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"Change a Child's Life" coin canisters
CU4Kids now offers coin collection canisters to credit unions free of charge for the Children's Miracle Network. They've also created a web page with resources including suggested Tweets, Facebook postings, articles, and ways to engage your staff, logos, etc. For more information, visit

Shop for Miracles
CO-OP is supporting Shop for Miracles,a one-day fundraising program to support CMN Hospitals, which will take place on, International Credit Union Day - Oct. 16. Each time members use their credit union-issued credit or debit card on October 16, credit unions participating in the Shop for Miracles program will donate $0.25 or other pre-determined amount to their local CMN Hospital. CO-OP will provide matching funds for approved applications starting at dollar-for-dollar up to $10,000. Visit for member-facing materials which will be available June 1st.

ATM Donations for CMN Hospitals
CO-OP has also teamed up with Credit Unions for Kids to offer CO-OP clients the option to add a transaction to allow members to make a donation at the ATM to CMN Hospitals when they conduct business at participating CO-OP ATM locations. All ATMs directly "driven" (controlled) by CO-OP are eligible for this feature. This would make a great campaign feature for a new fundraising event!

Click here to access the Extranet to open a work order and place a request for this feature.

MnCU4 Kids reaches major fundraising milestone

Minnesota credit unions continue to demonstrate their strong commitment to the state and local communities through their fundraising and support of Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare. The Minnesota Credit Unions for Kids committee (MnCU4Kids) raised $202,281 in 2013 for Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare, the Children's Miracle Network-designated hospital in Minnesota.

Additionally, MnCU4Kids eclipsed a major fundraising milestone, reaching $2.5 million in total funds raised since its inception in 1997 through the generous support of credit unions and vendor organizations throughout the state.

MnCU4Kids, a committee of the Foundation, is part of a collaboration of credit unions, chapters, leagues and business partners engaged in fundraising activities that benefit Children's Miracle Network-affiliated hospitals. Throughout 2013, the volunteer MnCU4Kids committee coordinated a variety of fundraisers that engaged credit unions and members in all corners of Minnesota. Individual credit unions also coordinated their own fundraisers that consisted of cookouts, candy sales, casual Fridays and more.

"The tremendous support we receive from the credit unions and companies throughout Minnesota allows committee members to allocate time and effort towards supporting Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare," said MnCU4Kids Co-Chair Dave Engler. "Our committee is just one of the many ways Minnesota credit unions work together for a common good."

MnCU4Kids attributes a significant portion of its fundraising success to CO-OP Financial Services, which provides regular donations through its Miracle Match program.

"We appreciate CO-OP's ongoing support, and I am proud to recognize this long-lasting relationship between Minnesota credit unions and Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare," said Minnesota Credit Union Foundation Chairman Pat Brekken.

Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare is an independent, not-for-profit hospital located in St. Paul, with outreach clinics in Duluth, Burnsville, Maple Grove, Minnetonka. All money raised through the MnCU4Kids program supports Gillette, helping kids with disabilities and chronic conditions. Credit Unions for Kids is a national program, which is endorsed by nearly all 50 state credit union leagues.

"Credit Union for Kids has been a reliable partner for many years," said Darlis Clausen, Children's Miracle Network Manager at Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare. "The effort of the committee members and their credit unions provides Gillette stability in giving quality care to our patients."

MnCU4Kids Elects New Leadership

Last month, the Minnesota Credit Unions for Kids committee voted Minnesota Branch Manager at Royal Credit Union Brianne Meszaros into the co-chair position. Meszaros will serve a two-year term. The committee runs elections every other year, replacing a co-chair each year. Meszaros will serve with current co-chair Hiway Federal Credit Union Assistant Vice President of Investment Services Dave Engler. Meszaros has worked in credit unions for 15 years and joined MnCU4Kids in May of 2011.

The seventh annual Bowl-O-Rama will take place on Oct. 23. This event will provide credit union professionals and volunteers the opportunity to raise money for a great cause and have fun doing it.

This midday event includes lunch, three games of bowling and prize drawings, as well as fabulous trophies to the top bowling teams. All proceeds from this fundraiser go to Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare and its clinics around the state, which help kids with disabilities and chronic conditions.

Our 2014 "MENU" to Make Miracles Happen

See our 2014 Bundle Flyer which lists various ways you can make a difference in a local child's life! Last year, Gillette treated children from every county in Minnesota and every state in the U.S.

Updated reporting form now available

To allow for more accurate record keeping and recording of contributions, MnCU4Kids has updated its reporting form. Credit unions who have forms saved can replace it with the new version. Download it here.

CO-OP Financial Services Matching Grant

The CO-OP Financial Services Miracle Match is still available to credit unions making it possible to double your fundraising efforts for MN Credit Unions for Kids. Apply today!

If your credit union's fundraiser has already received a match two consecutive years, it will not be matched for a third consecutive year. Simply add a new component to the event to make it "new" and submit your application for your new event. Also, see other "new" event opportunities through CO-OP Financial Services below.

Launched in 2008, CO-OP's Miracle Match Program is a $1 million philanthropic matching program that encourages credit unions, chapters and leagues to create and participate in local Children's Miracle Network Hospitals (CMNH) fundraisers. When you apply and participate in Miracle Match, the money you raise for kids is matched, nearly doubling your power to save the lives of hospitalized children within your community. CMN Hospitals raises funds for 170 children's hospitals across North America. Funds are used in many ways, such as supporting research and training, to purchase equipment, and/or pay for uncompensated care. Local fundraising is a great way to express community spirit, and build stronger ties with your members, by staging events that involve them to raise more funds for this worthy cause.

Meet Michael

Shortly after Michael's birth, doctors diagnosed him with Apert syndrome, an extremely rare condition that affects only about 15 of every 1 million U.S. babies. Characteristics include prematurely fused skull bones, webbed fingers and toes, and a face that appears sunken in the middle. His parents, Mike and Paty, quickly discovered that not just any hospital could treat their son. In their hometown, no medical specialists had experience operating on a young child with Apert syndrome.

Michael needed prompt treatment from an experienced surgeon. Robert Wood, M.D., a craniofacial surgeon at Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare, specializes in treating children who have disabilities and complex medical conditions. He was visiting the hospital where Michael was born, and he met with Michael's parents before they brought their son home.

Wood performed Michael's first surgery-a major procedure that expanded and reshaped his skull-when Michael was just 5 months old. Later surgeries separated Michael's fingers and toes. Thanks to his surgeries and treatments at Gillette, Michael is developing normally. His parents say he's a bright, happy child, with a delightfully mischievous personality. And he's always smiling.

"Michael understands that we are all different, but being different isn't what defines him as a person," Mike says. "Because of his positive attitude, he fits in everywhere and is a favorite among his classmates and friends."


In November the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals’ Celebration event in Orlando, FL held a Credit Unions for Kids reception. 

The reception was hosted by CO-OP Financial Services. Darlis Clausen, Director of the Children’s Miracle Network department at Gillette, presented Jeff Schwalen with an award for his many years of leadership and support of Gillette through MNCU4Kids.  

In addition to attending the Credit Unions for Kids quarterly Advisory Board meeting at Celebration, Board members attended the Champion’s Medal Ceremony, Champion’s Pin Exchange and an innovative and inspiring “Ignite” Conference.

MnCU4Kids committee

Dave Engler – Hiway FCU • Marlo Hirl – General Mills FCU • Marty Kelly – US Federal CU • Steve Oien – Minnco CU • Steve Ahlness – Greater Minnesota CU • Dick Nesvold – SouthPoint FCU   • Mick Olson – TopLine FCU • Roxi Jensen – Embarrass Vermillion FCU • Brad Larson – Lake State FCU • Marnie Perfetti-Galston – Mid-Minnesota FCU • Megan Primeau – City & County CU • Brianne Meszaros – Royal Credit Union • Darlis Clausen – Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare • Becky Holst – Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare • Becky DeRosia – Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare • Stacie Walker – Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare • Laura Whittet – Minnesota Credit Union Network • Lindsey Evans – Minnesota Credit Union Network


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