U.S. Congressman John Carney and U.S. Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons (all D-DE) today joined the Delaware Community Reinvestment Action Council (DCRAC) and Wilmington community leaders to celebrate the grand opening of DCRAC's Stepping Stones Community Federal Credit Union. Stepping Stones FCU was built through a strong partnership between DCRAC, Delaware's financial services industry, non-profit organizations, and Wilmington community leaders. It aims to help local residents enter mainstream banking, and provide them with the financial tools to improve their own economic situations.
Membership in the Stepping Stones FCU is open to those who live, work, worship, go to school, or have an interest in alleviating poverty in the City of Wilmington. New members can open an account for as little as $5 and are granted access to the other financial education programs that DCRAC provides.
"Having access to bank services and affordable credit is critical to helping families escape poverty," said Congressman Carney, who serves on the House Financial Services Committee. "Part of the challenge is encouraging those in the community to take advantage of the savings and smart money management opportunities that banks provide. I'm very excited to help Stepping Stones, and its sponsor, DCRAC, meet this challenge and have decided to show my support by opening an account. I look forward to seeing this project grow as it reaches more people in our community."
"I believe programs like the Stepping Stones Federal Credit Union, which provides Delawareans with the knowledge and tools they need to better understand and manage their personal finances, are vitally important to the success of any community," said Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.). "Not only does this innovative program help Delawareans better manage their finances today, but it also empowers hardworking families with critical financial skills that will serve them well for generations to come."
"Stepping Stones Federal Credit Union is about giving unbanked and underbanked households the tools they need to achieve financial health." said Senator Coons. " It's about giving low-income individuals access to a credit union that breaks down barriers to banking, and serves as a pathway to a brighter financial future. I look forward to hearing many success stories from those who bank at Stepping Stones' Federal Credit Union."
"To paraphrase the ancient proverb: "a journey of a thousand miles begins with a first step,'" said Rashmi Rangan, Executive Director of DCRAC. "Today in Wilmington, the journey of saving a thousand dollars and more begins with a five dollar membership fee to join Stepping Stones Community Federal Credit Union. Five dollars in their share account gives our members ownership in the credit union. Breaking the barrier of entry into traditional banking, Stepping Stones offers the community an opportunity for economic inclusion. We know that our members will be inspired to join us in a journey toward financial growth for themselves and this credit union. Stepping Stones Community FCU is here to serve the thousands of Wilmingtonians who do not use regular banking services."
Stepping Stones FCU is now open Monday and Friday from 3:00 -- 7:00 p.m., and on Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. DCRAC's free financial counseling is also available to members upon request.