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December 2010Vol 1, Issue 8
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We can make a difference
Message From
Executive Director

Happy Holidays! 


In thinking about our work here at MCUCD, I'd like to think we're sort of like "Santa's helpers" all year long.  Together with Montana's Credit Unions and our community partners, we're helping Montanans build wealth (you'll read an inspiring story from Hamilton), stay warm (check out our energy tips), and be safe (sign up for the scam alerts!).While our gifts are not wrapped in pretty paper donned with a shiny bow, they are valuable nonetheless.


In return, we are inspired. Inspired by the determination and resilience of the Montana families our programs are helping. Take the participants in the Rural Montana Saves program, for example, highlighted in this issue.  Those enrolled in the program are currently living in poverty with young children. In the face of many obstacles, they continue to put money into savings each month, receive career counseling, and take financial education courses.How's that for inspiring? It is certainly a gift for us to be part of this empowering process. 


All of us here at MCUCD look forward to the continued gift of your partnership and friendship in 2011!


In This Issue
Making a Difference
Scam Alerts
December Consumer Topic
Quick Links  
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Find us on Facebook
Making A Difference

For the past four years, the Rural Montana Saves (RMS) program has been helping hardworking individuals and families pursue their dreams of education. RMS is a special matched savings program geared toward families with limited incomes to save for college or job training, while increasing their financial know-how through financial education. Participants who fulfill the program requirements receive $3 in matching funds for each $1 they save, up to $500 to be eligible for the maximum match of $1,500!  RMS Program

As a participating credit union in the program since 2007 the staff at Ravalli County Federal Credit Union in Hamilton have seen first-hand how the RMS program makes a difference in the lives of participants. Nancy Sabo, the RMS contact at Ravalli County FCU, recently shared a success story of a young woman who inititally had 'two false starts' since the beginning of RMS, but is now actively enrolled and doing well. 

"When she came in to take her pretest she was visibly stressed and was really down," Nancy reported. But after she had completed her required financial education classes and improved her score on the post test by 20 points, Nancy noticed a dramatic change. "Her whole demeanor has seemed to have changed. She looks more confident and more chipper, every time I see her she looks at me straight in the eyes." Nancy's observation perfectly illustrates how RMS can transform the lives of participants in ways that go far beyond dollars and cents.

Rural Montana Saves is a project of Rural Employment Opportunities (REO), Montana's Credit Unions, Student Assistance Foundation, and Montana State Extension Service. The RMS program is still accepting applications, for more information visit - click on Matched Savings Accounts/IDAs.

This project is funded (in part) under a contract with the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services.  The statements herein do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Department.

Sign Up for Scam Alerts

Scam artists constantly modify their ploys to avoid detection. Now, to help Montanans stay ahead of the latest scams, the Montana Department of Justice is providing instant updates as new schemes emerge. To receive Scam Alerts in your inbox, email with "Scam Alerts" in the subject line.  Remember, "Forewarned is Forearmed."


Consumer Topic of the Month
CRC GraphicSave Money and Energy
Winter is upon us, and that means increased energy bills to heat and light our homes. To help Montana consumers meet this additional expense, MCUCD is devoting December to energy issues. Throughout the month, we'll provide tips to help consumers find savings in their energy bills, highlight energy assistance programs to help families meet their energy costs, and explain tax credits available to help make households more energy efficient.

Visit the Consumer Topic of the Month for tips to help you save hundreds of dollars on your energy bills.