American Heritage Federal Credit Union CEO Bruce Foulke Visits Busia Orphanage in Kenya, Helps Build New Playground, Plays Santa

American Heritage President/CEO Bruce Foulke played Santa in December to orphans at the Busia Orphanage in Kenya.

PHILADELPHIA (12/16/2013) — American Heritage Federal Credit Union President/CEO Bruce Foulke recently completed a two-week trip to Kenya, where he personally helped with construction of a new playground at the orphanage in Busia, Kenya. It was Foulke's second trip to the orphanage in three years.

"The difference in the kids is incredible," Foulke happily reported. "They are happy and laughing and engaging. Before, many of them were lethargic and stand-offish."

The Board of Directors of American Heritage makes an annual contribution to the orphanage to cover food costs for the over 120 children now housed there, many of whom are there because their parents died of HIV/AIDS.

Employees of American Heritage conduct regular fundraising activities to support the building of the new facilities for the orphanage. They also conduct collection drives for medical supplies, school supplies and flip-flops.

The credit union's efforts have helped build the new facility, which includes expanded dormitories and a library. The new and improved orphanage now also includes electricity and clean drinking water. It is scheduled to open in January, 2014.

New orphanage buildings await the children's move-in in January, 2014.

American Heritage Federal Credit Union is a $1.33 billion member-owned financial cooperative serving over 700 sponsor companies. It is the country's 137th largest Credit Union with over 125,000 members and 30 branches in Philadelphia, Bucks and Montgomery Counties.

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American Heritage Federal Credit Union Donates School Supplies for Busia Orphanage in Kenya

PHILADELPHIA (10/15/2013) — American Heritage Federal Credit Union recently collected school supplies for the Busia Compassionate Centre, located in rural Western Kenya. Items such as backpacks, notebooks, crayons and markers were donated by American Heritage employees and Board of Directors, packaged, and sent to the World Council of Credit Unions, who will deliver them during their upcoming trip to the orphanage.

In addition, the employees raised $510 in cash donations through various raffles to be used towards the purchase of additional supplies. During 2013, a total of $4,335 has been raised to support the orphanage.

The Busia Compassionate Centre is home to 80 children, ages three to twenty-one, many of whom have lost their parents to HIV/AIDS.

In February 2012, American Heritage formed a committee of employees to support and sponsor fundraisers to benefit the orphanage. The committee hosts a variety of fundraisers to support the orphanage and assist in building a new facility that will provide access to clean drinking water, electricity, and space for every child to sleep. The committee donated a total of $6,000 during 2012.

American Heritage Federal Credit Union is a $1.33 billion member-owned financial cooperative serving over 700 sponsor companies. It is the country's 137th largest Credit Union with over 125,000 members and 30 branches in Philadelphia, Bucks and Montgomery Counties.

Pictured above: Members of the American Heritage Federal Credit Union Busia Orphanage Committee pictured with the school supplies donated by the employees and Board of Directors of American Heritage. The supplies will be donated to the Busia Compassionate Centre, located in rural Western Kenya, for the 80 children living at the orphanage.

American Heritage FCU's March Fundraisers a Success!

PHILADELPHIA (4/11/2013) — Thank you to American Heritage Federal Credit Union for their fundraising activities in March! Their Easter Basket raffle raised $1,300 for Busia Compassionate Center. They also collected dozens of much-needed items during their First Aid drive, as shown in the photo below. Their continuous contributions have made a huge difference for the children at Busia!

American Heritage FCU Holds March Fundraisers for Busia

PHILADELPHIA (3/25/13) — American Heritage Federal Credit Union, a partner of the Busia Compassionate Center, has hosted several fundraisers this month to allow us to continue our building projects in Kenya. Late in February, they held a Krispy Kreme fundraiser. They have also kicked off the ULTIMATE Easter Basket raffle, which will run through the end of March. The prize is an Easter basket of epic proportions, standing over four feet tall. The enormous basket has been wildly popular with AHFCU employees and has generated many raffle entries. On Tuesday, March 19, organizers hosted a First Aid Drive for the orphanage, collecting items essential to the health and well-being of Busia's children.

Thanks to American Heritage FCU for all your support!

Here are some pictures from the fundraisers:

Krispy Kreme donuts

Krispy Kreme donuts

Easter basket

Monstrous Easter basket

Kenya's Ambassador Lauds CUs For Promoting Economic Stability

Elkanah Odembo, Kenya's ambassador to the United States, thanked credit unions for their support of his country during a reception at the Kenyan Embassy in Washington, D.C. Photo by Larry Glatt.

WASHINGTON (3/7/13) — Kenya's ambassador to the U.S. recognized 60 U.S. credit union representatives last week for their work to improve Kenya's economic stability in a region hit hard by post-election violence in 2007.

With a new election on the horizon, Ambassador Elkanah Odembo expressed appreciation for the partnership between credit unions in Kenya and in the U.S., and for the difference they make in Kenyans' lives. Odembo made the comments during a reception at the Kenyan Embassy in Washington last week in Washington, D.C.

After ethnic clashes following the 2007 presidential election left more than 1,000 people dead, the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) began providing assistance to Busia Compassionate Centre, a western Kenya orphanage, through support from the international credit union community.

WOCCU initially worked with the orphanage through a U.S. Department of Agriculture-funded program that extended local credit union financing to small farmers, families and caretakers affected by HIV/AIDS. That program ended in 2010, but WOCCU and credit unions globally continued to support the center.

York, Branch, Cheney
Among 60 credit union representatives and Busia Compassionate Centre Supporters at a reception at the Kenyan Embassy were, from left, Jeff York, Lompoc, Calif.-based CoastHills FCU CEO; Brian Branch, World Council of Credit Unions president/CEO; and Bill Cheney, Credit Union National Association president/CEO. (Photos provided by Larry Glatt)

Credit unions financed educational scholarships, taught caretakers and orphans how to grow crops and raise animals for better nutrition and an income source, and supported building a safer, more secure facility.

The orphanage's local volunteers and children have also established a credit union to serve the Busia community. Donations from the international credit union system helped subsidize start-up costs and provide tools and methods to establish the credit union. The credit union is one of Kenya's two digital credit unions, where members can access their accounts via cellphone.

"Through our work with Kenya's savings and credit cooperatives, we were able to provide a sense of hope and security for people deeply affected by the post-election violence," said Brian Branch, WOCCU president/CEO.

"From the seeds of this work sprouted our partnership with the Busia Compassionate Centre, which has grown into a promising foundation for economic stability and growth in western Kenya. Millions of Kenyans streamed to the polls on Monday to cast their votes for a new president, and we are hopeful that this election will mark an era of greater prosperity for the country."

The Global Women's Leadership Network, a World Council initiative, is organizing an engagement program to Kenya, May 25 to June 4, 2013, to help launch the Busia Compassionate Centre's credit union. Participants will learn about the Kenyan credit union system and life in rural Kenya as well as conduct credit union staff and board trainings. Use the link for more information.

Global Women's Leadership Network Engagement in Kenya

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Mich. CU Trip Continues to Inspire

Michigan (3/4/13) — It's been several months since a group of Michigan credit union leaders went to Kenya to work in an orphanage as part of a World Council of Credit Unions program, but their trip continues to inspire others here at home.

Communicating Arts CU CEO Hank Hubbard, Public Service CU CEO Dean Trudeau, and MCUL League Representative Stephanie Klocinski traveled to the Busia Compassionate Centre in November for a service trip.

When 7-year-old Cole Treat, son of CUSG Director of Sprint Partnerships Lisa Treat, heard about the trip and learned that the children in Kenya lacked everyday items we take for granted, such as flip-flops, he set forth on a mission of his own to help. Instead of birthday presents, Cole asked his friends and family to donate flip-flops for the Kenyan children.

While in Washington for the CUNA GAC, Hubbard, Trudeau and the Treat family had the opportunity to visit the Kenya Embassy, meet with Kenyan officials and deliver the donated items.

"We are so grateful for your desire to help the people of our country," Kenya Ambassador Elkanah Odembo told the group.

The group of credit union leaders plans to continue its relationship with the orphanage and hopes to return there in the future.

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Cole Treat stands with and Ambassador Elkanah Odembo, Kenya's ambassador to the United States.

Cole Treat stands with Nicole Bice, World Council business manager and Dean Trudeau, CEO of Public Service Credit Union.