The Service Credit Union, which serves military installations throughout Germany, has made an immediate donation of $100,000 to the Hurricane Katrina relief effort and has promised to match public donations dollar- for-dollar up to a total of $200,000.

The New Hampshire-based credit union made the immediate donation to the National Credit Union Foundation, which will go to help credit unions, their employees, and families that were affected by the hurricane.

Funds collected between now and Oct. 15 for the donation matching program will go to the AmeriCares humanitarian aid program, which has further-reaching capabilities of helping survivors, said Nancy Layton, SCU marketing manager, in a telephone interview from the Portsmouth, N.H., corporate office.

“Through our research we found that AmeriCares actually has the least overhead. That’s why we selected them. Plus, given our experience through the tsunami relief program, they really kept us up-to-date on how they spent the money. That helped us let the members know how their money was being used,” Layton said.

In a prepared statement released Tuesday, the SCU explained that anyone, not only credit union members, can make a contribution to the AmeriCares matching donation fund program through its Web site,

The credit union is pledging a total of $300,000 in donation funds, along with any other contributions that come in through the donation matching fund, officials said.

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