There are a huge number of kids in school across Northwest Indiana and it can be easy to forget that not all of them may have the same circumstances as your own or your friend’s kids. For some students, a new book, fresh underwear, or socks without holes are luxuries that they can rarely enjoy. For the past 3-years, REGIONAL federal credit union has made it a goal to help these kids get some of these daily needs they see their peers enjoy every day.
This year, REGIONAL FCU is giving $1,000 to local school systems through their B.U.S program, which helps local children purchase books, underwear, and socks. The amount will be split between, Hammond, Portage, and Valparaiso students, going to different schools in each district. For each of the past three years, REGIONAL FCU members have donated “one penny or item at a time” to make sure these local children can have a smile on their face.
“It’s amazing what a clean pair of socks or underwear does for a child,” said Kevin Kosek, REGIONAL’s Vice President of Marketing and Business Development. “There is a sense of confidence that these items give to a kid. We’ve had social workers tell us that there are kids who come to their schools in winter with no socks, just their boots on.”
The value these items have to local children cannot be measured in dollars and cents. The security they get from a clean pair of underwear, the joy they feel at being able to talk to their friends about the new book they got at the school book fair, or the warmth of their feet as they wait at the bus stop on a cold day. None of those comforts are tangible, but they are all incredibly important nonetheless.
“These kids are our future,” said Jill Banning, REGIONAL FCU’s President and CEO. “If these kids don’t have the basics - not only the support from other adults, but the basics of food and clothing - then there’s no way they can stay focused on things like learning basic skills, or as they get older, finance. We need to take care of these kids at the very beginning and at the basic level.”
For REGIONAL FCU, helping out the community is not just one-off annual event, it’s a core idea built into their philosophy as a company. Whether it is through helping kids meet their needs or helping adults manage their finances, they always look to do the best they can for their community.
“Our whole philosophy, our whole purpose of being is to help other people,” said Banning. “We join and work together to find their needs and work them out. We want to spread that mindset not only in our business model and the financial end of it, but throughout the community. Our members - the community - that’s who we are. We just want to make sure we help out as much as we can in every area of their lives, not just their finances.”
The future of the community starts with kids, and REGIONAL is doing its part to make that future a little brighter. To learn more about REGIONAL federal credit union, visit www.regionalfcu.org.