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The Green SheetGreen Sheet

The Green Sheet Online Edition

August 24, 2009 • Issue 09:08:02

Be the miracle

CO-OP Financial Services, the nation's largest credit union service organization reported that, along with 130 of its participating credit unions, it raised nearly $1 million for the Children's Miracle Network, a Salt Lake City-based nonprofit that provides financial assistance to more than 170 children's hospitals.

From January through June 2009 the credit unions raised $517,000; CO-OP' Miracle Match program donated an additional $445,000.

CO-OP launched the CO-OP launched the Miracle Match program in 2008 to assist the Credit Union for Kids program, which supports local CMN hospitals by providing additional medical care, research and education that helps kids overcome illnesses and injuries. The program's goals are to increase donations and stimulate new fundraisers among CO-OP's 3,000 participating members.

"Credit Union for Kids has been partnering or raising funds for CMN since 1996," said Bill Prichard, CO-OP's Public Relations Manager. "And we formed the Miracle Match program so that when someone holds a Credit Union for Kids fundraiser those funds can be matched through our program. And we make every effort to accommodate every application we receive."

Inspired to act

To participate, credit unions simply send an application to CO-OP, explain the fundraiser they would like to hold and request matching funds. The fundraisers are as diverse as the communities and cultures the credit unions serve. CO-OP credit unions have sponsored such events as casino nights, softball and golf tournaments, cookbook sales and auction parties. Additionally, Prichard said that 10 new credit unions have joined the Miracle Match fold this year.

"This is significant because these are 10 new fundraisers we didn't have last year, and we're proud that these credit unions have been inspired by the Miracle Match program," Prichard said. "And let me say, as well, that all credit unions are eligible, not just those who are members of CO-OP. So anyone interested in putting on a fundraiser for 2010 needs only to fill out a very brief interest form on our Web site, and we will send them an application to get on board."

First time participants have raised more than $64,000; corresponding Miracle Match donations from CO-OP totaled $88,000. CO-OP is committed to donating up to $1 million in matching funds in 2009 and, based on the projected fundraisers planned, expects to do so.

Appreciating generosity

"The credit unions, who do all the work in these functions, are the heroes, and we are very proud to help them support children's hospitals in their local areas," said Stan Hollen, President and Chief Executive Officer of CO-OP. "With so many families facing financial struggles during the economic turmoil of last year, it is reassuring to see there are still so many generous people in the credit union community who are willing to help children and families who need it the most.

"And this effort to improve the level of hospital care for children is an extension of the credit union movement and its tradition of uplifting the lives of individual members and entire communities."

To be eligible for the Miracle Match program, credit unions must engage in new or existing fundraising events not currently sponsored by CO-OP. Credit unions may receive one match per calendar year for each market in which they have a branch. For more information, visit www.co-opfs.org/miraclematch. The Green Sheet, Inc.

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