“The Rest of the Story”

Decades ago, radio broadcaster Paul Harvey provided millions of listeners his unique blend of news and views. After reporting an important event   he would often promise to  tell “the rest of the story” but only after an advertising break.

The member testimonial below from Affinity Credit Union, Des Moines, is used in TV commercials and social media to illustrate their efforts for personal service with members.

This two-minute story of a real member going from near bankruptcy to an 800 FICO score is very effective, even moving.


The Way Back-More Than Financial Wellness

But there is more to the story. James Reasoner, the member in the video, is a recovering alcoholic.  Several times he refers to making poor decisions, but stays silent about the context.

About two decades ago he woke up in a jail cell after a  second DUI arrest.  Something happened in the cell. He describes it as a spiritual awakening resulting in an effort to change his life.

James says of  this decision, “It all started with a little trust and lots of hope.”

Today he attends daily 7:00 AM sessions with his mentor.  In turn he mentors other alcoholics both in person and during Covid, on zoom.  He speaks at periodic recovery meetings while still working at the Firestone tire plant where he is in his 28th year of employment.

Being There for Others

His credit union relationship has also evolved beyond this video testimonial.

Last week at the members’ Annual Meeting James was elected to an initial three-year term on the board.  Below, in the middle, he raises his hand with fellow volunteers while taking the director’s oath.

Knowing Each Member’s Story

The Affinity video is more than an advertising promotion.  It is comparable to a public service announcement.  It illustrates this credit union’s efforts to respond to a member’s unique circumstances.

Beyond the video’s specific example, there is an even broader impact.  It is also the back story of a relationship experience that motivated James to give back more of himself to others.

What a powerful witness for economic democracy when a long-time member volunteers for credit union leadership!

The video’s universal message is that “every member has a story.”  When we listen, that’s when we can truly serve them.

(Note:  Personal story of James Reasoner used with permission.  Thanks also to Misty Haley, who was James’ helper.  She was recognized for 26 years of service at this year’s Affinity Annual Meeting.  )





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