Selfreliance Ukrainian American Federal Credit Union was founded in 1951 as a democratic financial cooperative run by its members for the benefit of the members and the Ukrainian American community. Only members of Selfreliance Association of American Ukrainians are eligible for membership in the credit union. Selfreliance Association accepts as members: individuals of Ukrainian descent, by birth or marriage; members of Ukrainian parishes, religious communities or other Ukrainian community organizations. The credit union is owned and governed by its members, and provides services only to its members.
Credit Union Governance
The primary governing body of Selfreliance Ukrainian American Federal Credit Union is its membership, which gathers one a year at the Annual General Meeting of the Members to elect its volunteer Board of Directors and to ratify any necessary changes to the By-Laws. Each credit union member in good standing has one vote. During the year the credit union is governed by the elected nine-member Board of Directors, which is charged with the responsibility of providing direction and setting policy for the Credit Union and its staff.
The Board of Directors elects an Executive Committee, as well as Credit and Supervisory Committees. The Credit Committee verifies member loan applications and grants loans. The Supervisory Committee reviews all credit union operations and informs the members of its findings.
Selfreliance Association of American-Ukrainians, Inc.
Credit Union membership is limited by federal legislation to individuals who belong to a specific "field of membership". SUAFCU's field of membership is Selfreliance Association of American-Ukrainians, Inc.
Selfreliance and the Community
Selfreliance occupies a special place within the rich mosaic of Ukrainian life. The credit union serves not only as a financial and economic institution, but also as a community leader. As a democratically run cooperative institution, SUAFCU is "wholly owned" by its members. It unite all members, from all religious backgrounds, regardless of their political or ideological philosophies. SUAFCU will always remain the cornerstone of Ukrainian life.
During its first 15 years, SUAFCU provided its members with over $4,156,000 in loans. 29 Ukrainian physicians, veterinarians, and dentists established their practices. Members opened 13 gasoline stations and started 30 other businesses. 1,200 Ukrainian families purchased their own homes – all with funds borrowed from SUAFCU.
The "Ukrainian Village" grew and prospered around its Ukrainian churches. Members formed many cultural and community organizations within its geographic boundaries. The community's viability mitigated the pressures of assimilation, so prevalent at the time. "Ukrainian Village" continues to be the focal point of Ukrainian life in Chicago, attracting young and old alike.
SUAFCU supports the efforts of its members in establishing various associations, cultural and social organizations. These institutions maintain the integrity of the community thereby supporting growth in membership of the Credit Union. SUFCU is proud of its financial support of these varied institutions.
SUAFCU maintaines an ongoing, mutually beneficial relationship with all religious denominations within the Ukrainian religious community. Several of the credit union’s offices are located at or near Ukrainian churches.
With its affordable loans and beneficial services, SUAFCU financially helps its members strengthen their economic standing. Our involvement with community organizations helps preserve and maintain the viability of the Ukrainian community in Chicagoland.