Find the Hero Within

1.John LundBy John B. Lund, President and Chief Executive Officer

What is a hero? Are they like characters we see in movies with supernatural skills, fancy gadgets, or special outfits?

As part of an internal initiative, we brought in a group of kids ranging in age from two to 10. We posed a series of questions to them regarding the concept of heroes and recorded their responses. The wisdom and honesty of children is inspiring. To follow are excerpts of our inquiries and their answers.

What is a hero to you? Someone who protects you. Someone who does good things and serves others, [who] helps people and is nice to them. Someone who is kind and generous. Fights bad guys and saves the day. A person [who] is there when you need them.

Why do we need heroes? [To] help people when they are down. To protects us. To help us live happily. To put fires out. Protect our city. To save the day. If you are sad, you need a shoulder to cry on.

How do you become a hero? Being nice to people and picking up trash. Protecting people. By cleaning up my brother’s room. By doing what’s right. By being friendly and nice. Helping my friends and keeping them safe. Telling the truth. Being a friend to those [who] need a friend. You don’t need super powers to be a hero, you just need to help people.

Who is a hero in your life? Mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, military guys, firefighters, police, Jesus.

Why are they your heroes? They give me hugs. Helps me when having trials. Makes a bad day a better day. Taught me to swim. Protects [us] from bad stuff like smoking. They are kind, sweet and loving. Does the dishes. Helps me understand problems. Loves me. Stands up for what’s right. There for me all the time.

As these children have taught us, real heroes are ordinary people going about their lives in a positive manner, and who in the process accomplish extraordinary things.

There is a hero inside all of us. The common denominator is caring, developing a relationship, and impacting another life in a positive way.

I was recently at a restaurant with my wife when the server noticed the America First logo on my shirt. She said she was a single mom and enthusiastically told me she was a credit union member. Her friend had recommended she join America First and she told me she was so happy she had taken that advice. Our server explained how we helped her with her finances, ultimately saving her hundreds of dollars each month, which she uses to help provide for her son’s education.

It is uplifting when I meet and speak with our members, learning firsthand of their experiences when the credit union has helped them. I also read the many thank-you notes from the membership that actually contain expressions of appreciation such as “heroes” and “saved my life.”

I am proud of and extremely grateful to our America First team. While they certainly don’t seek recognition or consider themselves heroes, they do accomplish a tremendous amount of good in serving our members and our communities. I hope we can all find the hero within us as we go about our lives. We thank you for your membership and look forward to a lifelong relationship with you and your family.