Grieving Member Eternally Grateful for Ballard Street ‘Angel’

Feather floating in sunlit skyA loyal member-owner since 2015, Heather has been consistently pleased with the service she’s received from Community First Credit Union. After her latest series of interactions, however, she’s declared herself a member for life.
When her mother, Arja, passed away last October, Heather began the grief-ridden process of planning a celebration of life to be held with loved ones in Chicago. Along the way, she received funds to assist with the funeral expenses, which she deposited in her CFCU account.
The week of Thanksgiving, she and her husband set off for the windy city, her mother’s ashes in tow. They just needed to make one quick stop at the store on their way out of town, but when Heather attempted to pay for the purchase with her debit card, it was declined.
Panicked, she went to CFCU’s Ballard branch for help where she was informed her card had been deactivated when fraudulent transactions were detected on her account. The money she had deposited for the funeral was gone, and her account had a negative balance.
Understandably distraught, Heather broke down crying.
That’s when Branch Manager Julie Bestol took Heather into her office and offered her the first thing that came to mind.
“As soon as I sat down, she offered me a hug,” recalled Heather. “She was so sweet, so human, and reminded me good people are out there.”
Bestol knew Heather was not only without the money she desperately needed but also short on time. She needed to act quickly and suggested a signature loan. Heather was concerned about the approval process, but in no time at all, she was approved, money in hand, and on the road to Chicago.
Heather said she’s still bragging about Bestol and CFCU to anyone who will listen.
“She turned it all around,” said Heather. “Without Julie, my mom’s service wouldn’t have happened. She is truly an angel and so comforting to work with.”
Bestol insists she was just doing her job, part of the “we’ll find a way” mentality shared across the credit union. But when Heather returned to the branch to resolve the fraud on her account, she couldn’t help but express her gratitude all over again.
“She flipped the script,” said Bestol. “This time, she hugged me.”

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