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Credit Unions for Kids: A Celebration of Champions

CU professionals honor 'Champion Children' who represent CMN Hospitals.

January 05, 2014
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CU4Kids-Champion Child Nebraska From left: Miss America, Nina Davuluri of New York, joins Disney Channel star Zendaya, Delta Air Lines' LaSandra Boykin, and Nick Cannon of "America's Got Talent" to lead an audience in cheers for Christian Overly, Nebraska's "Champion Child."

More than 50 credit union industry professionals celebrated the 30th anniversary of Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) Hospitals at the three-day “Celebration” conference at Disney World in Orlando, Fla.

Celebration is an annual meeting like none other. The event brings together key CMN Hospitals stakeholders: patient families, hospital program directors and executives, celebrity spokespeople, media partners, and representatives from top industry contributors.

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Credit unions, the third-largest CMN Hospitals corporate sponsor behind Walmart and Costco, contributed $10 million in 2012 and have raised more than $110 million since 1996 through their development arm, Credit Unions for Kids.

Throughout the event, hosted by CMN Hospitals co-founders Marie Osmond and John Schneider, attendees honor and celebrate 58 “Champion Children”— patients from each state, Canadian province, and Puerto Rico who symbolize the millions of miracles CMN Hospitals perform.

The highlight: A ceremony where each of the Champion Children receives a medal to commemorate their year as a CMN Hospitals ambassador.

Nick Cannon from “America’s Got Talent” emceed the event with the help of Miss America, Nina Davuluri of New York, and Zendaya, star of the Disney Channel sitcom “Shake It Up.”

“Attending Celebration, meeting the patient families and hearing firsthand about the miracles local CMN Hospitals perform every day is a great reminder of why credit unions support Credit Unions for Kids,” says Nancy Croix Stroud, president/CEO of $45 million asset First Class American Credit Union in Fort Worth, Texas.

“First Class American Credit Union is proud to honor our industry’s vision and ‘Unite for Good’ with credit unions nationwide in support of these kids.”

FELICITY GUERIN is the Credit Unions for Kids development manager for the American Association of Credit Union Leagues.

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Great article! Unfortunately, most employees don’t feel valued or appreciated by their supervisors or employers. In fact, research has shown that the predominant reason team members quit their jobs is because they don’t feel valued. This is in spite of the fact that employee recognition programs have proliferated in the workplace – over 90% of all organizations in the U.S. has some form of employee recognition activities in place. But most employee recognition programs are viewed with skepticism and cynicism – because they aren’t viewed as being genuine in their communication of appreciation. Getting the “employee of the month” award, receiving a certificate of recognition, or a “Way to go, team!” email just don’t get the job done. How do you communicate authentic appreciation? We have found people have different ways that they want to be shown appreciation, and if you don’t communicate in the language of appreciation important to them, you essentially “miss the mark”. Additionally, employees need to receive recognition more than once a year at their performance review. Otherwise, they view the praise as “going through the motions”. A third component of authentic appreciation is that the communication has to be about them personally – not the department, not their group, but something they did. Finally, they have to believe that you mean what you say. How you treat them has to match the words you use. If you are not sure how your team members want to be shown appreciation, the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory (www.appreciationatwork.com/assess) will identify the language of appreciation and specific actions preferred by each employee. You then can create a group profile for your team, so everyone knows how to encourage one another. Remember, employees want to know that they are valued for what they contribute to the success of the organization. And communicating authentic appreciation in the ways they desire it can make the difference between keeping your quality team members or having a negative work environment that everyone wants to leave. Paul White, Ph.D., is the co-author of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace with Dr. Gary Chapman.

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