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CUs gave so troops could have a good holiday
MADISON, Wis. (1/3/11)--Credit unions ended 2010 by putting their money and efforts where their philosophy is--making things better for others. Credit unions made special efforts to ensure that one group had a bright holiday: troops deployed far from home. For the third year in a row, Dover (Del.) FCU treated troops to homemade goodies and warm wishes as part of "Operation Cookie Drop." Staff and volunteers at branches throughout Delaware baked and delivered 2,196 cookies--or 183 dozen--to troops to thank them for their commitment and sacrifices on behalf of the nation. "We know that being away from your family during the holidays is hard," said President/CEO David Clendaniel. Staffers also rang the bell for the Salvation Army in Dover for two eight-hour days in mid-December. Hanscom FCU at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., provided 20 Thank You prepaid debit cards, each totaling $50 and supplied in partnership with the Armed Forces Financial Network (AFFN), to Fisher House Boston officials to distribute to family members while veterans receive treatment at the Veterans Affairs (VA) Boston Healthcare System. The cards are used for expenses such as food, gas and personal items. Air Force FCU, San Antonio, Texas, also was part of the Thank You card effort, presenting 100 $50 "Thank You" cards to the Lackland Air Force Base Fisher House. AFFN, the Defense Credit Union Council and the Association of Military Banks of America, have supported the Fisher House Foundation and individual Fisher Houses in Germany and the U.S. for the past seven years, contributing more than $1 million to the efforts during that period. In Oklahoma, Tinker FCU and Rose State College teamed up to help military families at Tinker Air Force Base for the holidays. They collected toys and food for the families (The Oklahoman Nov. 25). All 233 branches of State Employees' CU, Raleigh, N.C., collected 5,000 gift boxes for overseas troops in early November. The gift boxes were packed with a variety of travel size items such as dental supplies, soap, shampoo, first aid items, travel games, socks and food (The Weekly Update Dec. 17). Steve Sheppard, SECU's Raleigh-NCSU Advisory Board member, noted he was mobilized for two tours of duty for Iraqi Freedom as a Navy Reservist serving with the U.S. Army. "We were 750 strong but always looked forward to our mail and especially the care packages. Many items in the boxes were unobtainable at our bases. The long days and poor conditions were made better by the magical boxes and the thought that someone at home cared." Piedmont Advantage CU, Winston-Salem, N.C., aimed its efforts to troops seriously injured in the line of duty. The credit union had an ornament sale to benefit Hope for the Warriors, which ensures the injured troops' needs are met. It also sold ornaments last year. Belvoir FCU, Woodbridge, Va., filmed "countless" live greeting card video messages for members and nonmembers to share with soldiers overseas. It sent more than 50 personalized eGreetings in the effort. The videos were filmed at the credit union's branches in front of a "Belvoir Federal Cares" backdrop. It used YouTube to post each eGreeting.


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