The Face of My WU was an online social contest that celebrated the diversity of Western Union’s My WU® members. It gave customers the chance to win prizes by engaging with friends and family from around the US by asking them to vote for the selfie they uploaded to the contest website.
After votes were tallied and our judges reviewed the finalists, we found one grand prize winner and four runners-up out of more than 27,000 participants.
The grand prize winner scored a cash prize of $1000 and the runners-up each got $500. In addition, the winners were flown to Western Union headquarters in Colorado to take part in a professional photo shoot.
Watch this video to hear directly from the winners and see how they spent their day at the photoshoot.
Grand Prize Winner: Grace N. from Phoenixville, PA
Grace can’t remember life without Western Union. She grew up in a small village in Uganda, where there was only one place for people to send or receive money: a WU agent location in the center of her village.
At the age of 12, Grace left home to travel around the world with the African Children’s Choir. As she got older, she continued traveling with the choir as a chaperone, and she always counted on WU agent locations to send money to her loved ones back home.
“There’s a certain comfort I get when I walk into an agent location,” said Grace. “It’s like visiting a trusted friend who helps me stay connected to my loved ones – no matter where I am.”
Grace now lives in the US and helps mentor young people as a teacher and through her local church. She still stops by a WU agent location at least once every month to send money back home to friends and family members in Uganda, and being a My WU member makes it even easier.
“I love being a My WU member! It helps make for an easier transaction process with the information already in the system, I earn points, and I receive special offers and coupons that I can use on future transactions,” she explained.
Grace is proud to have been selected as The Face of My WU.
“WU agents have played an important role in making my life better for many years and I’m happy to be able tell my story,” she said. “It’s important for agents to know that they do a lot more than just process a transaction. They help make it possible for my parents to get their medicine and go to the doctor. They help me and countless others provide their family members with an education. It’s important to remember that every time an employee at an agent location processes a transaction for someone like me, they’re helping families and entire communities. And in the end, it helps make life better for all of us.”
Runner-up: PJ G. from Milton, FL
Philip Germain (aka PJ) has been a My WU program member since 2013, sending money whenever possible (at least once a month) to extended family in the Philippines. Why does he use Western Union? He finds sending money with Western Union to be easy, intuitive, and flexible.
“Being able to send money from my phone, online, or at an agent location gives me peace of mind,” said PJ. “What’s more, my family members can conveniently stop by a local agent location in the Philippines and easily pick up the money in cash.”
PJ also enjoys the benefits of being a My WU member. “I love the ability to save money with special offers and through redeeming my points. That savings allows me to send even more to my family.
PJ sees WU Agents as “connectors,” helping people like him help others. “Having Agents at the other end of the transaction who care means the world to us. It’s the personal touch that makes all the difference, creating an environment that’s almost like a bridge between me and my family. There’s a feeling of community with the My WU program – and that’s something that I haven’t experienced with other loyalty programs. As a member, I’m treated like I’m special. And to me, that goes a long way.”
“I’m grateful to have been selected as a runner up in the Face of My WU contest,” PJ said. “I have such a sense of pride when I look at the WU Facebook page and see all of the wonderful things the company does for its customers and for so many people around the world. To me, moving money for better is more than a tagline or slogan. It really is what WU is all about."
Runner-up: Mary C. from San Angelo, TX
Mary has been a WU customer for more than 14 years and a WU member since 2009. She lives in Texas and sends money at least once a month to her mom in Florida and to family members in the Philippines.
“Simply put, I trust Western Union,” Mary said. “I send money for a variety of reasons, including helping pay for medical expenses. Knowing that it’s going through Western Union gives me the peace of mind I need that my funds will be there when my family needs it most.”
Mary loves her favorite agent location, where she almost always goes to send money. She goes there because it’s convenient, but there are other key reasons why she continues to go back.
“I love the people there because they make me feel like I’m the only customer,” explained Mary. “It’s always a positive experience, even if everything isn’t perfect. If any issues come up, there’s quick resolution and everyone is super friendly – almost like extended family!”
Mary also loves being a My WU member. “I really enjoy the benefits I receive through the My WU program. Being a My WU member makes the transaction process fast and easy. And I love how I can save money with points and special discounts!” Mary is thrilled that she was selected as a runner up in the Face of My WU contest.
“I’m proud and honored to have been chosen for this opportunity,” she said. “By helping people move their money, Western Union helps make the world a better place.”
Runner-up: Dr. Julian M. from Vestavia Hills, AL
Julian uses Western Union a lot. A whole lot. In fact, through KultureCity, a non-profit organization he founded with his wife, he exclusively uses WU hundreds of times a year to deliver funds to special needs families across the US, and to an orphanage in Uganda that serves special needs children.
The couple were inspired by their nine-year old son, who was diagnosed with autism at age two.
“Through KultureCity, we are helping break down barriers for special needs children and their families,” said Julian. “We’re working on redefining accessibility and inclusion, providing resources that connect special needs kids and their families with the broader community. And to do that, we rely heavily on Western Union.”
Julian uses Western Union because sending money is easy, convenient, and reliable, and he enjoys the benefits of being a My WU member. Perhaps most importantly, the fact that WU has been around for more than 165 years gives him a feeling of confidence that the money can quickly get to the families who need it.
“Most of the money we send in the US is in response to an emergency request from a family that is in a tight situation. Many of these requests come from people in rural communities who may not have a bank account or a credit card,” Julian explained. “Knowing that they can walk into an agent location and pick up the funds in cash – almost immediately – really gives me peace of mind.”
Julian feels that Western Union backs up its marketing with action.
“To me, Western Union is the only way to send money,” said Julian. “And it’s important for people to know that with Western Union, ‘Moving money for better’ isn’t just a tagline. Every transaction has a positive impact – making life better for so many people.”
Runner-up: Nadya B. from St. Petersburg, Russia
Nadya moved to the US several years ago, and while she and her husband settled in Florida, much of her family is still in Russia. That’s why Nadya uses Western Union. She sends money back home several times a year.
“They count on me,” she said. “And I count on Western Union to help me help my family. WU is a company I trust. No matter where you go in the world, you see Western Union. It’s like a big community – and one that I truly feel like I’m a part of.”
One of the reasons why Nadya feels like she’s part of the WU community is because of the My WU program. A customer for more than seven years, she became a My WU member in 2013. Nadya enjoys the convenience of having the My WU program remember her transaction information, and the ability to see her past activity. But there’s more to it.
“As a My WU member, I feel valued,” said Nadya. “There are so many companies out there that say they care about customers, but WU is a company that really does. They understand how important their services are to people like me – with family far away that needs financial help.”
Nadya is happy to have been selected as a runner-up in the Face of My WU contest. “I always count on Western Union to be there for me and my family back in Russia. By moving money for better, Western Union makes our lives better. And that’s something that I very much appreciate.