Credit Unions in Western Mass. Help Impoverished Children Find Their Sweet Dreams
Oct. 18, 2017 (Marlborough, Mass.) — Credit unions in Western Massachusetts are giving children a chance at a good night’s sleep as they continue to deliver 60 beds to children growing up in poverty with $14,500 they have raised for “A Bed for Every Child,” a program of the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless. The most recent delivery of 20 beds was made Monday, Oct.16 for the Springfield Public School (SPS) system in Springfield, Mass.
Credit union CEOs welcomed local dignitaries for the beds’ arrival, including Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno, SPS Chief Communications Officer Azell Cavaan and Stephanie Sanabria, City Connects coordinator, who distributes the beds throughout the school system.
Sarno expressed his appreciation to the local credit unions for their support of children within the local community. “I thank all the credit unions that participated in this and raised money for more than 60 beds for school-age children in our communities.”
The credit union CEOs and representatives in attendance helped unload items from the truck and carried them into the temporary storage located at the Springfield Department of Public Works until the beds can be distributed.
“A Bed for Every Child is a great example of the credit union’s mission of People Helping People. I am very proud of the credit unions of the Pioneer Valley Chapter who generously contributed their time, talent and resources to assist in the distribution of over 60 beds to a child in need within our community,” said David Plantier, President of MassMutual Federal Credit Union, Springfield, Mass., one of the seven credit unions raising money for A Bed for Every Child.
While unloading, Freedom Credit Union President/CEO Glenn Welch commented, “It is sad that not every child in school has his or her own bed to sleep in at night. At Freedom Credit Union, we are proud to have provided a bed to 24 children and look forward to donating more beds next year.”
“Most of us take for granted the bed we sleep in each night; but there are thousands of Massachusetts children growing up in poverty who have no bed of their own. A bed is a very basic need that many low- to no-income families simply cannot afford,” said Robyn Frost, the coalition’s executive director. “We are so grateful to the credit unions of the Pioneer Valley Chapter for their generosity and dedication to this program.”
Pioneer Valley Credit Union (PVCU) of Springfield also lent its full-fledged support. “Our members and staff were instrumental in helping us to successfully raise money to purchase five beds for this very worthy cause. We are thankful we can make an impact and provide a bed for every child,” said Anabela Grenier, PVCU president/CEO.
Other participating credit unions in Mass. included: Arrha Credit Union, Springfield; Franklin First Federal Credit Union, Greenfield; Premier Source Credit Union, East Longmeadow; and UMassFive College Federal Credit Union, Amherst, all members of the Cooperative Credit Union Association’s Massachusetts Pioneer Valley Chapter. Additional deliveries were made in June (Springfield) and September (Amherst) on behalf of all the chapter’s participating credit unions.
In recent years, from the support of Massachusetts Credit Unions affiliated with the CCUA, more than 4,000 children have received beds in all corners of the state.
Mass. Credit Unions Honor One of their Own with Donation of Children’s Beds
Oct. 11, 2017 (Marlborough, Mass.) —Massachusetts Credit Unions affiliated with the Cooperative Credit Union Association (CCUA) recently donated four beds to underprivileged children in the Lowell, Mass., area in support of the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless initiative, “A Bed for Every Child.”
The donation honors the memory of the late Stephen P. Jones, a 10-year member of the Massachusetts Social Responsibility Committee, the charitable arm of CCUA that organizes fundraising events and activities for the coalition. Funds for the beds were raised during the committee’s annual charity golf tournament, renamed this year after Jones, a passionate supporter of the coalition’s work and an avid golfer, who died unexpectedly in the fall of 2016.
“Most of us take for granted the bed we sleep in each night; but there are thousands of Massachusetts children growing up in poverty who have no bed of their own. A bed is a very basic need that many low- to no-income families simply cannot afford,” said Robyn Frost, the coalition’s executive director.
In recent years, the Massachusetts Credit Unions have raised funds to distribute more than 400 beds in all corners of the state.
Each of the beds given in Jones’ honor sports a written message on the back of the headboard that reads, “Dream Big Like Steve Jones.”
Jones’ passion for helping people went beyond his work for the coalition. As the longtime Vice President of Community Development at Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union in Lowell, Mass., he worked tirelessly to support community efforts and gave his time to many non-profits throughout the area. At the time of his passing, he sat on the boards of the Cultural Organization of Lowell, Whistler House Museum of Art, My Father's House, Greater Lowell YMCA, Lucy's Love Bus, Town of Chelmsford Scholarship Committee, Chelmsford Youth Basketball League, and Jeanne D'Arc Credit Union’s We Share a Common Thread Foundation.
In 2011, Jones was recognized by Community Teamwork, Inc. of Lowell with its community service award for his dedication to the region and to helping his fellow man.
Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union staff members were on hand to deliver the beds in Lowell. “Giving back to the community was very important to Steve”, said Mark S. Cochran, President and Chief Executive Officer of Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union. “The donation of these beds will not only provide a sense of safety and security for children in need right here in our local community, but it enables us to continue Steve’s legacy in a meaningful way. We appreciate the support of all those who helped make this possible,” he added.
Credit Union Representatives Greet Patrons at Local Café
December 18, 2016 (FITCHBURG, MASS.)—Patrons at the Chaibo Café in Fitchburg, Mass. were pleasantly surprised last Friday when local credit union representatives and team members from WZLX-100.7 FM radio treated them to a free cup of coffee and handed them a $10 VISA gift card to pay it forward.
All part of the Cooperative Credit Union Association's Better Values.Better Banking consumer campaign, the hour and a half event was one of many hosted by the Association to raise awareness of local credit unions among consumers. Leominster Credit Union President/CEO John O'Brien and SVP, Lending Craig Madonia along with GFA Federal Credit Union Better Banking Designer Francis Morales participated in the event and had the opportunity to talk with customers as they gathered with friends inside the Café.
(Photo: Monty Tech students display their Better Values. Better Banking. bags and 15 Reasons. Pictured L-R are John O'Brien, Leominster CU; Monty Tech students Mariah Batallas, Gabby DaCosta, and Maddie Russo; Francis Morales, GFA FCU; and Craig Madonia, Leominster CU.)
It's Coffee and Credit Unions at The Bean Counter & Bakery in Worcester
December 17, 2015 (WORCESTER, MASS.)—Folks, young and old, were greeted yesterday at the The Bean Counter & Bakery in Worcester, Mass., by WZLX-FM radio staff promoting the advantages of credit union membership. The outing was hosted by Better Values. Better Banking. and its "In Your Neighborhood" series of community events.
Boston's classic rock station on-air personality Chuck Nowlin joined with Association President Paul Gentile to greet folks and engage them in conversation about their banking habits and knowledge of credit unions. Patrons were also treated to coffee by the team and given gift cards to pay-it-forward, courtesy of credit unions.
(Photo: Customers at the Bean Counter and Bakery receive shopping bags and the 15 Reasons to Join a Credit Union booklet from Association President Paul Gentile, center, and WZLX-FM disk jockey Chuck Nowlin, far right.)
Better Values. Better Banking. Visits the Dunkin Donuts Center
December 5, 2015 (PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND)—The Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence, R.I., hosted Better Values. Better Banking. on Saturday during the Providence Bruins hockey game. The Association's Donna Bevilacqua joined with WAVE Federal Credit Union executive David Dupere in greeting consumers at a credit union table on the concourse where they also distributed canvas grocery bags emblazoned with the Better Values. Better Banking. logo to those attending the game. Credit unions of Rhode Island were also prominent throughout the night on the center's Jumbotron, and most especially before the start of the game when Association President Paul Gentile joined with Dupere to present Special Olympics Rhode Island CEO Dennis DeJesus and his assistant, Special Olympics athlete Michael Lucca, a holiday check in the amount of $500.
(Photo: The jumbotron at the Dunkin' Donuts Center displays one of the highlights of the evening, a check presentation to Special Olympics Rhode Island. (L-R) Paul Gentile, David Dupere, Michael Lucca, and Dennis DeJesus.)
Association Kicks Off New Credit Union Awareness Advertising Campaign
September 28, 2015 (MARLBOROUGH, MASS.)—Beginning today, consumers throughout Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island will become the prime audience to a new media advertising campaign sponsored by the Cooperative Credit Union Association.
Under the banner—Better Values. Better Banking.—the campaign will encourage consumers to seek out and join a credit union to do their banking. With credit union values and principles serving as the value proposition, the Association believes that consumers will enjoy a better banking experience at a credit union because of the values and principles credit unions espouse and practice on a daily basis.
“For a credit union trade association, advocacy must extend beyond the lawmakers and regulators,” said Paul Gentile, president/CEO of the Cooperative Credit Union Association. “It also demands that we reach out to consumers as well, helping them to better understand what credit unions are and how credit unions offer a better banking experience. Our Better Values. Better Banking. Campaign does just that.”
The centerpiece of the campaign is its website, BetterValuesBetterBanking.com. The site offers information on credit unions, noting 15 reasons to join, frequently asked questions and a brief historical overview of the formation of credit unions in the U.S. Most important is the site’s ability to help consumers search for a local and convenient credit union which they can join by simply entering a zip code.
In addition to also encouraging social media engagement through Facebook and Twitter, the site directs consumers to the special charities supported by each state’s credit unions; Special Olympics in Rhode Island, Make-A-Wish in New Hampshire and the Coalition for the Homeless in Massachusetts.
Directing consumer traffic to the website will be the objective of radio commercials, social media activities, community events, and other advertising initiatives.
Social media posts will also receive a significant boost from video interviews currently being produced by the Association through its Casting Call program. Member credit unions are hosting the Association’s mobile video studio where Strategic Communications SVP Walt Laskos is interviewing members of the credit union about their banking experience and what makes it stand out from other financial institutions. Video clips of the interviews will appear in social media and future TV commercials as another way to promote and share the credit union story.
The Better Values. Better Banking. media campaign runs through January 2016, when it will move into phase two, which promises even more excitement and surprises.
About the Cooperative Credit Union Association
The Cooperative Credit Union Association, headquartered in Marlborough, Mass., promotes the interests of more than 180-member credit unions located throughout the states of Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. The Association is, first and foremost, an advocate for its members before Congress and state legislatures, regulatory bodies and the public. In addition, it provides an array of services including educational programs, workshops and conferences; a daily e-briefing on all the latest news and issues facing credit unions; and, through its CU Connect program—a select group of service providers—and a number of system partners, works to advance the availability of their quality products and services to its members. For more information, visit CCUAssociation.org.