Credit Union Community: Donations
America First provided new winter boots for special needs students.
The $ 6.3 billion America First Credit Union in Riverdale, Utah, helped bring a financial literacy lesson on Feb. 17 to special needs students by giving them a prepaid Visa card to buy snow boots, a widely sought commodity during this long and snowy winter season. Most special needs students in the Transition Academy at Jordan Valley School never used a credit or debit card to purchase products at a store. With a little help from teachers and aides, each student was able to shop for their new winter boots, approach a cashier and complete their purchase with a America First Credit Union prepaid Visa card. Transition Academy provides students with disabilities opportunities to lead greater independence for living and employment.
A record $3.1 million was raised by 170 credit unions in the 2014 Miracle Match by CO-OP program for the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. That total amount raised included $1 million in matching funds from the CO-OP Financial Services, the Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.-based CUSO announced Feb. 18. These funds will benefit 110 CMN hospitals in 41 states. CO-OP also contributed $138,000 to 11 credit union organizations as event sponsorships for the Miracle Match program. What's more, the California CUSO collaborated on a National Credit Union Foundation initiative and paid half the cost of all Biz Kid$ DVD box sets purchased by credit unions under a program to enhance the financial education of families at CMN hospitals.
The SECU Foundation in Raleigh, N.C. and Habitat for Humanity of North Carolina signed a formal agreement Feb. 26 for a new joint initiative to expand affordable housing across the Tar Heel state. The SECU Foundation's Habitat Challenge will provide $10 million over three years HHNC to build one new or renovated Habitat home in each of North Carolina's 100 counties. Under the terms of agreement, HHNC will develop a plan for implementation by the end of May 2015.
Bruce K. Foulke, president/CEO of the $1.4 billion American Heritage Federal Credit Union, presented a check from the cooperative's Kids-N-Hope Foundation to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia on Feb. 24, which marked the $1 millionth dollar donated. The funds support a music therapy program for patients. The funds also are used to purchase musical equipment, provide a music therapist and musical performers specially trained in assisting children with developmental disabilities. In addition, the Philadelphia-based cooperative raised $100,000 last year to continue the cooperative's support of the hospital's music therapy program. In 1996, American Heritage became the first credit union in the country to form its own charitable organization when it began the Kids-N-Hope Foundation.
The 2014 Maine Credit Unions’ Campaign for Ending Hunger raised $552,257, which broke all previous fundraising records, the Maine Credit Union League said in its March newsletter. The campaign results were announced Feb. 3 by Luke A. Labbe, president/CEO of the $154 million People's Choice Credit Union in Saco and chair of the Maine Credit Union League's social responsibility committee, John Murphy, president of the Maine Credit Union League and other credit union officials, alongside bestselling author Liz Murray. Her book was the subject of an Emmy-nominated movie, Homeless to Harvard: The Liz Murray Story. During the announcement event, Murray recounted her childhood and her family's struggles with poverty and hunger.
SECU and Habitat for Humanity executives (pictured left) signed an agreement to provide affordable housing in North Carolina. Seated L to R: McKinley Wooten, SECU Foundation board chair; Bill Cooke, HHNC board chair. Standing L to R: Bert Green, HHNC project manager; Stacie Walker, SECU SVP of loan origination services; John Twomey, HHNC board member; and Christine Odom, HHNC executive director.
Seventy Massachusetts credit unions raised $135,000 for the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless, the Cooperative Credit Union Association in Marlborough said March 2. The Cooperative Credit Union Association's Social Responsibility Committee Chair Nicole James from the $804 million RTN Federal Credit Union in Waltham, and the Cooperative Credit Union Association President Paul Gentile, along with several committee members, presented Coalition Executive Director Robyn Frost with the ceremonial check representing the overall donation to the Coalition in 2014.
The $3.5 billion Kinecta Federal Credit Union in Manhattan Beach, Calif., held its third annual Professional Clothing Drive to benefit nonprofit job readiness programs in February. Kinecta members and employees in Southern California and Chicago donated nearly 3,600 articles of clothing, accessories and shoes – enough to dress more than 600 men, women and young adults in life crisis seeking to enter the workforce. Kinecta FCU partnered with Costa Mesa-based Working Wardrobes to identify organizations with job readiness programs in all areas served by the cooperative. Recipients included Working Wardrobes in Los Angeles and Orange counties, Foothill Family Shelter in Upland and the Salvation Army Norridge Citadel in Chicago.
The $620 million DuTrac Community Credit Union in in Dubuque, Iowa, donated $2,500 to support the Dubuque County Firefighters Association last month. The funds will be used to upgrade the training classrooms at the Dubuque County Emergency Responder Training Facility. DuTrac Community CU also announced it will be continuously supporting non-profit organizations throughout the year using funds that would have otherwise been allocated to Member Appreciation Days. The credit union will still hold Member Appreciation Days, however, within the branches on individual days and serve cookies and beverages.
In 2014, the $308 million Neighbors Credit Union in St. Louis, Mo., put its neighborly services to good use. In addition to several donations to smaller organizations and charities, Neighbors Credit Union made a contribution of $13,547.21 to Children's Miracle Network Hospitals of Greater St. Louis. The donation, announced last month, was the result of several fundraisers including a bake sale, paper balloon sales, Six Flags ticket sales, holiday money envelope sales, employee dress down days throughout 2014. Over the past 18 years, Neighbors Credit Union has raised over $146,887 for CMN.
The $1 billion Northeast Credit Union in Portsmouth, N.H. recently donated $5,000 to help fund the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program. In collaboration with the CA$H Coalition of Southeastern New Hampshire, this free program helps low- to moderate-income families who need assistance with filing their taxes at no cost. In addition to providing financial support, NECU is a host location, donating space and employee time for the for the VITA program.
Employees of the $804 million RTN Federal Credit Union in Waltham, Mass. sponsored and served dinner for men and women at the Bristol Lodge Soup Kitchen in Waltham last month. Funds for the meal were contributed through the RTN Employees Community Outreach Committee, which is made up of RTN employees who contribute money and volunteer to assist local organizations and charities. Bristol Lodge is an arm of Middlesex Human Services Agency in Waltham, which is a long-time SEG of the credit union.
The $1 billion Scott Credit Union in Edwardsville, Ill., contributed $35,000 Feb. 20 to help support a program that teaches high school students how to perform lifesaving cardiopulmonary resuscitation. In collaboration with the American Heart Association, the funds will pay for CPR kits that include inflatable mannequin torso, the pumps to inflate them and instructional videos. In 2014, the credit union contributed more than $330,000 and its employees volunteered more than 2,700 hours to support a variety of local civic initiatives.
More than 210 Oregon Community Credit Union employees volunteered at 21 community service projects in Eugene, Springfield and Salem, contributing 840 hours of volunteer service on Presidents Day.
Although the branches and corporate officer for the $1.2 billion Oregon Community Credit Union in Eugene were closed on Presidents Day, the staff did not take the day off. More than 210 Oregon Community Credit Union employees volunteered at 21 community service projects in Eugene, Springfield and Salem, contributing 840 hours of volunteer service. Employee volunteers teamed up to assist a variety of nonprofits in the community such as a landscaping project at the Mt. Pisgah Arboretum and Hendricks Park. Employees also decorated bulletin boards for the Boys and Girls Club of Emerald Valley and readied pallets of donated computer parts for recycling through NextStep Recycling.
The Connecticut Credit Union Charitable Foundation of the Credit Union League of Connecticut in Meriden donated $20,000 to Governor Daniel P. Malloy's Care & Share Food Drive on Feb. 12. The program helps feed the needy throughout the state.
The $614 million 1st Advantage Federal Credit Union in Yorktown, Va., donated $12,000 Feb. 18 to the Center for Child and Family Services, which will help support a number of programs, including credit counseling.
The $8.3 billion Security Service Federal Credit Union charitable foundation in San Antonio, Texas, contributed $10,000 on Feb. 5 to the Lee & Beulah Moor Children's Home that helps children who come from inadequate and dysfunctional home lives. The funds will help renovate a tutoring room used by children who live at the home.