A recent study detailed in the Stanford Social Innovation Review entitled “Creating High Impact Non-Profits” asserts, “ High-impact nonprofits work with and through organizations and individuals outside themselves to create more impact than they ever could have achieved alone.”
The first lesson cited is “Serve and Advocate.” The article explains, “ High-impact organizations may start out providing great programs, but they eventually realize that they cannot achieve large-scale social change through service delivery alone…Ultimately, all high-impact organizations bridge the divide between service and advocacy. They become good at both. And the more they serve and advocate, the more they achieve impact.”
The Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run® offers the credit union industry a vehicle to help “bridge the divide between service and advocacy” and to “achieve impact,” both locally and nationally.
Bridge the Divide
The Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run® is a unique opportunity for the credit union community to band together with one voice to prove the credit union difference.
The Run takes place during Washington DC’s annual Cherry Blossom Festival and is a fundraiser for Children’s Miracle Network, an organization which provided over $2.5 billion in charity to sick children in 2006 alone. The Run celebrates the arrival of spring and the renewal of hope for more than 17 million critically ill children served by CMN-affiliated hospitals each year.
The event showcases the cooperative nature of the credit union industry by uniting credit union executives, employees and affiliates in support of a single cause. Each year, a variety of people from credit unions across the country come together to volunteer, run, or fundraise. It is truly the credit union philosophy of “people helping people” in action.
Having an event in Washington DC certainly gets the attention of our nations politicians and law-makers, but the Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run goes one step further: what better way to deliver the credit union difference than the fleet-footed runners of Capitol Hill? More than 400 Capitol Hill staffers participated in the 2007 race. Truly, this is advocacy in action!
“The significance of this opportunity to engage in a cause that benefits America’s children and highlights the cooperative spirit of credit unions before a national audience cannot be overstated,” notes Dan Mica, CUNA President and CEO.
“There is no other event — solely sponsored by credit unions — which offers such enormous potential: the potential to impact the lives of sick children in all 50 states, the potential to make a difference locally, and the potential to showcase
the credit union difference nationally,” proclaims Juri Valdov, President Northwest Federal Credit Union (VA).
In the six years that Credit Union Miracle Day (CUMD) has been sponsoring the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run®, over $1.5 million has been donated for Children's Miracle Network hospitals, including over half a million dollars from the 2007 race alone.
But the effects aren’t just seen nationally – the efforts impact individual communities throughout the United States. In fact, there is a Children’s Miracle Network hospital dedicated to serving children in almost every community across the United States. Funds raised by each credit union are sent to the Children’s Hospital in their locale, directly helping the children in their field of membership.
“Fundraising for and participating in the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run® makes a big impact in our community. Our members and employees have huge hearts and a desire to reach out. Each year our efforts return thousands of dollars to the children in our neighborhood that need our support,” says Mike Vadala, President/CEO, Summit FCU (NY).
Join Our Cause
“Our goal is to branch out and secure sponsorship commitments from credit unions and partner organizations from all 50 states. Imagine the presence we will carry on Capitol Hill. (There is indeed strength in numbers!) The philosophical root of the credit union movement, “ people helping people,” is what binds all of us together: big and small asset sizes; state and federal charters; corporates and affiliated vendors,” shares Jim Blaine, CEO SECU (NC).
If you aren’t convinced to be a sponsor yet, please visit our website and read more about the children that this event supports. Feel free to contact any of the members of our Board of Directors for more information on why we strive to “Serve and Advocate” by participating in the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run®.