We Need a Truck-Load of Money! Literally.

May 27, 2008

When I first heard the name “God’s Pit Crew” I thought, “What in the world is that about?” Not being a big NASCAR fan the name didn’t really resound with me. However, when I found out who they are and what all they do, I thought, “Now that is simply incredible” and I was moved to tears at their presentation.

Here’s who they are. They’re unpaid volunteers, over 200 of ’em. They’re all gifted helpers and with their combined knowledge & skill they know how to do or build just about anything. They believe in giving their time, energy, & resources towards making other people’s lives better.

Here’s what they do. When tornadoes and big storms come through anywhere around the Southern US devastating entire communities; When homes and churches are in disrepair; When local charities and food banks are low on resources; When economic hardship has sucked the life out of small towns; When people’s lives are de-railed and there seems to be no hope… God’s Pit Crew comes and injects hope into hopeless situations. Their slogan says it all, “Helping People Get Their Lives Back On Track!”

They don’t receive any profits at all for what they do. They do it completely based on faith and the financial support of ordinary people, mostly locals. They get great publicity when tragedy strikes far away and they make the big trip to rebuild places. But equally as impressive is the long list of local work they have done to benefit Southside Virginia and nearby areas in North Carolina. They have a long list of pictures, videos, and letters of thanks on their website, www.godspitcrew.org.

This summer Piedmont Credit Union is heading up a campaign to help God’s Pit Crew purchase a new dually pickup truck. They will use it to haul people and supplies all over the South. We’re calling it “Dollars for Dually”. It’s simple how it works. If you have some dollars we’re asking you to put some in the truck. Literally. The truck will be located at the credit union and other various locations with the window cracked just enough for money to fit through. Several local businesses also have donation canisters at their locations. For more information or to donate online please visit the website www.DollarsForDually.com. Below is a video excerpt of Randy Johnson speaking recently at our credit union’s annual meeting.


A Savings Story … This is what credit unions are all about.

May 23, 2008

Yesterday while visiting one of our member companies, I met a very nice woman who had purchased a car just a few days ago. Her supervisor had wisely suggested that she check on a loan at the credit union instead of keeping the loan from the dealership. So she came to speak with me. When I calculated that her current interest rate was 21% I thought I had made a mistake, but she confirmed that I was correct. I thought perhaps she had a very rocky credit history but that was not the case. It wasn’t perfect, but it certainly wasn’t poor either. Fortunately the dealer had not processed the paperwork and she had a few hours to get a loan through our credit union.

So we made her a new loan which saved her loads of money! Below you’ll see just how much she saved…

Dealer Loan

Piedmont CU Loan

Over $4,000 Dollars!!!! She chose to use some of that savings to buy our 48 month mechanical breakdown protection and GAP protection for her loan. Her total cost of the loan even with those add-ons was still $2,000 less than the dealer loan! As you can see, here’s yet another happy credit union member. And that’s who it’s all about!

Happy Piedmont CU Member

2008 Annual Meeting Recap

May 12, 2008

Well I tried to start a recap of our 39th Annual Meeting the night after the meeting but all I could think about was the big Dan River Mills Long Mill Fire. So here is the official Annual Meeting recap: There wasn’t much business to discuss this year. So we mainly focused on celebrating a good year last year and looking towards the future. There was a good meal with good company. Randy Johnson of God’s Pit Crew shared from his heart about the great work they do both at home and abroad for people in need. Wade Hopkins once again amazed kids and adults alike with his great magic tricks. The kids also played a life-sized game of Payday. I was really impressed by the kids who played. They made great decisions with their money and didn’t fall for any the bum deals I threw in.

Here’s a short 3 minute video of our 2008 Annual Meeting.

Thanks for being a member of the credit union! Next year’s will be our credit union’s 40th Anniversary. Ideas for a big celebration are welcomed!

Magic, Meetings, Tornado Warnings, and a Four Alarm Blaze!

May 8, 2008

What a night! Tonight Piedmont CU had it’s 39th Annual Meeting. This year’s meeting brought good food, good company, a great magic show, and an inspiring God’s Pit Crew presentation. However, the most memorable part of tonight will likely be the BIGGEST FIRE in Danville, VA history! One of the old Dan River Mills buildings went up in flames tonight. There are a few photos below. We saw the smoke rising from our meeting place 2 miles away at the community market. On the way home I could see it while crossing the Central Blvd. bridge. The fire closed down the Union Street bridge which provided a great place for onlookers to watch the fire from a safe distance. That’s where these photos came from.

To top the night off there were tornado warnings for Northern Pittsylvania County all over the radio and tv. I’ll do a follow-up post about the Annual Meeting in the coming days, it really was a good one.

Automobile Warranties & Car Companies

May 8, 2008

This post is about the new Mechanical Breakdown Protection available through Piedmont Credit Union.

I am the classic “do-it-yourself-er”. But when my wife’s Acura started having transmission problems late last year I started to think, “maybe I shouldn’t have hung up on those people who call and try to sell extended warranties?” Acuras are not cheap cars and neither are their parts. Did I mention the warranty had expired several thousand miles ago? So I made the dreadful trip to a nearby Acura dealership and nicely explained that I didn’t buy an Acura to see the transmission go bad so soon, and even though it was outside of any warranty coverage I humbly asked if they could help me out a little. What really impressed me was how they pretty much agreed that Acuras are one of the highest quality cars available and that it should not have had this type of problem at this point of it’s life. So Acura corporate agreed to discount the cost of the transmission but I would not have any further warranty on the discounted parts like they usually give. I was pretty satisfied because it appeared that I would be able to pay for these repairs without too much financial discomfort.

Now for all you readers who think the next part Acurais about how the dealership found other things wrong and boosted the price by a thousand dollars, I hate to disappoint you. When my wife picked up the car, the total price was $800 LESS than what they quoted me and it was going to come with a new 36,000 mile warranty! I’m now an Acura fan for life!

So what’s the moral of this story? I think it’s this: Consider purchasing an extended warranty for your vehicle. When you compare it’s cost to that of major repairs the choice is easy. Do the math.

New non-discounted transmission installed by dealer=$4,500.

Cost of Piedmont CU Mechanical Breakdown Protection=$1,565.

Mechanical Breakdown Protection is very affordable when seen from this point of view. Plans start around $900 and can cover almost any car that runs. You can read more about it on our main website here. Oh, if you decide to buy an Acura, just be sure to do your financing at the credit union!