for the #FreedomToHelpChallenge.  Post a picture on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Don’t forget to include the hashtag: #FreedomToHelpChallenge and tag us @FreedomFCU on Facebook and @FreedomFedCU on Twitter or Instagram.

Banking Reimagined My Foot

December 4, 2020

You know what annoys me?  Commercials.  One in particular gets under my skin.  It’s the commercial for Capital One.  It’s bad enough they talk about having no fees or minimums on checking accounts like they just thought of it or that you can bank on the go with a mobile app like no one else offers that.  No, it was the phrase “banking reimagined”.  You know what banking reimagined is?  A CREDIT UNION!!!

All you need to do is look at our history to know that banks are still banks no matter what kind of pretty package you put it in or spin you put on it.  You still get your best deal, have your best experience, at a credit union and with people like you.

Mike