International Credit Union Day is October 20, a time to celebrate the many contributions our movement has made to the communities we serve.
Since 1948, the World Council of Credit Unions has designated the third Thursday in October as International Credit Union Day, marking the occasion with festivities and recognition events across the globe honoring the exceptional work credit unions do day in and day out to lift up the communities they serve.
This year’s theme, “Empower Your Financial Future with a Credit Union,” reminds us of the important role credit unions have played worldwide in delivering financial access to underserved individuals since the first credit union was formed in rural Germany in 1864. Credit unions remain today as committed to its “People Helping People” mission as from the movement’s earliest days.
“International Credit Union Day is a time for us all to reflect on the vitally important role credit unions play in the lives of individuals – and to consider the difference we can continue to make as a movement whenever we collaborate in service to others,” said Joe Franklin, Vice President, Brand and Experiential Marketing for Co-op Solutions. “We are proud to partner with so many dedicated credit unions to advance our People Helping People mission.”
The upcoming holiday season will present financial hardships and other challenges for many people that credit unions are uniquely well positioned to address. And, for nearly three decades, credit unions have been particular champions for children facing difficult health challenges that require intensive, lengthy treatments. Credit Unions for Kids was founded in 1996 to encourage fundraising for the industry’s charity of choice, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
The partnership between CMN Hospitals and credit unions is a truly synergistic one. The two things that determine physical and mental health are access to healthcare and solid financial wellness. When members of society and their children are physically healthy or have access to quality care, and they feel financially secure, it builds a stronger community.
“Co-op has supported CU4Kids fundraisers since its inception,” said Franklin. “And, in 2008, we launched Co-op Miracle Match, a matching program that adds to credit union fundraisers for local CMN Hospitals.”
To date, Co-op Miracle Match has raised more than $43 million for CMN Hospitals, which provides life-saving healthcare to more than 10 million children each year. In 2021 alone, Co-op donated more than $500,000 in matching funds to more than 60 credit unions to help them conduct Credit Unions for Kids fundraisers benefiting 47 CMN Hospitals. Together, we raised more than $3.8 million for CMN Hospitals. Separately, Co-op contributed an additional $250,000 in event sponsorships benefiting the charity.
Co-op Donates Presidents Cup Sponsorship to CMN Hospitals
Most recently, Co-op engaged in a sponsorship of the prestigious Presidents Cup golf tournament, which took place in Charlotte, N.C., Sept. 21-25. In turn, we donated all benefits as a fundraiser for CMN Hospitals. In advance of the event, Co-op also extended its #shadesupFOREkids initiative, with proceeds going equally to CMN Hospitals and the National Credit Union Foundation’s Financial Well-being for All.
The fundraising from the Presidents Cup and #shadesupFOREkids initiative resulted in check presentations of $16,100 for CMN Hospitals and $13,500 to NCUF.
As we did in 2021, Co-op-sponsored events in 2022 have included Wine Auction organized by the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues, and the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10-Mile Run and 5K Walk held in Washington, D.C., and the Credit Union SACTOWN Run held in Sacramento, California, both in April.
All of this is done, of course, with the encouragement, participation and on-behalf of our clients. And the great work continues. We’re already looking forward to another strong year with CMN Hospitals. In 2023, we will be pursuing two key strategic efforts – increase fundraising and increase credit union participation to help ensure the sustainability of the CU4Kids program.
Getting Involved This Season
“It is inspiring to see how credit unions answer the call to serve others with such enthusiasm,” said Franklin. “We encourage our credit union partners to renew their commitment to charitable giving this Fall. By contributing to the wellbeing of our communities, we underscore what International Credit Union Day is all about, and we remind everyone of the credit union difference among financial services providers.”
To learn more about Co-op Purpose and the Co-op Miracle Match Program, visit https://www.co-opfs.org/Co-op-Purpose.html.