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Design on a Dime (literally)  by Tara

November1

Not only do we have the BEST members in the world, but some of the most CREATIVE! We caught wind that one of our Linn Area Credit Union family members had created something so full awesome that we just HAD to feature her! We’d like to introduce you to Brenda and her fabulous penny table!

2What inspired you to make a penny table?
Well, I have wanted to make one for the last two years.  I saw a photo about people tiling a floor with pennies.  Plus, I love doing unique projects.

How long did it take you?
I started on a Friday afternoon and the resin was fully cured by the following Wednesday.

What was the process like?5
First, I had to sand down my dining room table. I wasn’t able to get it out the door, so I had to take it apart.  Once it was sanded, I started locating pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters.  I went to local home improvement stores to get most of my supplies (wood glue, black un-sanded grout, high gloss resin, tools, buckets, etc.).  Friday afternoon, we worked on getting everything where we wanted it.  I had a plan to use contact paper to help lay the coins on the table was I brushed the glue on.  Well, that was a disaster! The coins were just too heavy.  So I stayed up until 4AM on Saturday hand gluing everything.  It was a lot of work, but well worth it.  Once it was all glued, I started to use the un-sanded grout.  Once it was dry on Sunday I was able to pour the resin.  This was a very tricky 8process.  You have to make sure you mix it with the exact measurements.  If you don’t, it won’t pour or dry evenly.  Once poured, we had to use a hand torch to get the air bubbles out.  Then I was on an 8 hour watch for air bubbles, dust, flies, etc.  I had to make sure nothing got stuck in the resin.

Who helped you create this masterpiece?6
My niece Sydney and nephew Billy.  I also had some help creating the design from my daughter, Zoe.  And my friend, Matt, helped with the resin pour.

How much money in coins is on the table total?
It’s around $50 total.  I know that we used a roll of quarters, about 2 rolls of dimes and nickels each, and the rest in pennies.  It’s hard to tell the exact number.  I’m sure one day I will figure it out.  I had to cut some pennies, so I couldn’t be too sure.

7How did Linn Area Credit Union help you with this project?Well, I had to make about 3-4 stops at the credit union.  I had gotten a few rolls at a time.  When, we planned the design in the middle of the table, I needed new, shiny pennies.  On the rest of the table I wanted a mixture of new and old.  So I had to call around to all the LACU locations to get the right amount.  Everyone was so helpful!  They were extremely patient.

What are you doing with the table now?
Well, it is in the dining room.  It is used every day.  My daughter and I have already used it for meals and we also play board games.

What has been the reaction of your friends and family to the table?9
Well, my daughter has already gotten distracted while looking at all the different coins. Haha!  Most of the quarters were placed face down, so she searches for all the states.  Her favorite is Iowa.  I have posted this on Facebook, and sent emails to family and friends.  Everyone has been so excited and said it was a really cool idea.  I have even had some people asking to do the same to their tables.

How long have you been a part of our Linn Area Credit Union family?
It’s been about 5 years, maybe more.

10Anything else you would like to add??
This project would be nothing if it hadn’t been for the help of the following: Zoe Cronin, Jon Cronin, Sydney Adams, Billy Adams, Matthew Wolrab, and, of course, Linn Area Credit Union.  Thank you all!

 

Is there a cool project that somehow, someway Linn Area Credit Union has helped you conquer??? Shoot us an email at tbross@linnareacu.org. Maybe you’ll get featured in our Bloggity Blog, just like our friend Brenda!

TV Star: Kyanna  by Tara

October29

Meet Kyanna and sassy little Braelin – our newest TV Stars!

“I’m a mom, I’m a career woman, and I bank at Linn Area Credit Union because they know my time is valuable! I grew up in a small town and I wanted the same experience of going to the bank for my daughter that I had. When we bring Braelin’s piggy bank into the credit union, they always ask her what she’s saving her money for and they make her feel special.”

 

Women Build Project 2013  by Tara

October22

For the second year, Linn Area Credit Union helped support Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build Project. This program challenges women to devote at least one day to the effort to eliminate poverty housing. Eleven of our LACU family members were a part of this day and we also provided lunch for the whole crew. Laura from our Mt. Vernon Road office was kind enough to share her experience with all of you guys! Take it away, Laura!

photo Women Build 2013It was a beautiful day to build a house. On Saturday, September 14th a group of Linn Area women gathered to participate in the Women Build Day for Habitat for Humanity.  

I was lucky enough to have the privilege to work side by side with not only these ladies but with Kyle, the soon to be homeowner, and many others from Habitat for Humanity. Kyle is a single mom with two children who has worked on multiple Habitat homes and when the time was right she decided to apply for her own Habitat for Humanity home. Once an applicant is approved for the home, the work begins right away for the new homeowner. Homeowners are required to put “sweat equity” (build time) into their house and today was one of those days.  

While Kyle has a lot of experience building, this was my first time working on a Habitat home. I was feeling a bit photo 123anervous about what I would be doing especially when I heard that our group would be siding the outside of the house and rough framing inside. When I arrived, the buzz of saws and pounding of hammers filled the air. I wasn’t sure where to start or what to do but quickly found a spot to help. My first task was to hold boards while Kelsi, one of my fellow Linn Area teammates, sawed them for the staircase. I was good with holding the boards. Quite frankly the large circular saw scared me a bit and I wasn’t feeling the need to visit an Urgent Care that day.  

photo 109After we got the boards ready my teammates Jeni and Bobbie placed them on the stringers for the staircase. As I watched them, I knew that the stairs had to be just right. The carpet would need to lay smoothly over each one. Details that I had never really thought about, but now realized the importance of because one day soon a family would make many trips up and down those stairs.  

I then made my way outside to join the large group of ladies who were starting to putphoto 124 siding up. Let me tell you, you can’t just throw that stuff up there and – boom – it’s done. There’s measuring, cutting, “where are the studs”, how do we get around the utility meter, and that’s all before we even put one piece up! One of the Habitat team members came over and asked Bonnie and I to cut a piece of siding to go under the window at the back of the house. Yes, we could do this! We measured twice and cut once, crossed our fingers and started to put it up.  

Did I mention that this was a split level house and the window we were doing this for was not on the lower level?  

Needless to say, we did a heck of a job and got it up there on the first try.  

As the day came to a close there was a sense of accomplishment, empowerment, and joy. Laughter was shared and deeper friendships were developed through this experience. This wasn’t just about building a house. It was bringing the dream of home ownership to reality for a family, and in the process a special place for the Habitat for Humanity project was built in my heart too.photo 100

Affected by the government shutdown?  by Tara

October3

government2At Linn Area Credit Union,“We Are Family” isn’t just a tagline. We want to let you know that we are here for you during the government shutdown.

We understand this may be a difficult time financially for some people. Should you find yourself in a situation where you are unable to make a loan payment, or your paycheck is delayed or less than usual, please contact us at (319) 378-0101 and ask for a financial counselor or email hello@linnareacu.org with a brief explanation of your situation and we will get in touch with you as soon as possible. We have many options that may be able to help.

We’re here for you!

TV Star: Katherine  by Tara

September19

We are tickled pink to share with you our newest commercial featuring Katherine, a student at the University of Iowa. We think her story will resonate with many of you out there!

Join our Loved & Found program!  by Tara

September17

Loved and Found on stuffed animalsNever worry about losing a cherished item again thanks to Linn Area Credit Union’s Loved & Found program! Simply add one of our FREE Loved & Found tags to anything you wouldn’t want to lose.

Perfect for your kiddo’s stuffed animals, backpacks, purses, diaper bags, suitcases, briefcases, iPad cases, phones, yadda yadda! Not to be used ON children. Or dogs. (You get the idea!) Click here to sign up now!

How It Works
You take your family to enjoy a large outdoor event. Of course, your child insists on bringing along his favorite stuffed monkey. In the shuffle of things, the monkey gets dropped. How will it ever get returned to your little one???

Fear not. You are part of Linn Area Credit Union’s Loved & Found program and attached one of our FREE tags to your son’s bestie. Now for our story to have a happy ending…

A couple, who also attended the event, noticed the stuffed monkey laying on the sidewalk. They see that the beloved monkey is wearing a Loved & Found tag, which tells them to contact Linn Area Credit Union. As soon as we receive word that an item has been found, we send an email out to our registered Loved & Found members alerting them that an item has been found. You see the email, simply give us a buzz, describe the missing item, and – tah dahhh – time to reunite your child with their bestie! All is right in the world again.

How to Get Your Tag
As a registered Loved & Found member, you will received quarterly emails from Linn Area Credit Union as well as alerts when we find lost items. To register for your FREE Loved & Found Tags, just fill out the quick form below and then pick up the tags from the branch you indicated. Easy peasy!

Inspired by Kathy
Our Loved & Found program was inspired by a little stuffed monkey. Kathy the monkey was found at Balloon Glow, an event with 17,000 people in attendance. Through the use of social media, Linn Area Credit Union was able to reunite Kathy with her bestie, a three year old named Eli. This program has been put into place to help make sure that no other besties get separated.

The Nitty Gritty
Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about the Loved & Found tags:

  • FREE (pretty decent perk!)
  • Your contact information will remain safe since it is Linn Area Credit Union’s info printed on the tags
  • Measures 1.875” x 1.875″ soft, flexible square (still perfect for snuggling)
  • Plastic strap is included with the tag, but you are welcome to switch it out
  • Manufactured in the USA
  • BPA & phthalate free, Non-Toxic Soft Vinyl that is compliant with State & Federal safety regulations, CPSIA, & Prop 65 (whew – that was a mouthful!)

Click here to sign up now or stop by any of our walk-in locations!

VIDEO: I Mustache For Your Advice Winner!  by Tara

July26

Bosking and TaraWe revealed the winner of our “I Mustache For Your Advice” a couple of weeks ago (check out the post here), but have finally uploaded the video! Hey, better late than never, right? ;o)

Steve and his daughter Anna visited with us at our Mt. Vernon Road branch last month. Anna, who is 12, really wanted to get her dad something nice for Father’s Day, but didn’t have the money. She and her mom came across our email about the contest and Anna knew right away that she wanted to enter her awesome dad.

Here is the video of the adorable pair:

Congrats again, Steve! We hope the $200 helps as you redo your basement! (P.S. If you are busy redo-ing YOUR basement like Steve, we have super low rates right now!)

TV Star: Adam  by Tara

July19

EXCLUSIVE SNEAK PEEK! Linn Area Credit Union is about to start running a new and fabulous series of  commercials featuring our members! This spot won’t hit your TV until Monday the 22nd, but we’re giving YOU a special sneak peek. Drum roll, please…

Now, you might recognize Adam (and most of our other featured faces) from the TV Stars contest that we held on Facebook a couple months ago. We had such a great response that we ended up doing a couple more spots than we originally planned and had some cool photo shoots!

Keep your eye right here on the blog, as we’ll keep trying to give you sneak peeks as the spots are completed. :o)

Comment below: What did you think of our first new TV commercial???

Monkey Business: The play-by-play  by Tara

July15

There are downright crudtastic things that happen in this world and it’s so easy to lose faith in humanity… but then amazing things happen. Positive things – like what has happened with a little stuffed monkey, social media and Linn Area Credit Union.

Over 150,000 people were following this story on Facebook, asking for updates and rejoicing when the reunion happened. As well-covered as the glorious moment was, we know many of you are curious exactly how the whole thing went down. Here is a play-by-play, day-by-day (enjoy!):

Monday, July 1st

LACU BalloonAfter an incredibly successful, super crowded Balloon Glow (an event we sponsor annually), the Linn Area Credit Union marketing team was running around the entrances to clean up around 10:00 pm. A couple approached us carrying a lost stuffed monkey.

As a parent of an almost two year old, my heart plummeted straight into the ground. I got almost choked up as I studied this little piece of fluff.

So obviously loved. So obviously cherished. So obviously going to crash and burn the world of some little child out there! (And, to be fair, I also thought about the nightmare some parent was going to have on his or her hands.)

We are family” is more than just a tagline at Linn Area Credit Union. As parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, friends, co-workers – we are an overall pushover for kids. Yep, they are our admitted kryptonite. Flash that sweet little mug around these-here parts and you’ll surely skip away with a sucker… or ten. With a crowd of over 17,000 people, we knew a reunion would be a challenge, but we were determined to do everything possible to help find this Monkey’s bestie.

Tuesday, July 2nd

First thing Tuesday morning, we posted a pic on on Linn Area’s Facebook page:

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Figuring the parents would likely contact Brucemore and Freedom Festival, we posted the above on their Facebook pages as well (and contacted them personally to see if anyone had called). We added the same to local news pages.

Instantly, Monkey’s story started spreading like wildfire!

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And our very favorite:

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You even started to share stories of your own:

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You guys blew us away with your commitment to helping Monkey find his bestie:

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No strangers to having fun, we decided to take Monkey for a spin around the CU. He bopped into each department at our Blairs Ferry office to see what kind of monkey business he could find. Monkey business – something we’re never lacking in. ;o)

Our fraud specialist teaching the Monkey all about fake bills.

Our fraud specialist teaching the Monkey all about fake bills.

Helping to run the joint while the President is on vacay. What's that you say - we all get raises?!?! HOORAY!

Helping to run the joint while the President is on vacay. What’s that you say – we all get raises?!?! HOORAY!

*sigh* Monkey finds the Xerox machine.

*sigh* Monkey finds the Xerox machine.

Now THIS is what I call monkey business!

Now THIS is what I call monkey business!

 

There are many others, just click here to see the full set. To our surprise, people LOVED the pics and began sharing those as well!

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By the next morning, the original post had been shared 1,083 times and reached at least a whopping 54,000 people! This was all because big-hearted people like YOU shared the pic!

 

Thursday, July 4th

The Fourth of July arrived and, to be honest, we were shocked that Monkey hadn’t been reunited with his bestie yet. He had gotten into SO much monkeying around on Tuesday that I wasn’t sure he could be trusted in a financial institution all alone, so he got to take a road trip to my house. ;o) So many people had been asking if Bestie had been found and though we responded individually, we thought it might be time for an update. Linn Area always like to remind our members when we’ll be closed, so we thought we’d do the whole “two birds, one stone” thing:

FB 4th of July

 

Saturday, July 6th

No word. The buzz was all over Facebook, but Monkey was still in Linn Area’s care. We started to get nervous. What would our next step be? Would we adopt Monkey as our social media mascot? We were growing quite attached to the the little bugger. But YOU guys – you kept sharing Monkey’s story! YOU kept the hope alive!

And then…

 

Sunday, July 7th… 12:20am

At 12:20am, this was posted under the original Monkey post:

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I started screaming with joy! We did it! We actually did it! I was ecstatic that Monkey was finally going to be able to go home and couldn’t wait to get the full story. How was I ever going to wait until the next morning to get the rest of the story? Turned out, I wouldn’t have to!

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Wow – so that’s how we learned that Monkey is actually a “she” not a he and HER real name is Kathy! The pink shirt made a whole lot more sense now. ;o) Kathy’s bestie is a little 3 year old, Eli.

Because we knew so many people were following Kathy’s adventures with Linn Area and hoping that she would find her bestie, we knew it was time for an update – the best update EVER, in our humble opinion:

 

FB BFF found

The next morning, the following post popped up:

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That afternoon, Vicki and I connected. She was delightful! One of those people that you like so much that you can imagine yourself hanging out with her. We finally began comparing notes on what happened… let’s start with the back story. :o)

Vicki is the mom to 5 year old Aria and 3 year old Eli. She is originally from England, which is where most of her family lives. When Aria was born, she was given a little stuffed monkey, lovingly named Charlie after Vicki’s dad in England. When Eli was born, he also received a stuffed monkey that they decided to name Kathy after – you guessed it – his grandma in England. Kathy and Charlie the Monkeys are married. *insert a collective “Aww” here* The monkeys help the little kids feel just a little bit closer to the overseas grandparents.

So, how did Kathy get lost??? Why did it take so long to find her??

Vicki had a house full of family members visiting, including many from England. You know that goes – no one is sleeping in their regular room, everything is everywhere, and you’re really just focused on enjoying each other’s company! The whole gaggle had gone to Balloon Glow (Kathy and Charlie have actually been to many of them!). Eli fell asleep, so part of the family decided to head home. It as during that hustle and bustle that Kathy must have slipped away.

In the following days, Eli asked where Kathy was, but with a house full of guests, many who were kids with stuffed animals of their own, they figured she would pop up sooner or later. When Vicki’s family left on that Saturday, they turned the house upside-down. No Kathy. That’s when it hit Vicki that Kathy wasn’t in the house. Kathy was lost.

Even though it was very late on Saturday night, Vicki took to Facebook to see if anyone could help out. She posted a picture of her kids with their monkeys saying, “Attention Facebook friends: Kathy my monkey has gone A-wall! Last seen at Balloon Glow!”

And this is where a tiny miracle happened.

In less than 2 minutes, she received a PHONE CALL from a good friend who had seen both Vicki’s post and Linn Area’s ongoing posts. “Are you serious?!?!! Have you not seen this yet?!?!?!  Linn Area Credit Union is trying to reunite them!”

Vicki made a beeline to our page and saw firsthand what fun we had been having with Kathy. :) She thought the whole thing was hilarious and couldn’t stop laughing! (Boy are we glad Vicki had such a great humor bout the whole thing.) Eli was very excited to get Kathy back home. We decided to set the reunion for the next morning at our Blairs Ferry branch.

Monday, July 8th

It was the day of the reunion!!! We were so beyond excited! Because so many people had been a part of sharing the story, we wanted to make sure we had plenty of pics and video of the reunion. Even KGAN (Channel 2) wanted to come and capture the moment. But first we had to say goodbye to Kathy, Linn Area-style:

While the tribute was really our way to bringing some closure to the adventure, we are certainly glad you guys got a kick out of it, too (because you all are awesome):

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Gosh, we had the best week ever with Kathy, but couldn’t wait to meet her bestie, Eli.

We hid Kathy behind our reception desk, so that we could capture Eli’s priceless face when he was reunited with her. And, no worries, we captured the whole thing on video for you guys:

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We took a ton of pictures, too. How could we not with the cutest family EVER in our presence?!?! (Go here to see them all.)

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You’ll notice in the video and pics that this amazingly thoughtful family brought Linn Area Credit Union some gifts as a (completely unnecessary!!!) thank you. “To Kathy’s Keepers” – as they put it. A gorgeous picture of Aria, Eli, Charlie and Kathy, an Andy Warhol-style piece of framed artwork featuring Kathy, and then some stickers, Pictionary, and mustache glasses. This last part was to play to our “funny” side!

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KGAN did an awesome job summarizing Kathy’s adventure. Click here to watch their fabulously done news story! Some of the most touching comments came on their Facebook page:

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993293_10151459047127133_338368803_nOther news outlets quickly followed suit. The Gazette wrote up a lovely story about Kathy’s adventures with Linn Area. (Read it here.) We were even featured in the Credit Union Times! (That can be found right here!) Wow!

 

But nothing compares to the comments that you guys left us. Here’s one that really hit us in the ticker:

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While Kathy’s visit brought us a ridiculous amount of laughter and joy, this – ALL of this – is just who we are at Linn Area Credit Union. We didn’t do it because they were members or not members (they aren’t… yet! LOL!). “We are family” is our motto – and we live by it. While this story caught fire, we do things like this all the time for our members and others in our community. They are just usually a little, um, quieter. ;o)

Thank you to everyone who followed this story, especially those of you who helped share Kathy’s search for her bestie. It was because of YOU that Eli and Kathy were reunited. Your friends at Linn Area Credit just feel lucky to have been a part of such a heart-warming story with this storybook ending.

What a tale Eli will be telling for years and years to come!

 

 

Monkey Business: A video tribute  by Tara

July8

If you’ve been on Facebook at any point in the last week, you have probably heard about the {now famous} monkey found at Balloon Glow. Linn Area Credit Union has been determined to find this Monkey’s bestie! Thanks to the power of social media, Monkey is being reunited with his bestie TODAY! We will give you the full story after it happens, but – for now – here is Linn Area’s special tribute to this special little monkey:

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