The Credit Unions Kids at Heart Team is a favorite public service activity for the credit union community, and one of the largest credit union collaborative fundraising programs in the nation. Eastern Corporate Federal Credit Union (EasCorp) of Burlington, Massachusetts, founded the Credit Unions Kids at Heart Team in 1996 with a small group of Massachusetts credit unions. Since that time, the program has expanded to include dozens of participating credit unions throughout the nation.
The Credit Unions Kids at Heart Team is dedicated to helping children lead healthy and happy lives. For the past several years, the Team has worked closely with the scientists and doctors at Boston Children's Hospital to fund special research activities aimed at the prevention, treatment, and/or cure of pediatric neurological diseases, including Sturge-Weber Syndrome, Moyamoya disease, Cerebral Palsy, and pediatric brain tumors.
As of May 2017 Credit Unions Kids at Heart has raised over $5.4 million for Boston Children’s Hospital.
In 2017, the Credit Unions Kids at Heart Team also embraced the Read with Malcolm initiative, a youth literacy program founded by New England Patriots wide receiver sensation Malcolm Mitchell. Malcolm's Share the Magic Foundation works to promote the long-term benefits of reading and book ownership among students in Title I schools and underserved communities. Throughout the 2017 NFL season, the Credit Unions Kids at Heart Team will sponsor "First Downs for First Graders" and donate copies of Malcolm's book, The Magician's Hat, to many first graders within the cities and towns where credit unions are located.
Initiative for Designating May 6 as Annual Moyamoya Disease Awareness Day
The Credit Unions Kids at Heart Team is urging a successful outcome for the legislative bill designating each May 6 as Moyamoya Disease Awareness Day in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The bill, S.1723, was introduced by Senator Eric P. Lesser of the First Hampden and Hampshire District, and other members of the General Court, and it is presently being reviewed by the Joint Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight within the Massachusetts State House.
The purpose of Moyamoya Awareness Day is to raise awareness of the occurrence of this rare neurovascular condition seen in children and adults in which the walls of the internal carotid arteries become thickened and narrowed resulting in reduced blood flow and an increased risk of transient ischemic attacks and strokes. By educating the public, including the medical community, about Moyamoya, the likelihood of early diagnosis and effective treatment is significantly enhanced.
On November 1, 2017, the credit union community converged on the Massachusetts State House to receive an update on the bill’s progress and to encourage its passage.