DONATIONS Service 1st Federal Credit Union, Danville, Pa., has embraced the spirit of giving by coordinating a gift exchange where employees buy toy items that match their coworkers’ characteristics, hobbies or personalities. This year’s exchange yielded over 50 toys and gifts donated to Toys for Tots to benefit local needy families and children. First Community Credit Union, Chesterfield, Mo., donated $1,420 to The Children’s Home Society of Missouri. Credit union employees proudly donated funds to The Children’s Home to help pay for gifts for the resident children to open on Christmas morning. The Children’s Home cares for up to 29 children at any given time at their sites in Brentwood and St. Charles. The Children’s Home offers residential services for children from birth to age 21, who have significant developmental disabilities. The Children’s Home also provides care on a short-term basis for children in an emergency or crisis situation. HarborOne Credit Union, Brockton, Mass., recently donated over $64,000 to the United Way as part of its 2007 United Way Campaign. Employee contributions increased 20% over last year resulting in contributions totaling over $32,000. The credit union’s corporate matched the employees’ contribution resulting in an over $64,000 donation. The CU also launched a major advertising campaign promoting the opening of new checking accounts, where they promised to donate $1 to United Way for every new checking account opened. Patrons were also encouraged to donate loose change into large bottles in the lobbies of all 12 branches. And as a final fundraising effort, the employees of the CU donated money to dress casual on Fridays. These three resources raised another $2,500 for the United Way. Mocse Credit Union, Modesto, Calif., donated over 60 Christmas gifts to developmentally disabled participants of the Howard Training Center. The employees of Mocse have been supporting this program for over eight years and for many of the participants it is the only gift they receive. METRO Credit Union, Warren, Mich., recently held its second annual Holiday Coloring Drawing Contest in which local children from the area had a chance to color a holiday picture. Coloring pictures were available at METRO CU offices and were also distributed to local elementary schools. Once the children returned a colored picture, participants were entered into a drawing for a chance to win a six-foot-tall stocking filled with games and toys. Yongwu Wei from Green Acres Elementary School won the grand prize. Baton Rouge Area Credit Unions, Baton Rouge, La., united to make area children’s holidays a bit merrier. At their annual Christmas Social at Drusilla Seafood Restaurant, they collected over 100 toys to be distributed through the Toys for Tots program. In other Louisiana CU news, Neighbors Federal Credit Union, Baton Rouge, La., recently raised $6,700 for the United Way. This donation was the top one received over all the credit unions in a 10 parish area. Employees of LGE Federal Credit Union, Marietta, Ga., raised $25,900.31 by donating their time and money this holiday season to LGE’s annual service project, Operation Donation. The credit union matched that amount, raising the total to $51,800.62. Each year, departments within the credit union form teams and raise money through various fundraisers and personal donations for local families in need or charities of their choice. Once all of the funds are collected, the credit union matches dollar-for-dollar the total amount raised, allowing teams to give twice as much. Peninsula Credit Union, Shelton, Wash., recently held its annual Holiday Bake Sale benefiting local community food banks. A total of $1,058 was raised through the sale of the homemade holiday goodies. The CU matched that amount dollar-for-dollar and the total donation was $2,116. Four food banks, Hood Canal Food Bank, Matlock Community Food Bank, Saints Pantry Food Bank, and North Mason Food Bank, each received $529. AmeriCU Credit Union, Rome, N.Y., held a Casual Day for a Cause to support Breast Cancer Awareness. For a $5.00 donation, employees were able to dress down to support a great cause and raised a total of $766. The donation was given to the local Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation in Syracuse. The CU also presented a $200 donation to Rome Welcome Hall Community Center to help with the holiday needs of the community. The CU also held a Can Drive to help replenish the Center’s pantry. FirstLight Federal Credit Union, El Paso, Texas, continued its commitment to the community to meet a decades-old El Paso tradition, the Sun Bowl Parade. Thanks to a partnership between FirstLight Federal Credit Union, the Sun Bowl Association, and the West Texas Food Bank, this year’s parade included a food drive. Seventy volunteers collected 3,217 pounds of food during the parade, pushing grocery carts to gather canned goods and other non-perishables to help feed the hungry throughout the region. Franklin Mint Federal Credit Union, Broomall, Pa., teamed up with City Team Ministries of Chester to sponsor children in their annual Adopt-A-Family program. Gifts were collected for nine children between the ages of 10 months and 11 years old from three local families. This is the 12th year that FMFCU has participated in the Adopt-A-Family program. Mid-Cities Schools Credit Union, Compton, Calif., recently awarded 13 scholarships to area students at Compton, Lynwood and Paramount high schools. Each scholarship was for $500 and was based on outstanding academic achievement. The CU offers a variety of college scholarships annually. Cal State 9 Credit Union, Concord, Calif., donated $12,400 to the West Contra Costa School Unified District to support a variety of key educational enrichment programs. The West Contra Costa School District serves approximately 35,000 students at 141 schools and educational sites. Eagle Community Credit Union, Lake Forest, Calif., recently ended a successful year of fundraising events on behalf of Orangewood Children’s Home, which supports abused and neglected children throughout Orange County. The annual contribution of $3,124 will fund counseling services, job programs and educational opportunities to at-risk children in the Orange County foster care system. Monthly events and activities varied in scope and theme from the inaugural “Silent Auction” to the sale of “Make a Difference” greeting cards that focused on employee-to-employee appreciation.