Greater Minnesota Credit Union, Milaca, raised more than $1,000 for Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare through its Chain of Hearts campaign, a fundraiser coordinated by the Credit Unions for Kids program. The campaign raised funds through the sale of paper links and hearts that were personalized and linked together to form a chain. The CU also sold cookies. The GMCU's Chain of Hearts was part of a statewide fundraising event that raised more than $130,000 for Gillette in 2004. Credit Unions for Kids is a collaboration of credit unions, chapters, leagues, and business partners that participate in fundraising activities to benefit Children's Miracle Network-affiliate hospitals. All the money raised by Minnesota's Credit Unions for Kids program supports Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare, helping children with disabilities and chronic conditions. MidWest Financial Credit Union, Ann Arbor, Mich., made its latest donation of $4,810 to SAFE House, a domestic abuse shelter. The CU has raised, with the help of UMHS Financial, more than $10,000 for over the last three years. Through its annual Skip-A-Payment promotion, which allows members with qualified loans to skip payments over the holidays, the CU and its members made donations to SAFE House. Branches of California-based Sterlent Credit Union each adopted a local charity this past holiday season to support the communities it serves. The Castro Valley branch donated $100 and 66 stuffed animals to Community Assistance for the Retarded & Handicapped. CARH provides services and programs that enrich the lives of the mentally retarded and handicapped. The Oakland branch contributed $213 to The Children's Hospital & Research Center and a check was also presented to Blankies for Grown-Ups, a group that makes quilts and afghans for breast cancer patients, veterans, and other seriously ill adults. These are only three of the charities that Sterlent supports throughout the year. The remaining charities are the Make-a-Wish Foundation and Shepherd's Gate. Memphis Areia Teachers' Credit Union, Memphis, Tenn., along with Eyewitness News, awarded Kerstin Wright, a kindergarten teacher at Collierville Elementary, a $500 grant. The grant is part of the One Class At A Time program that was developed by MATCU and Eyewitness News to award one teacher a month within the Mid-South a $500 grant. The award goes to deserving teachers who are in need of classroom supplies and teaching enrichments for their classrooms. Kerstin Wright was the February winner of the program. Langley Federal Credit Union, Newport News, Va., donated $1,500 to Langley Air Force Base Family Support Services to aid communication between military personnel and their families during deployment and improve financial literacy. Armed Forces Financial Network through its Military Community Support Matching Grant Program also matched the donation. A portion of the money will go towards the purchase of pre-paid phone cards, which will be distributed to military personnel. The remainder of the funds will be used to purchase financial education textbooks for a "Credit When Credit is Due" course offered to personnel on base.
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