Many of the families touched by Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) Hospitals face not only the biggest health issues of their lives but also the biggest financial challenge they’ve experienced.
Unexpected medical expenses have become the foremost cause of personal bankruptcy. Even when insurance and charity care cover hospital bills, parents of seriously ill children still face difficult choices:
• Do I quit my job to stay with my son at the hospital during his chemo treatments?
• How will I afford day care for my other children while I’m helping my daughter rehabilitate?
• How will I pay my bills with less income and more expenses?
Credit unions can help these families make smart financial choices at an emotionally charged time.
To create greater awareness of credit union principles, products, and services, Credit Unions for Kids has partnered for the first time with the National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF). They aim to provide all 163 CMN Hospitals with a box set of the Emmy Award-winning TV show “Biz Kid$” by the end of April, which is National Financial Literacy Month.
Credit unions can purchase these box sets from NCUF for the discounted price of $300 and affix their logo and contact information. Patients and their families can check out the DVDs from the hospital library.
“In addition to being valuable for the kids and their families, we strongly believe this initiative will be beneficial for credit unions as well,” says Felicity Guerin, Credit Unions for Kids development manager for the American Association of Credit Union Leagues. “The box set of ‘Biz Kid$’ DVDs will be a great source of entertainment and education for patients during their hospital stay. Plus, the accompanying lessons and worksheets will be important resources for families.”
A coalition of more than 300 credit unions and affiliates has exclusively funded “Biz Kid$.” It has contributed $14 million toward the show’s production, website, curriculum development, and outreach since 2008.
NCUF emphasizes the value of strategic philanthropy, meaning credit unions’ charitable contributions should align with—and advance—their goal of helping members achieve personal financial freedom.
“Credit unions are incredibly generous, but the charities they choose oft en don’t have any connection to their day-to-day business,” says NCUF Executive Director Gigi Hyland. “I want to make sure credit unions have a very vibrant story to tell in their philanthropic giving that underlines the importance of their mission.
“Aside from being generous, we have a special expertise in consumer finance,” Hyland says. “We’re leveraging that in all arenas to bring our special mission and uniqueness to as many consumers as we can.”
Credit unions contributed $10 million to CMN Hospitals in 2013—the third-highest total among corporate partners, behind only Walmart and Costco—and they’ve raised more than $120 million since 1996 through Credit Unions for Kids.
Because CMN Hospitals treat ill children regardless of families’ ability to pay, many Credit Unions for Kids donations support this “uncompensated care.”
“We aspire for credit unions to be the resource CMN Hospitals point to, and patient families look to, for financial help and guidance,” Guerin says.