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Self-Help Federal Credit Union

Empowering Chicago, One Block at a Time

One of the fastest-growing social impact organizations in Chicago started in 2014 as the vision of one man who started out by creating field trips for youth in disenfranchised neighborhoods. Jahmal Cole, the founder and CEO of My Block, My Hood, My City (“M3”), grew up in a Chicago suburb with a personal mission of leveraging the power of service and education to build a more interconnected Chicago. Self-Help was pleased to provide a Paycheck Protection Program loan to M3, helping them to keep their staff employed and to provide services to the community. M3 Staff

We had the opportunity recently to catch up with Jahmal, and learn a lot more about My Block, My Hood, My City. With a staff of 17, along with hundreds of volunteers, nonprofits and local businesses, M3 works every day to tap into the enormous potential that already exists on Chicago’s South Side — “one block at a time.”  The organization provides youth on the South Side with a greater awareness of opportunities throughout the city. They lead students on explorations focused on topics such as STEM, arts and culture, citizenry and volunteerism, health, community development, culinary arts, entrepreneurism and much more.

M3 operates on the mantra that the city of Chicago reflects who we are, and we all have a responsibility to what the city is and can become. Through M3’s community development initiatives, they host multiple volunteer events every month. Residents and volunteers in the community have come to look forward to these events, which include tasks like cleaning alleys, mowing lawns, shoveling snow for seniors, decorating 500+ homes over the Christmas holidays and more. 

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, M3 was front and center, organizing help to 12,000 seniors in eight states, with access to much-needed resources such as Personal Protective Equipment and hand sanitizer; connections with local organizations; transportation; setting up vaccine appointments; delivering food, health supplements and toiletries. In the past 18 months, M3 has served approximately 20,000 people, and counting. 

We are honored to have Jahmal and M3 as members of Seaway, a Division of Self-Help Federal Credit Union. Thank you, M3, for all the wonderful work you continue to do in Greater Chicago!

To learn more about My Block, My Hood, My City, click here to see a wonderful short video of the team and the work they do.

Branch Lobbies are Fully Open!

The staff at the newly opened Milwaukee Southgate location, ready to serve our members.

Good news: Self-Help has welcomed members back to our branch lobbies. Members can access our lobbies for routine transactions, such as loan payments, check deposits, new accounts and other transactions that need a personal touch. Masks are currently required. Lobby capacity varies depending on social distancing opportunities available at each branch; information is posted near the front door. Visit our website for specific opening times and location-specific information. 
Remember you can check account balances, pay bills, schedule bill payments, transfer funds, make credit card payments and more right from the safety of your home. Signing up for online and mobile banking is as easy as 1-2-3. In just a few minutes, you can do your banking 24/7—whenever and wherever it's convenient for you.   
Thanks for being a valued member, and welcome back!

Vaccination Efforts

Stopping a pandemic requires using all the tools we have available. Wearing masks and social distancing help reduce your chance of being exposed to the virus or spreading it to others, but these measures are not enough. Vaccines work with your immune system, so it will be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed.

The Greater Lamont Chamber of Commerce, a Self-Help Federal partner, is determined to make testing and vaccines as accessible as possible to residents of Lamont and Weedpatch, California. Both of these cities have large farm-working communities, and were hit hard with COVID-19 cases and deaths over the past year. The county saw 9.4 cases for every one thousand residents.  

In the past six months the Chamber played an integral part in coordinating this process.  In partnership with Kern County Latino Task Force, Kern County Health Department, Bakersfield College, Kern Medical, Nueva High School, the City of Arvin’s Mayor Olivia Trujillo, and us, Self-Help Federal Credit Union, more than 10,000 people have been tested at these sites. More than 500 people have been fully vaccinated, with limited vaccine supplies.  Today, as vaccines become more available, the sites are averaging 150 vaccinations per day. 

It truly takes a village of volunteers and committed businesses and nonprofits to come together in this way.  In addition to the testing and vaccinations, the group continues to push for more sites to be accessible to the Lamont community, and is coordinating appointments, transportation, and drive-thru food pantry supplies to the local residents.  Thank you Kern County for doing your part to stop this deadly virus. 

The combination of getting vaccinated and following CDC recommendations to protect yourself and others provides the best protection from COVID-19.  Ending the COVID-19 pandemic will halt the growing negative impact the virus is having on education, the economy, health care and countless other activities of a healthy, functioning society.


  • We now have two branches in Milwaukee to serve our members and the Greater Milwaukee community. If you live in the area, or know of anyone who does, please check out both our Southgate and Midtown locations.
  • In case you missed it, you will catch yourself smiling with our recent blog post on one of our long-time Seaway members, Mr. Lee Curry, who will be turning 102 years old later this year. The post makes you realize it’s not only how long you live, it’s how well you live.
  • We are offering free financial resources to members by partnering with GreenPath, a nationally recognized organization. For great financial tools and money management tips, try the self-guided modules on the GreenPath website, watch the videos, use the handy calculators or call to speak with one of their coaches. When calling, just mention that you are a member of Self-Help Federal Credit Union. The service is free to members and their families.
  • Career Opportunities. Do you like what we do at Self-Help Federal? Interested in joining our team or know someone who might be? Click here for a list of our current job openings.

Our mailing address is:
Self-Help Federal Credit Union
1970 Broadway, Suite 350
Oakland, CA 94612

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