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Horizons Federal Credit Union Celebrates 80th Anniversary

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Horizons Federal Credit Union celebrates its 80th Anniversary on February 11th, 2017. Horizons FCU will commemorate the occasion with a series of events and activities throughout the year, beginning with a member celebration at Horizons FCU branches on Friday, February 10th. The credit union will hold its Annual Meeting and Reception on April 26th.

The oldest credit union in the area, Horizons FCU opened its doors in 1937 as Binghamton U.S. Employees Federal Credit Union, originally serving postal employees. In 1972, the credit union changed its name to U.S. Employees Federal Credit Union before expanding its field of membership to include federal employees that lived in Chenango, Cortland, Delaware, Otsego, and Tioga counties.

The credit union underwent a series of mergers in the mid-1980s which again expanded membership to include many police, firefighters, and medical personnel to join. In 1999, the name was again changed to Horizons Federal Credit Union, to better reflect the community and diverse group Horizons serves. Membership was then redefined through a Community Charter as it currently stands – “Anyone who lives, works, worships, or attends school in Broome County can become a member.”

“For 80 years, our staff, management, and board of directors have been committed to providing excellent, professional service to members while also serving and improving this community,” said Mario DiFulvio, President and CEO of Horizons Federal Credit Union since 1990. “It is important to us to carry out the credit union philosophy of ‘People Helping People’ and we feel that we have done that throughout our history and will continue to do so for years to come.”

Horizons FCU was named the Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce Corporate Citizen of the Year in 2008 and has won the Credit Union National Association’s Diamond Award for a Community Event, the United Way Chairman’s Award, and is a 10-time winner of the Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Community Service Award.

Horizons is proud to contribute to and partner with fellow community organizations like the Binghamton Zoo at Ross Park, Safe Streets Association, United Way of Broome County, the American Cancer Society, and the American Heart Association.

Horizons FCU to Celebrate International Credit Union Day and the Credit Union Difference

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On October 20, 2016, Horizons Federal Credit Union will join credit unions around the world in celebrating International Credit Union Day (ICU Day).

Credit unions are not-for-profit financial cooperatives, offering the same services as other financial institutions, but with a people-first philosophy. Since 1948, on the third Thursday of every October, credit unions have celebrated the principles that make credit unions the best financial partners of people all over the world. “The authentic difference,” this year’s ICU Day theme, zeroes in on what makes credit unions different from banks, fintech startups and other financial institutions—our principles.

Credit unions all over the world have operated according to the same core principles since the 1850s, when a group of weary German workers, tired of being exploited by loan sharks, formed the world’s first credit union by banding together to provide affordable credit to each other.

These principles are derived from the 7 cooperative principles, shared by all cooperatives. They are:

1. Democratic Control
One member = One vote. Whether you have $5 or $5 million, your voice is equal.

2. Open and Voluntary Membership
Members are connected by a bond of association, fostering a sense of community.

3. Non-Discrimination
Credit unions are open to all without regard for race, orientation, nationality, sex, religion, gender, or politics.

4. Service to Members
Credit unions are ranked No. 1 in service in numerous surveys, because they exist to serve members, not profit.

5. Distribution to Members
Credit unions return all profits to their members through dividends, lower fees, better savings rates, and improved services.

6. Building Financial Stability
Credit unions are historically stable organizations. They’re owned by the people they serve, so they don’t take unnecessary risks.

7. Cooperation Among Cooperatives
Credit unions and cooperatives share the same principles. Together, they amplify each other’s good works.

8. Social Responsibility
Credit unions strive for social justice by committing to strengthening their communities and helping people of modest means.

9. Ongoing Education
Credit unions prioritize financial education for their members, employees, and communities as part of their pursuit of social justice.

This is why we celebrate ICU Day at Horizons Federal Credit Union. We think ideas like people before profit, social responsibility, and financial education improve lives. It’s why cooperative banking is a key component of helping people in developing countries get access to microloans, or a middle-class couple in Broome County receive an affordable mortgage for their first home.
So when we wish you a Happy ICU Day at Horizons Federal Credit Union, know that we’re thanking you for belonging to a movement that’s helping your neighbors—and people around the world—grow and thrive and follow their dreams.

If you have any questions about the credit union philosophy or how Horizons Federal Credit Union can help you, stop by or contact us at (607)724-5876 or at info@horizonsfcu.com.

Horizons FCU Will Celebrate Credit Union for Kids Miracle Jeans Day

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The power to save a life is in your pocket.

On Wednesday, September 14th, Horizons FCU staff will wear jeans to help raise funds for local children who need special medical help. We call it Miracle Jeans Day. With the support of our members, we’ll work to raise funds for Geisinger Janet Weis Children’s Hospital in Danville, Pennsylvania – our local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. Contribute $1 any time between now and September 14th and post your name on a Miracle Jeans Day icon in any of Horizons’ branches. Meet the kids who are counting on us at CMNHospitals.org. We hope you join us. Reach into your pocket and pull out a dollar. When you make a donation, you make a difference.

Horizons FCU to Host 15th Annual Family Fun Friday

Horizons Federal Credit Union will celebrate its 15th annual Family Fun Friday with a press conference on Friday, August 19th at 12:00 p.m. at the credit unions main office at 120 Main Street in Binghamton.

The award-winning Family Fun Friday provides free, fun and educational activities for children of all ages. This year, the children will enjoy crafts, games, music by Mix 103.3, B-Mets mascots, a visit from the Zoo Mobile, face painting, and a school supply and backpack giveaway and more. Plus free hotdogs, ice-pops, popcorn and drinks will be provided.

In addition to local families, Horizons invites local community groups to participate. This year children from the Binghamton Housing Authority will attend, with transportation provided with the help of BC Transit. Family Fun Friday is also made possible with the generous support of ACCO Brands – Mead® and FiveStar®, Barnes & Noble of Vestal, Binghamton Health Campaign, Binghamton Mets, Binghamton University, Binghamton Zoo at Ross Park, CCE BC Eat Smart New York and last but not least, Huff Ice Cream Co.

In 2011, 2013 and 2015 Horizons won the Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Community Service Award for its many community efforts as well as three for its Family Fun Friday program. This award recognizes a credit union that goes beyond personal finance education and gives back to members of the community through outreach programs. Over the last 14 years Family Fun Fridays has touched the lives of hundreds of children and families – fulfilling the credit union’s social purpose and inspiring a sense of pride for the community.

New Visa Credit Cards Can Now Be Activated

If you haven’t already, you can now activate your new Visa credit card by calling the toll free number provided with the card.

All Visa cards starting in 4109 have been replaced with a new Visa EMV Platinum card beginning with 4465.

Horizons has switched to this global standard for cards equipped with computer chips in the wake of numerous large-scale data breaches and increasing rates of counterfeit card fraud. Credit card issuers are migrating to this new technology to protect consumers and reduce the cost of fraud.

Current Visa balances will not be updated until the conversion is complete. We expect completion on or around Wednesday, May 25th.

Other important facts about your new credit card:

  • Your new card has a new expiration date and a new number.
    • You will need to provide your new card number to any automatic billers you have set up. This includes automatic debits or payments such as subscriptions, monthly bills, or recurring charges.
  • Your new card will also have a new payment address, which will be included in the mailing with your new credit card.
    • If you use a bill pay service to pay your credit card, you will need to update that information as well once you have activated the new card.
  • The link to view your credit card account will change once the new card is activated. Instead of EZCardInfo, the new website is GoToMyCard.com, where you will be asked to register the card and create a new account upon first login.

Questions about the new Visa credit cards? Contact us at (607) 724-5876.

Horizons FCU Teaches Financial Education at Windsor Middle School

Staff from Horizons FCU presented three sessions on financial education to members of Windsor Middle School’s 6th, 7th, and 8th grade classes at the school’s annual Up With Life Day on Friday, May 6th. Topics included the differences between needs and wants, checking vs. savings, and tips on developing good spending habits at a young age. Approximately 20 students attended each 30-minute session.

Up With Life Day is Windsor Middle School’s yearly event which features presentations from area businesses and organizations, all aimed at providing real world tips and information to students. Other presenters in 2016 included the Windsor Fire Department, a wilderness survival expert, health and wellness coaches, and local musicians.

Horizons Outstanding Students Nights Return to NYSEG Stadium in 2016

Horizons FCU will once again sponsor Binghamton Mets Outstanding Students Nights this year during B-Mets home games at NYSEG Stadium. Outstanding Students Nights honor area outstanding students with recognition during the game and a walk across the outfield.

The dates for this season’s Outstanding Students Nights are April 8th, April 22nd, May 6th, and May 27th. Beginning at 5:30pm and up until first pitch, kids can visit the Horizons FCU table inside the main entrance at NYSEG Stadium and receive a free balloon.

Horizons FCU is proud to partner with the Binghamton Mets and wish the team the best of luck during the 2016 season!

Southern Tier Credit Unions Collect Nearly 5,000 Lbs. of Food for CHOW

Local credit unions came together to collect nearly 5,000 pounds of food to donate to the Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse (CHOW) in support of the group’s holiday fundraising efforts. The Southern Tier Credit Union Alliance (STCUA) held a food drive from November 30th through December 24th, 2015. In total, the Alliance collected 4,277 pounds of food along with cash donations.

Canadian Pacific previously ran the “Holiday Train of Lights,” which raised food and cash donations for food banks along its rail line. In October 2015, a 280 mile stretch of the track was sold to Norfolk Southern Corp, meaning Canadian Pacific could no longer bring the holiday train to Binghamton communities. The sale created a large void and Southern Tier credit unions were determined to step up and help.

“We knew that we could step up and help the community and make up for the lost donations from the Holiday Train,” said Mario DiFulvio, President of the Southern Tier Chapter of the New York State Credit Union Association. “With the food and cash donations, we can safely say we were able to provide more than 5,000 pounds of food to our neighbors during the holidays.”

The holiday food drive continued a long partnership between STCUA and CHOW. The two organizations previously collaborated on several occasions, including projects like the CHOW Community Garden and the Mobile Food Pantry.

The Southern Tier Credit Union Alliance is comprised of Empower FCU, GHS FCU, Horizons FCU, SEFCU, Sidney FCU, UHS Employees FCU, and Visions FCU. The mission of the Alliance is to embody the credit union mantra of “people helping people,” through community outreach, volunteering and fundraising.

CHOW, through its network of 30 food pantries located in Broome County Congregations and over 30 soup kitchens and community meal programs, distributes over 130,000 pounds of food each month.

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