A bell, a shoebox, and $4,000.

Four thousand dollars pooled from a few dozen educators? A shoebox to store cash and receipts? And a bell to signal that a member was calling?

It might not sound like much, but for English teacher Ernie McElvain, it was enough in 1934 to launch Spokane Teachers Credit Union (STCU) and a remarkable story of financial service.

“We opened for business in October of ’34,” Ernie said, “with a shoebox for cash deposits and a tiny cubby hole of a classroom at Lewis and Clark High School.”

“Access to the credit union was difficult in those days, so we hung a bell on a rope outside the second story window and ran it down to the front door. When members wanted to transact business, they’d pull on the rope and let us know they were waiting.”

From these humble beginnings, STCU has grown to more than 675 employees serving more than 193,000 members at 24 locations.

They are dedicated to community development, creative learning, and empowering people. They have become the Inland Northwest’s largest and most successful credit union, but they’ve never forgotten their most valuable asset — their members.

They provide broad community support of education, arts and culture, and local causes consistent with STCU’s mission and purpose.

Some free classes they offer for the community are:

  • Become Debt-free
  • Budgeting 101
  • Homebuying 101
  • Organize Your Finances
  • Protect Your Credit Score
  • Prevent Fraud and Identity Theft

STCU is a not-for-profit, member-owned cooperative helping members serve the community since 1934. You don’t have to be a teacher to join. You just have to live, work, worship, or go to school in Washington state or in Bonner, Boundary, Benewah, Kootenai, Latah, Lewis, Nez Perce, or Shoshone counties of Idaho. STCU membership means more than a free purple pen. It means you’re an owner of the credit union, so you are treated like one. They are a financial institution that cares more about people than profit. After all, their motto is, “We’re STCU. We’re here for good.”

We would like to thank STCU for being a sponsor of the 2019 Coeur d’Alene Mini Maker Faire!