NAPERVILLE, Ill. (12/27/11)--Illinois Credit Union League (ICUL) staff wrapped up their community service and giving for the year by providing toys for patients at Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago.
ICUL helped to fulfill Children's Memorial's need for small gifts and toys, which are used in several ways, year round. For example, children often can pick a prize after a particularly hard day or on a special occasion, such as finishing a round of treatment. Also, the hospital's closed-circuit, interactive television station, Skylight TV, hosts several in-house television game shows each week, following the philosophy that "everybody's a winner," creating a daily demand for small prizes.
Children's Memorial, the region's top provider of pediatric specialty care, and Illinois' only freestanding hospital exclusively for kids, is celebrating nearly 130 years of serving children and their families.
The toy drive was one of several charitable actions by the league in 2011. Other activities included its annual food drive, where more than 620 pounds of food and $300 were donated to help the Northern Illinois Food Bank (NIFB) find people in need. This was the third annual food drive held by ICUL employees.
Over the past year, the food bank has seen a 35% to 50% surge in demand throughout the 13 counties it serves in northeastern Illinois. It provides food for about 502,400 people annually, including 61,600 in a given week via more than 520 sites. About 48% of those helped are children under 18.
ICUL staff also has raised funds through monthly "Jeans Days," and raised more than $1,400 for local and national social service organizations, including the American Cancer Society (for breast cancer research), the American Diabetes Association and DuPage Public Action to Deliver Shelter, in addition to Children's Memorial Hospital.
The Illinois Credit Union System also provided 14 food pantries with $200 each, for a total $2,800 donation.
"This continued to be a year of great need for many people," said Dan Plauda, ICUL president/ CEO. "Rather than sending out its traditional holiday greetings, the Illinois Credit Union System chose on behalf of its member credit unions to coordinate, organize and participate in these activities. We feel blessed to have been able to give back to our communities."