WESTBURY, N.Y. – Nassau Educators Federal Credit Union has managed to break a record by opening its wallets and hearts to help out Hurricane Katrina victims. The credit union’s Community Involvement Committee issued a challenge of employees to reach $20,000, with proceeds to be donated to the American Red Cross. “We’ve headed up a number of fundraisers over the last 10 years, but the response to this was exceptional,” said Nassau Educators’ Vice President of Communications John De Ieso, who serves as the committee’s management liaison. “Based on our earlier record-breaking success with our Tsunami Relief Drive, we expected to make our goal for Katrina Relief, but we were very surprised when we made and then surpassed the goal in less than a month.” With the board of directors offering a matching donation of up to $20,000 the committee rallied support of employees and members. Small displays were created by the marketing department in PDF format and e-mailed to all branches to be printed on-site so that the campaign could get a quick start. Schools were contacted and member donations poured in. Several schools and teachers’ associations contributed to the effort, including Glen Cove Teachers Association; Connolly Elementary Student Council, Glen Cove; Lynbrook Teachers Association; and Oceanside Secretarial Association. A total of $36,118 was raised and with the $20,000 matching contribution a check totaling $56,118 was presented to the Long Island Chapter of the American Red Cross. “It truly illustrates the credit union concept of `people helping people; that’s what it’s all about,” said De Ieso. “Members appreciate that their credit union is pitching in to help, and dig deeper.”