Great Lakes Credit Union (GLCU), a community-minded financial institution serving northern Illinois, today announces the official launch of its Foundation for Financial Empowerment, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Great Lakes Credit Union Foundation for Financial Empowerment is established as the charitable and volunteer arm of GLCU and aims to personify the credit union philosophy of 'people helping people.' Embarking on a mission to foster financial wellbeing among members, employees, and communities, the Foundation is devoted to enabling financial empowerment for all, regardless of socioeconomic status.

GLCU Foundation's centerpiece is the HUD-Approved Housing and Financial Counseling Program, one of the largest in Illinois. In the past two years, the program has helped nearly 900 families to better manage their finances and maintain their homes. A remarkable 60% of participants have successfully established sustainable budgets, highlighting the program's effectiveness.

“The launch of the GLCU Foundation for Financial Empowerment marks the beginning of an empowering journey for many in our community,” said Matthew Rizzie, Executive Director of the GLCU Foundation for Financial Empowerment. “Our mission is to enhance the financial well-being of our members, employees, and the wider community, emphasizing inclusivity and accessibility irrespective of socioeconomic status. Our HUD-Approved Housing and Financial Counseling Program stands as a testament to our commitment - in just two years, we've helped almost 900 families achieve financial stability and secure their homes. As we step into this new chapter, we're not just providing services, but nurturing dreams and building financially empowered futures.”

GLCU Foundation's financial counselors’ partner with clients to comprehend their unique needs, curate personalized action plans, and implement practical strategies. Continuous follow-up and support ensure that individuals reach their financial goals. Additionally, the Foundation serves as a hub for further community resources to instigate positive financial changes.

The GLCU Foundation will oversee GLCU’s "Great Wave" volunteer program, in which 56% of GLCU employees have volunteered nearly 1,500 hours at 75 events in 2023, eclipsing the 1,400 total hours GLCU volunteered in 2022. In a commitment to community service, the Foundation encourages volunteerism among GLCU employees by granting up to 8 hours off annually for individual volunteer work.

"The GLCU Foundation is thrilled to share that just six months into the year we’ve surpassed last year's volunteer hours,” said Rizzie. “Encouraging volunteerism and giving back to our community is woven into the fabric of GLCU and an integral part of the Foundation for Financial Empowerment. As we educate and empower through our partnerships and financial literacy programs, we are reminded that the impact of local actions reverberates to create wider positive change."

Furthermore, the Foundation works in conjunction with local nonprofits, colleges, middle and high schools to deliver financial education through its youth literacy programs, financial education videos, and other content. These strategic partnerships with aligned organizations aim to increase the Foundation's reach and impact on financial literacy education and housing affordability.

The Foundation also offers direct support to the community through donations, grants, sponsorships, and scholarships; recent examples include a $25,000 donation to the Waukegan Public Library to help purchase a mobile library van and $15,000 in college scholarship awards.

About the GLCU Foundation for Financial Empowerment:

The GLCU Foundation for Financial Empowerment is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, committed to enhancing the financial wellbeing of its members, employees, and the community at large. It strives to enact positive change through financial literacy programs, donations, grants, sponsorships, and volunteer initiatives. To learn more about the Foundation, visit

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