Your Story Starts with Freedom

I want to tell you and, in turn, have you tell others, just how amazing it is to be part of Freedom.  The numbers show we’re part of a strong financial institution headed in the right direction, but the thing everyone needs to know is that Freedom is living the credit union philosophy.  We realize providing access to the financial products and services people need or want is essential; we realize providing those products and services at the most reasonable rates and fees is an obligation; and we realize ensuring convenient access with branches, over the phone or through online and mobile banking is a priority.  Beyond that, however, is that our commitment to people helping people; to fair and honest transactions, to integrity and trustworthiness, and a pledge to do what is right by our employees, our members and our community is the true lifeblood of Freedom.  When we put people first, Freedom thrives. Our strategic focus of member and employee experience has helped drive the financial strength of Freedom.

When we promote Freedom we use words like trust, partner, member-first financial solutions and others like them, to share our story because one of our biggest challenges is awareness.  Despite all the marketing, commercials, community involvement, word of mouth, people still don’t understand the Freedom difference, the benefit of banking at Freedom.  They don’t know that we do mortgage or commercial lending, they don’t realize we have the same technologies and accessibility as a large national bank.  They don’t realize that too big to fail often means too big to care for people as individuals, to hear their story and do the best to help them achieve their goals.  When I think about this, I remember that Mr. Rogers quote I sent before about the helpers which I think applies here.  There are a lot of scary things; people focused on me rather than we and financial institutions or businesses putting self-interest before people’s well-being.  That’s why at Freedom, we strive to be one of the helpers.  We make it our mission to help by providing quality, affordable, cutting edge services and products for our members and being a partner in the community.  Whether its planning for retirement, setting a budget, buying a first home or new car, helping with medical or education expenses, taking a well-deserved vacation, or supporting a myriad of philanthropic and charitable endeavors to make our community better and improve the lives of our neighbors, the theme of the annual meeting “Your story starts with Freedom” says it best. 

Carry that message from here, because when you share your experience, and as more members join and benefit from all we have to offer, the more we can and will continue to evolve, thrive and grow.  Just as our members’ story starts with Freedom, our story endures because of them.

Don’t Walk Too Far Away from the Child Within You

 

When you’re a kid, basic stuff can bring great joy.  A cardboard box could be transformed into a castle or spaceship.  As a kid I had a trampoline; well, it was a big inner tube from a truck, with a piece of leather strapped around it.  Nothing like ones today, but it was everything I needed.  I could put on my superman suit and launch into the sky or lift it over my head pretending it was a boulder.  The simplest things meant so much.  As you get older, some of that can get lost and when days are filled working instead of playing, it can be hard to stay in touch with the child inside, but not impossible. 

 I think work can be fun.  That doesn’t mean it’s easy.  Days can be long, goals can seem unattainable and people can be challenging.  Despite that, I believe we can find happiness along the way if we try.  Sure, there’s a potential downside in fostering a business culture with that in mind.  There’s a risk you won’t be taken seriously, or the atmosphere may get too relaxed and people will lose sight of why we’re here.  It’s all about balance.  There is a time and place for formal and informal, for playfulness and professionalism.  Freedom is a business that provides an important service to our members and the community, but the Freedom experience is about what we bring to it, our personality and letting a little of that youthful exuberance shine through with each interaction.

 “Don’t walk too far away from the child within you, and never abandon the sense of wonder that magnifies the smallest of things into mountains of joy.  For one day, when you lose sight of happiness, that child within can guide you back to the things that once nourished your heart.”  ~ Dodinsky

 

Do No Harm

“Primum non nocere” is a Latin phrase that means “first, to do no harm.”  It’s a phrase associated with the medical profession; an oath taken by doctors. What if we all took that oath and lived our lives dedicated to not hurting others; essentially eliminating all forms of violence, aggression and abuse. That’s probably a utopia we’ll never see, but we should certainly work towards this ideal and, until that day comes, try and make sure the ones who don’t want to harm outnumber those that do.

There’s another equivalent phrase found in the Hippocratic school: “…either help or do not harm….”.  I think this speaks to what we do at Freedom; helping and/or preventing things from getting worse.  At Freedom, our priority is certainly to serve the needs of our members, but we can also help improve their financial condition by providing education, reducing expenses, creating budgets, helping build savings, and so on. There is more to Freedom than just cashing a check or approving a loan. We can help members avoid problems or prevent a worsening financial scenario.  In this regard, Freedom is not only a financial institution, but a financial health provider.

Stop by for a checkup.