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CUs stuff buses, backpacks for back to school
MADISON, Wis. (8/14/14)--Crayons, glue, pencils and notebooks are just a few of the many school supplies that credit unions are collecting during annual donation campaigns, and for some educator-based credit unions, it's a project that goes straight to the heart.
Click for slide show Girls Inc. of the Greater Capital Region in Albany and Schenectady, N.Y., received backpacks and school supplies from $1.08 billion-asset Capital Communications FCU, Albany, N.Y. (Capital Communications FCU Photo)
Mark Bailey, morning host on San Diego's XETV-TV , interviewed California Coast CU President/CEO Todd Lane about the $1.85 billion-asset credit union's "Drive for Success" program that aims to provide school supplies for the area's 20,000 homeless children. Last year, it reached 4,000 kids; this year the goal is 8,000, Lane told Bailey (Aug. 5).
"They need school supplies like any other kid going to school," Lane said. He noted that the credit union, which is working with the San Diego County Office of Education on the project, was founded by educators 85 years ago. "We're very much involved in the school system here in San Diego," Lane said.
TTCU The Credit Union, Tulsa, Okla., with $1.4 billion in assets, teamed up with Restore Hope Ministries and KTUL-TV to distribute nearly 1,300 boxes of school supplies in the Tulsa area with its "Project School Supplies." Donita Quesnel, vice president of marketing, told KTUL-TV , "Our roots, our legacy really is in being a credit union for teachers, so anything that we can help further education and help these kids out is great.
"When you think about being that one child in the classroom who walks in and doesn't have the basic supplies that everyone else has, all of a sudden there is an obstacle to learning," she said. "These kids are facing enough challenges. Having the basic equipment shouldn't be one of those challenges."
On Wednesday, the Education Partnership and members, employees and the board of Riverset CU, Pittsburgh, distributed supplies to the Pittsburgh King PreK-8 School, part of the Pittsburgh Public School District ( Philadelphia Business Journal Aug. 13). The $122 million-asset credit union began 80 years ago to serve solely the employees of the Pittsburgh Public School System.  
Many students go without the most basic of school supplies due to homelessness, poverty or unstable living situations such as an unemployed parent. That's when the credit unions step in with their "people helping people" philosophy.
  • Teens in Albany, N.Y., helped $ 1.08 billion-asset Capital Communications FCU, Albany, N.Y., fill 500 backpacks with school supplies which then went to children at Girls Inc. of the Greater Capital Region in Albany and Schenectady, N.Y., and St. Catherine's Center for Children, Albany ( WRGB-TV Aug. 4).
  • Lake Michigan CU, Grand Rapids, Mich., with $3.2 billion in assets, uses its One Pencil Project to help cash-strapped schools and teachers. All of its branches will collect supplies through the end of August. In 2013, Lake Michigan CU helped 385 teachers and more than 50 school districts in west Michigan. Teachers are encouraged to let the credit union know what they need for their classrooms through the One Pencil Project website, .
  • In Mississippi, Navigator CU, Pascagoula, with $286 million in assets, and Singing River FCU, Moss Point, with $196 million in assets, joined in to help the United Way for Jackson and George Counties provide school supplies for area children. Singing River FCU's Moss Point location served as the "store front" for school representatives to shop for supplies that will be taken back to the kids who need them the most ( Aug. 12).
  • Kellogg Community FCU, Battle Creek, Mich., took a different twist with its back-to-school campaign. The $436 million-asset credit union teamed up with Charitable Union to collect youth size 12 pants for area youth for the this school year.
  • Now in its sixth year, the "Stuff the Bus" campaign from Northumberland County Schools FCU, Milton, Pa., expanded its donations to reach all grade levels in both Milton and Warrior Run school districts. The $18 million-asset credit union recently added Warrior Run students and their families to its field of membership, said Manager/CEO Brenda Raker said ( The Standard-Journal July 25).  Donors to the campaign were entered to win a gift card, donated by the credit union.
  • To help students and parents, Connections CU, Pocatello, Idaho, with $137 million assets, is giving away school supplies at its branches this weekend ( Idaho State Journal Aug. 13).
  • Red Canoe CU, Longview, Wash., with $598 million in assets, will match pound-for-pound items donated to its "Fill the Canoe" school supply drive. Since 2007, more than 47,500 pounds of supplies have been collected.


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