What She Would Have Said

Last week a client wrote asking for help with this problem sentence:

"By assisting the credit union industry, we directly help our broader, credit union community and indirectly assist people to access money and get back on their feet."

She was wondering about the word to in the phrase "to access."

Whenever I struggle with a sentence–whether because of a problem word or a simple feeling of awkwardness–I start over by paring it down to its essentials.

In my client’s sentence, the essential meaning seemed to be this:

"When we assist other credit unions, we indirectly help people access money and get back on their feet."

In fact, if she had been talking to me rather than writing, I bet that is what she would have said.

And I would have understood instantly and agreed.