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Self-Help Credit Union

The Go Co-op website is filled with stories about amazing cooperatives.  The Self Help Credit Union is one of these amazing cooperatives.

When Martin Eakes was a teenager growing up in a poor, rural community outside of Greensboro, N.C., his best friend was shot and killed on a playground near Martin's home.

On that day, Martin vowed to live his life for the two of them. Martin went on to graduate from Yale Law School, but instead of taking a lucrative position at a high-powered New York law firm, he returned to North Carolina to devote his energy and talents to improving the lives of the poor.

In 1980, Martin started Self-Help as a way to help the poor help themselves. His first loan was for $1,700, to help seven laid-off textile workers start a community bakery. From those modest beginnings, Self-Help has grown into a financial powerhouse. At its core is a credit union that takes in deposits and lends out money to low-income people who want to buy homes or start businesses, and to nonprofit organizations. Self-Help also repurchases home loans made by large banks to low-income buyers. The 501(c)(3) community development financial institution now has more than $1 billion in assets.

Read more about this amazing organization on their website:  http://www.self-help.org/.

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