CEF and Self Help: “Love at First Sight” – A Message from a Community Partner


Self Help Credit Union was founded in 1980 in Durham NC by a few impassioned individuals who wanted to help individuals, employees, families and businesses obtain fair and responsible financial services. Our website states “Self-Help is a community development lender, credit union, and real estate developer that works with individuals, organizations and communities traditionally underserved by conventional markets.”

Our founder, Martin Eakes, got wind of CEF’s work in the Chapel Hill community and introduced two central CEF leaders, Maggie West and Alexis Seccombe, to Self Help through a summer internship. It has been love at first sight ever since for our two nonprofits. As a 30th birthday present to Martin, staff donated 30+ hours of consulting time to CEF last year. Some of our staff members are proud to serve on CEF’s Board of Directors. Self Help also provides free office space for CEF’sDurham outreach efforts. Personally, I feel CEF is readying our next generation of members and borrowers by providing one-on-one counseling and support for their clients. We are proud to partner with CEF and their dynamic volunteers and applaud their outstanding work and mission.

– Sherry Kinlaw, Senior Project Manager, Self-Help Credit Union



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CEF: Community Empowerment Fund

Chapel Hill: 919-200-0233 Durham: 919-797-9233