Community West Credit Union, Kentwood, Mich., delivered basketfuls of new or gently used items to help the women and children of the Center for Women in Transition. The credit union answered a "wish list" published in the shelter's newsletter and challenged CWCU employees to donate by placing donation boxes in each break room for three weeks. Everything from personal care products to food items were donated. New Mexico credit unions, spearheaded by the Credit Union Association of New Mexico, raised more than $219,000 in 2005 to fund the construction of a new pediatric emergency wing at University of New Mexico Children's Hospital. The state's 52 credit unions have joined together in a pledge to raise $1 million in five years for the construction. Credit unions sold stuffed animals, collected change in canisters at teller stations, raffled artwork provided by members, and collected money in a variety of ways for the hospital. In addition, CUANM raised more than $25,000 at its first-ever Silver Star Gala, an evening of food, music, dancing, fun and prizes. This year the gala will be held in conjunction with CUANM's annual meeting and convention. Lacamas Community Credit Union, Camas, Wash., presented nearly $17,000 to its 2005 Community Partnership Fund Program and the American Red Cross. The following six nonprofit community organizations received at least $1,400: Boys and Girls Club of SW Washington; Clark County Fire District #1; Camas-Washougal Community Chest; Evergreen School District Foundation; The Parks Foundation; and the Skamania School District. The CU raised funds through various activities, including Entertainment Book sales, a Holiday Skip-A-Payment program and sales of photos with Santa Claus and candies. Lacamas Community Credit Union, Camas, Wash., donated $1,700 to help supply 2,000 books to the children of Evergreen School District. During the "Read Across America" and annual celebration of Dr. Seuss's Birthday, CU employees donated a total of 40 hours of their time to promote literacy and loved every minute of it. Employees of LLCU traveled to nearly all of the district's 20 elementary schools to help distribute the books to the children. Some were even brave enough to sample the green eggs and other breakfast items supplied by Beaches Restaurant. Each February, First American Credit Union, Beloit, Wis., holds its Chain of Hearts fund-raiser for Children's Hospital. This year, because of the generosity of the public and healthy competition between branches, the CU raised $6,889.37, a 129.65% increase over last year's total. Each link sold for $1 and paper hearts sold for $5, but quite a few people donated $10, $15 and even $50, and First American's President/CEO Tom Barnes, wrote a personal check to bring the total amount raised over $7,000. The top five fund-raisers and top fund-raising team from a branch received special recognition at an all-staff meeting on March 8. While the top fund-raisers will attend a private lunch with CEO Tom Barnes, the top fund-raising team will receive a jeans-casual day and a pizza party.

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