Celebrating National Co-op Month
This October marks the 56th annual celebration of National Co-op Month across the United States. During Co-op Month, we celebrate our member-owners and the “people helping people” philosophy of credit unions. As we near the 80th year of Black Hills Federal Credit Union, we reflect on our cooperative roots and are excited to share with others the value of belonging to a cooperative.
A cooperative is defined as an organization owned and run jointly by its members, who share the profits or benefits. Cooperatives are by the people and for the people. In 1941, a group of US Government employees in the Black Hills established an employee-owned, financial cooperative in Rapid City. The driving principle was to establish a financial institution where each individual had a say. That cooperative is known today as Black Hills Federal Credit Union. Our legacy of service began in the living room of Marian Berry’s Rapid City home in 1953; she was the first employee. Membership in this cooperative continued to grow, and the first BHFCU Member Service Center was built in 1963.
The cooperative spirit of the credit union has been tested through natural disasters and setbacks alike. Each time BHFCU or another local credit union was in need, the others in the group chipped in to help. Today, we continue to share knowledge and experience with other credit unions to ensure all members have access to the services they need. We continue to return profits to our members daily through valuable services and great rates.
At BHFCU, we are passionate about the cooperative goal, to make ownership available to all members, and to pass benefits back to those owners. As a part of National Co-op Month, each year, BHFCU is proud to celebrate International Credit Union Day with our members and our peers around the world. It is a day meant to raise awareness about what having a credit union as a financial partner means.
We have come a long way since serving members from Marian Berry’s living room, but one thing is certain, we continue to strive to improve the lives of our members and the communities we serve.