Northwest Credit Unions Give Red Wagons and Big Checks to Children’s Hospitals

Puget Sound-area credit unions presented their donations to Seattle Children’s Hospital, and got to see a miracle in progress as a doctor finished a baby’s heart transplant.

As credit union leaders gathered outside a conference room at Seattle Children’s Hospital in early February, a red Radio Flyer wagon rolled by with two kids inside. They were giggling, playing with each other. One of them, at least, was a patient.

Phil Jones, president and CEO of Harborstone Credit Union, had another Radio Flyer wagon, this one brand new and filled with toys. His credit union won it in the Heroes of Hope charity auction last October to benefit the hospital.

When Kira Haller of Seattle Children’s welcomed Jones and the other credit union leaders, they presented her with a check for over $40,000—the amount raised for the hospital at the auction, including the $10,000 wagon bid from Harborstone—and Jones offered over the red wagon.

“Thank you, the kids love these,” said Haller. “And this is perfect timing because we’re running low!”

Every year at the auction one wagon is auctioned off for each Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) Hospital in the region. The red wagons have become a symbol of credit unions’ historic support of the hospitals, and a favorite of their young patients who are given wagon rides from room to room.

2014’s auction set a new record in generosity, as Northwest credit unions raised more than $200,000 for the CMN Hospitals of Oregon and Washington. And over the last months, credit union leaders visited the hospitals to hand over the wagons and the checks.

Hardwood Handoff

Portland Trail Blazers Wagon Presentation

The Portland Trail Blazers invited credit unions to present their donation to Doernbecher Children’s Hospital on the arena floor.

One presentation, though, did not take place in a hospital at all. The Portland Trail Blazers hosted Credit Union Appreciation Night on Tuesday, February 3 during a game against the Utah Jazz and invited Doernbecher Children’s Hospital and the credit unions that support it onto the floor.

The credit unions presented Doernbecher with a check for over $50,000. And Rob Stuart, president and CEO of OnPoint Community Credit Union, gave the hospital a shiny new wagon filled with toys that his credit union had won for them.

“Credit Unions for Kids has been instrumental in supporting local children’s hospitals for many years,” said Stuart. “OnPoint is proud to be involved and support Children’s Miracle Network hospitals and the children and their families who benefit from their care. Presenting both the check and the wagon to Doernbecher was a wonderful opportunity to share at such a true Portland community event.”

Miracles in Progress

Some of the hospitals offered tours to the credit union leaders who visited to present donations. They got to see the lifesaving work being done by the hospitals throughout the Northwest. And at Seattle Children’s Hospital, they got to see a miracle in progress.

After touring the emergency department, the credit union folks were shown up to a floor devoted to caring for young heart patients. In a small room for nurses and doctors in the middle of the floor a screen was showing a live surgery that was taking place just down the hall.

On the screen a doctor’s hands moved over a small, open chest in which a tiny heart was beating. The doctor was just finishing a heart transplant, sewing the heart into its new young life.

“How old is the patient?” someone asked.

“Three months,” a doctor answered.

Over 200,000 Reasons to Celebrate

The over $200,000 Northwest credit unions raised at the auction was donated to the six regional CMN Hospitals.

Yakima Valley

Yakima area credit unions and friends made sure to get their donations to Yakima Valley Memorial during the holidays so the kids there would have some extra cheer.

Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital

  • Regional credit unions and friends donated $29,774.33
  • Wagon presented by Solarity CU

Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital, Spokane

  • Regional credit unions and friends donated $32,414.34
  • Wagon jointly presented by Providence FCU and Spokane area credit unions

Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center

  • Regional credit unions and friends donated $23,254.33
  • Wagon presented by Rogue Credit Union

PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center

  • Regional credit unions and friends donated $25,354.33
  • Wagon presented by Northwest Community CU

Seattle Children’s Hospital

  • Regional credit unions and friends donated $40,929.33
  • Wagon presented by Harborstone CU

Doernbecher Children’s Hospital       

  • Regional credit unions and friends donated $51,770.34
  • Wagon presented by OnPoint Community CU

The credit unions of Oregon and Washington not only improve their members’ lives, they are foundational to the entire Northwest economy. Learn more here.

Questions about this story? Contact James Pearson: 206.340.4790, jpearson@nwcua.org.

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