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Immediately after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, Dow Louisiana Federal Credit Union, Plaquemine, La., established a Hurricane Relief Fund to raise money for the victims of the disaster. Recently, the CU held a small ceremony to present the $29,201 raised to the Capital Area Chapter of the American Red Cross for local hurricane relief efforts. The money was donated from various sources including CU members, local businesses and DLFCU’s business partners. One of DLFCU’s business lending partners, Teacher Federal Credit Union, Golden Valley, Minn., even used events like company-wide “dress-down days” and in-branch promotions to help raise over $15,700 from their staff and members. To honor the members and business partners who contributed, a special plaque is on display in the lobby of DLFCU’s main branch. The plaque includes the name of each individual or group that donated to the fund. A special plaque was made for Teacher’s Federal to recognize their efforts. In an effort to help fight hunger, Postal Credit Union, Woodbury, Minn., raised $4,459 for Second Harvest Hartland through its recent Skip-a-Payment promotion. For each loan payment PCU accountholders skipped, $5 of their processing fee was donated to Second Harvest. Second Harvest Heartland is the region’s largest hunger relief organization, serving more than 800 nonprofit agencies in 61 counties in Minnesota and Wisconsin. The organization operates a variety of programs designed to combat hunger through specific channels of distribution. Among those served are children, the elderly, the working poor and thousands of additional disadvantaged members of the communities in its area of service. Spokane Federal Credit Union, Spokane, Wash., donated books to the Page Ahead’s Banking 4 Books Bookdrive, which helps at-risk children and their families enrich their lives. This year’s Banking 4 Books Bookdrive collected 233 new books and 110 used books in February. SFCU collected 113 of those new books, making them the largest contributor of the many participating financial institutions. The program hopes that by reading the books, the at-risk children and their families will strengthen their bonds and make reading a part of family time. For the second year in a row, White Crown Federal Credit Union, Denver, and its members have made a charitable donation to Urban Peak. This year $12,660 was donated in an effort to help get homeless youth off the streets. Through the CU’s “skip a loan payment” program, the donation was gathered for Urban Peak by using a portion of the administrative fee for skipping a payment. President/CEO Mark Cummins and Director of Business Development Kelly Wagoner recently delivered the donation to one of their short-term shelters and stayed to help serve Community Breakfast. Urban Peak is a nonprofit agency that provides services to homeless youth and those in at-risk situations, including street outreach, overnight shelter, healthcare, education, evening cultural arts activities and job placement. M/A-COM Federal Credit Union, Lowell, Mass., teamed up with the Merrimack Valley Food Bank to help with the food bank’s Annual Spring Pantry Raid. Staff and members of the CU were on hand to assist in distributing bags to the Pawtucketville area of Lowell. The Merrimack Valley Food Bank is a community-sponsored 501C-3 nonprofit organization that provides nutritious food and personal care items to emergency feeding programs serving the low-income, homeless and hungry since 1993. EECU, Fort Worth, Texas, donated pet supplies and a Pet Smart gift card to Town and Country Shelter Rescue, a small, all volunteer animal rescue organization. One hundred percent of all funds donated to the shelter go directly to the animals in Town and Country’s care. The organization has rescued treated and adopted out animals that have had broken hips repaired, legs amputated, severe illnesses treated and much more. These services are paid for through donations from individuals and organizations such as EECU. Helping Hand Day Nursery, Inc., a nonprofit organization that prepares children from working families for a successful transition into elementary school, is about to embark on a fundraising campaign in order to support construction of a new daycare facility and headquarters in East Tampa. GTE Federal Credit Union Charitable Foundation, Tampa, Fla., is providing the basis of the campaign with a $50,000 grant. The children that Helping Hand provides for are anywhere from six weeks to four years old and come from broken homes where they have suffered abuse or neglect. Because Helping Hand is a United Way partner, parents and guardians are charged for daycare on a sliding scale based on their ability to pay. The state of Florida funds the food program, which includes breakfast, lunch and an afternoon snack. Additional financial support for Helping Hand comes from Hillsborough County, corporations and private donations. The members and staff of 1st United Services Credit Union, Pleasanton, Calif., participated in a two-month promotion that helped raise money for the Children’s Hospital Oakland. The CU was able to present over $3,500 to the hospital. The contribution will go towards clinical and research programs, uncompensated hospital care, equipment and capital needs, medical training and advocacy. Cabrillo Credit Union, San Diego, is sponsoring staff members who participate in local charity walks to support the communities it serves and its corporate wellness program. As part of Cabrillo’s goal to provide a healthy work environment, the CU developed a wellness program. Some of the events which the credit union will be supporting are San Diego County Credit Union’s MS Walk, the Carlsbad Night Walk at Legoland, the San Diego Day Walk at the Embarcadero Marina South, the Union Tribune 8K Race for Literacy, and the United Cerebral Palsy Unity Walk & Roll. Weirton-Wellsburg Chapter of Credit Unions, W.Va., recently assisted in raising funds for a St. Baldrick’s Day event held at Wyngate Assisted Living Center. Rose Mankowski, a Wyngate employee, spearheaded the event with a goal to raised $500. With the chapter’s help, she surpassed her goal and raised over $2,000 for the charity. Not only did Mankowski orchestrate the event, but she also had her head shaved following the charity’s motto, “Be brave, go bald!” People all over the world participate in St. Baldrick’s Day events, which raise money for pediatric cancer research. San Jose Credit Union, San Jose, Calif., raised $11,966.30 for the San Jose Police Activities League and the San Jose Firefighters Burn Foundation. The San Jose Police Activities League has over 15,000 children participating in various sporting events that help build character and team spirit. The Burn Foundation, sponsor of the Burn Center at Valley Medial Center, organizes summer camps for children who are burn victims. SJCU raised the funds by holding a silent auction, bakes sales and a used book sale as part of their Kid$ Day$ annual event. Associates from the Fountain Valley, Long Beach and Santa Ana branches of Orange County’s Credit Union, Santa Ana, Calif., were recognized for top sales for American Express products. They were each given a selection of prize choices for their teams, but instead all unanimously chose to send USO Care Packages to American servicemen and women overseas on behalf of their branch teams. To learn more about donating a care package to the troops overseas visit www.operationusocarepackage.org. More than 15 American First Credit Union, La Habra, Calif., employees participated in “Read Across America Day.” Organized by the credit union’s educational coordinator, the volunteers visited six Orange County schools, reading to more than 900 students in 37 different classrooms. Read Across America was originally created as a one-day event to celebrate the joy of reading on Dr. Seuss’ birthday. Today, the program has grown into a nationwide initiative that promotes reading every day of the year. Memphis Area Teachers’ Credit Union, Memphis, Tenn., awarded Jorge Enciso the One Class At A Time $500 grant for the month of March. Ken Newberry, MATCU’s senior vice president, Eyewitness News personalities, Dee Griffin and Cameron Harper, and the CU’s ATM mascot, Smarty, all surprised Enciso in his classroom to award him the $500 grant. Enciso is a first year teacher who is coordinating a cultural diversity program that focuses on racial reconciliation. A parade of nationalities, a poster contest and a mural make up the project created to help foster an understanding between students of different cultures. The grant was developed by MATCU and Eyewitness News to award one teacher per month within the Mid-South a $500 grant to be used for classroom supplies and student enrichment programs. Organizers of California’s first Annual Credit Unions for Kids Wine Auction, San Dimas, Calif., announced that they raised over $120,000 at the auction on March 31. The event, held at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Pasadena, drew 200 attendees from California, Oregon, Utah and Washington and raised funds for eight Children’s Hospitals in California. The hospitals are part of the Children’s Miracle Network. Event sponsors were Credit Union Direct Lending, the CO-OP Network, Financial Service Centers Cooperative, Inc., WesCorp, the California Credit Union League, CUNA Mutual Group, Redwood Credit Union and San Francisco Fire Credit Union. Pacific Service Credit Union, Walnut Creek, Calif., has provided a $4,500 grant to the St. Anthony’s Foundation Free Medical Clinic for its youth health programs. The Free Medical Clinic serves low-income, at-risk youth without health insurance or access to critical health services. Funds will be used for the children’s vaccination program and the childhood diabetes prevention program. In other donation news, the CU has also given a $2,500 grant to the Sonoma County Regional Parks Foundation for its interactive Environmental Discovery Center located in Santa Rosa’s Spring Lake Park. Funds will be used to provide field trip scholarships to low-income elementary schools in Sonoma County. Tinker Federal Credit Union, Oklahoma City, recently installed a new core operating system and was faced with disposing of the older equipment it was no longer able to use. Instead of simply discarding the equipment, TFCU decided to donate it to Oklahoma City University. Equipment donated included: an AlphaServer GS140 and a Storage Works 800; an AlphaServer 4100 and a Storage Works 800; USB/PS2 keyboards; communication racks; a high speed line printer; and miscellaneous software, cables and books. In addition to receiving the new equipment, OCU’s education software agreement allowed the university to upgrade the version of the software, at no additional cost, to enhance the performance of the mainframe.

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