Our Members

2019 Annual Meeting Member and Partner quotes:

“Overall, working with the Lower East Side People’s Federal Credit Union has been a wonderful experience. Many of our clients often feel unsafe or concerned about trusting a financial institution with their money as a result of previous experiences. However, working with the credit union has allowed many clients to feel comfortable with the idea of doing so. Many of our clients are low-income, and are often curious about how they would be able to save money if they are currently experiencing financial hardship. Through the partnership with the credit union, many clients have been able to make room for saving while managing a limited budget, with the hopes of utilizing these funds to improve their future.” – Lauren, V.I.P SPG

“Having the opportunity for students to get their bank accounts on site with credit union, it has been a great success. Students are more empowered and responsible of their finances. Having direct deposit during the summer time means they don’t have to worry about a payroll card. So far, all good, we have not had an issue with students and the accounts.”  –Julissa, SYEP program provider

“Mi experiencia en la cooperativa ha sido muy buena. Son muchas las oportunidades que hay para crecer financieramente, aunque que no tenga un seguro social, hay oportunidades de crédito con LES People’s. Claro que recomendaría la cooperativa a mis familiares y amigos.” –Judith EH Mmember

“Con la cooperativa LES People’s estoy aprendiendo a administrar mis finanzas y ellos me han ayudado a cumplir mis metas. Nos dan buenas oportunidades de hacer cambios en nuestras finanzas a pesar de no tener ciertos documentos como un número de seguro social. También me gusta mucho el servicio, la manera como me explican todas las preguntas o dudas que tengo. La he recomendado a mis amistades porque creo que es una cooperativa que nos otorga muchas oportunidades para crecer.” –Estela EH Member

“We have been banking with a major commercial bank for 9 years saving every penny we had. The day we applied for our first credit card with them, we were denied. Our son referred us to a local credit union and after 9 months at LES People’s FCU, we have savings and checking accounts, a good credit card and just started our first mortgage application. We didn’t know how many opportunities we can access but from now on we’ll tell everyone about our credit union.”  –Family Ramirez NS Member

“We are thrilled to continue our long-standing partnership and friendship with the LESPFCU! One of our participants, who is undocumented, mentioned that receiving financial education from Qualitas was crucial for him to understand his possibilities. Now, knowing the services that the credit union offers, he will be able to achieve his next step: having credit in the US. He has many ideas and goals, and we know that the financial services of the cooperative such as the Build/repair credit loans will help him achieve them!” – Nilbia, Qualitas of life foundation SPG

“Working with LES People’s FCU has really opened up our youths’ vision of what is possible around their finances.  By providing safe accounts, LESPFCU is opening a door to financial responsibility and health, that for many seemed closed. It’s not only access to the accounts, the care and time the LESPFCU staff takes while working with youth and Program Staff to make sure that Young Adults are getting a safe on-boarding and introduction to the banking system and why being a member at a credit union is important for the community.  We have had a great experience working with LESPFCU and look forward to continuing our work.” – Carlo, MyPath SPG

“Our collaboration with LES People’s has been a life changing for the community we serve. Thanks to their support, our clients have been able to build trustworthy relationship with a financial institution and establish a safety savings path that allows them to maintain themselves and their families free of violence. We know that without economic safety there is no safety for survivors.” – Lorena, VIP SPG


Mary Spink
Lower East Side Peoples Mutual Housing Association (LESPMHA)

photo: Mary Spink, Lower East Side Peoples Mutual Housing Association (LESPMHA)Mary was one of the first in our community to join the credit union and remained a strong supporter for the last 25 years.   For nineteen of those years, she served on committees and the Board of Directors, beginning  as a member of the Supervisory Committee,  of which she later served as Chair, and then onto the Board of Directors.  She also served on the Board of Directors of the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions (The Federation) during that time.

Mary received the “Annie Vamper Helping Hands Award” from the Federation for having gone above and beyond the norm to benefit CDCUs and the communities they serve throughout the country. She was awarded the “Pioneer Spirit Award” from the LES PEOPLE’S for her immeasurable contributions to the credit union.

Mary’s generosity was legendary.  She gave of herself in every way – her heart and spirit as well as her wallet.  She was an amazing friend, neighbor, mentor, and leader.  From selling babka from a newsstand to developing affordable housing, she was always larger than life.  Her spirit lives on in the brick and mortar of the buildings she created and in the souls of all she touched.

We will miss you, Mary!

Monica Farrell, Photographer

Monica Farrell has been a business member of the LESPFCU since April 2010 using ourservices to help further her goals and ambitions. Monica has always dreamt of becoming a photographer and was able to realize this goal in 2008 when she left her day job to pursue her dream. At affordable rates, she builds attractive websites showcasing products / services with images, photography and videography, to best convey the business’ strengths. She is skilled as a photographer/videographer and works with her customers to produce a site that will capture the viewer’s attention. In addition to websites, she designs brochures and calendars.

718 857 2052


MaryBeth O’Hara

photo: MaryBeth O'HaraMaryBeth O’Hara is a longtime resident of the Lower East Side and one of the earliest members of the LESPFCU. As a LES real estate broker, she is in constant contact with new residents. She often tells them that the credit union reinvests money in the community, gives loans to members and helps members of all socioeconomic backgrounds learn about and understand financial products. “The Credit Union provides a great service to our community and the people of the East Village. LESPFCU came to Avenue B when no bank would even put a toe east of 3rd Avenue.” MaryBeth believes it makes sense now, more than ever, for people to become members of the LESPFCU. MaryBeth lives in an HDFC building that recently received a loan from the LESPFCU.

Maria Aponte
One of the earliest members of the Credit Union

Maria Aponte was one of our earliest members, opening her account shortly after the credit union was established. Maria has taken advantage of many of the services offered by the LESPFCU and has improved her financial outlook by setting sound financial habits with our guidance.

James McLaughlin
Special Touch Maintenance

photo: James McLaughlin, Special Touch Maintenance

James McLaughlin has been a resident of the Lower East Side for 15 years. When neighborhood banking options were limited, he opened a business account at the LESPFCU. He has continued his membership and maintained his business account because of the high level of service, low fees and charges. His relationship with the LESPFCU has helped him to grow his business in building maintenance and office cleaning.

José Fernandez
Mini Es Wholesome Foods

photo: José Fernandez, Mini Es Wholesome FoodsLong-time member José Fernandez opened Mini Es Wholesome Foods in November 2010 together with the help of the LESPFCU. The new store now employs four people. Mr. Fernandez has considerable experience running a business, having opened the new business following the sale of his former deli, for which he also received a loan from LESPFCU, earlier in the year. Mr. Fernandez grew up in the Lower East Side and has long-standing ties to the community. His cousin runs a successful and profitable grocery store on Essex Street.

Mini Es Wholesome Foods
226 E 7th St @ Ave C
(212) 228-5390

Ben El Hasel
El Hasel Deli and Grocery

photo: Ben El Hasel, El Hasel Deli and Grocery

Ben El Hasel has been a resident of the Lower East Side since December 1975 witnessing the gradual transition of the neighborhood. Ben became one of the first members, opening his account shortly after the doors opened. Starting with only a $5 deposit in his savings account, Ben soon became an active member, one of the first to receive a mortgage and business loan. For Ben, belonging to the credit union is similar to being a member of a family. As a matter of fact, most of his extended family members have joined the credit union!

El Hasel Deli and Grocery
32 Avenue B New York, NY 10009
(212) 228-1406

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