Linn-Co FCU Puts Positive Tone on School Year for Students in Need

The first few months back at school can be an anxious time for any student, regardless of their age or background. Children in need especially can be vulnerable to the pressures of a new year.

That’s why Linn-Co FCU has chosen to make a significant impact in helping needy students of west-central Oregon get their school year started on a happy note. This $85 million credit union in Lebanon, Oregon is one of the leaders that sponsor an event called KidzShop, which collectively provided more than 300 kids a shopping spree for school supplies valued at $37,000 this school year alone.

Several years ago a local retailer hosted this event, but since has gone out of business. Staff at Linn-CO FCU and other area community leaders immediately teamed up with the Altrusa Club of Albany, Oregon. The main concern was how they would continue providing underprivileged children a positive start to the school year. KidzShop was born!

At 6:00 a.m. on a Saturday, volunteers from the credit union and other community organizations assemble at Heritage Mall in Albany. In a matter of three to four hours, the mall becomes a whirlwind of activity. Paired with an adult chaperone, 315 students were on the hunt for clothing, shoes, accessories and other items they needed for the upcoming school year.  

When finished shopping, the students received a backpack filled with school supplies, a “snack sack” filled with healthy, non-perishable food items, several pairs of new socks, and dental kits. Complimentary pastries and cold drinks provided by Linn-CO FCU during the course of the early morning shopping extravaganza.

As a result of donations, grants and other fundraising efforts led by the Altrusa Club, each student can spend up to $100. Key to facilitating the funding for the KidzShop event has been CUMONEY® TravelMoney cards provided by LSC®, a leading support provider of financial products and services to credit unions across the country.

About four years ago, the mall discontinued its general gift cards, which were previously used to pay for KidzShop purchases. In response, Linn-Co FCU began researching various payment options in the financial services marketplace. After getting in touch with LSC to see what could be done on a collaborative basis, LSC agreed to waive all fees associated with the CUMONEY card. In addition, LSC offered to have customer service representatives on call on ready to answer any payments-related questions that may have arisen during the event. Ultimately, LSC became the new strategic payment solutions partner for KidzShop.

“KidzShop has truly been a win-win opportunity for the underprivileged children in our community and the credit union movement,” said Kathleen Burt, Linn-Co FCU Director of Public Relations. “LSC was key to making this event a success. Their generosity maximized our funds, and all went directly to the kids.”

“LSC is always looking for ways to help credit unions promote our collective ‘People Helping People’ philosophy,” said Naomi Anderson, LSC’s Vice President of Card Services. “KidzShop is such a wonderful program. When we were approached by Linn-Co FCU, we jumped at the chance to help them put smiles on the faces of students in their community.”

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

Posted in Events.