WASHINGTON (2/15/16, UPDATED 12 p.m. ET)--The Credit Union National Association (CUNA), Republican National Convention (RNC), Democratic National Convention Committee (DNCC) and RealClearPolitics are connecting community service to the national conventions by providing indoor and outdoor garden spaces at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio and Karabots Pediatric Care Center, part of The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) in Philadelphia, Pa., respectively.
In the months leading up to the Republican and Democratic nominating conventions, credit unions and RealClearPolitics will create new green spaces to foster a restorative patient environment for children at each hospital. RealClearPolitics is a non-partisan, political news and polling data aggregator.
The effort represents credit unions’ tradition of honoring each national convention city with a “leave-behind” project that will continue to serve the local communities long after the conventions have left town.
“Credit unions exist to help people and that’s why we’re working with these hospitals in Cleveland and Philadelphia,” said Jim Nussle, president/CEO of CUNA. “Through community engagement, we’re working to ensure that children and their families have a comforting place to cultivate, learn, heal and reenergize during their stay at these great hospitals.”
All costs for both projects are fully supported through funds raised by credit unions nationwide. The Ohio Credit Union League and Pennsylvania Credit Union Association, representing credit unions in the two states, are spearheading the fundraising efforts for UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital and CHOP’s Karabots Pediatric Care Center, respectively.
At UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, a year-round horticultural therapy suite will engage young patients in gardening and plant-based activities facilitated by a trained therapist.
At CHOP’s Karabots Pediatric Care Center in Philadelphia, an outdoor Health and Wellness Garden will serve as a resource for vitally important patient and community engagement programs, including nutritional experiences, physical activity and a site to host events for patient programs, such as Reach Out and Read. Both projects will positively impact the hospitals and their surrounding communities, encouraging patients to become empowered caregivers.
“The Republican Party welcomes the opportunity to work with credit unions and UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital to leave a lasting impact on these young patients, their families and the community at large for years to come,” said Jeff Larson, CEO of the Republican National Convention. “The cities that host these conventions do so much, and we’re proud to give back in any way possible--especially when it means helping improving the lives of our nation’s children.”
“Not only will hundreds of young patients at CHOP be able to utilize the outdoor space, the local community will benefit from the fresh foods and educational resources that will be made available,” said Rev. Leah Daughtry, CEO of the 2016 Democratic Convention. “We are pleased to join the Credit Union National Association, the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association and RealClearPolitics in this project that will impact Philadelphia in such a positive way. The garden will be a great asset to patients and their families from all across the region that will be sustainable for the future.”
“As the political world descends on Cleveland and Philadelphia, what a great initiative to bring credit unions and the two parties together for worthy causes,” said Carl Cannon of RealClearPolitics. “We’re honored to join CUNA, the RNC and DNCC in assisting these two children’s hospitals.
Construction at the two hospitals will unfold over the spring and summer, and will include volunteer opportunities for credit union and convention staff to lend a personal hand. Plans call for ribbon-cutting events at each hospital to be held during the week of the Convention in each city in July 2016.