Employees at Helena credit unions are joining their counterparts around the state and across the nation to celebrate Miracle Jeans Day and raise money for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals on Wed., Sept. 18 by making a $5 donation to wear jeans to work.
Miracle Jeans Day is an annual event to raise awareness and funds for local Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, and in Montana, Shodair Children’s Hospital is the only facility carrying that title. This small gesture from individuals — especially considering we Montanans love to sport our jeans on any given day — creates awareness and makes a big financial impact.
Last year, credit unions were the biggest supporter of Miracle Jeans in the United States raising more than $300,000. Staff from more than 600 credit unions participated and more than half of Montana’s 56 credit unions. This year, we anticipate nearly all our credit unions will be dedicated to denim because it is one of the key steps in our campaign to raise $46,000 to furnish the Shodair House.
The Shodair Family House recently opened its doors providing a safe, comfortable and home-like environment for families to stay on site for a small suggested donation while their children receive care. It’s incredibly difficult, edging towards unbearable for parents or guardians to watch a child suffer. Thankfully, families in our state often turn to Shodair Children’s Hospital, Montana’s 115-year-old hospital serving children, adolescents and families through acute care, residential treatment and genetic testing. Because 60 percent of families served (99 percent are from Montana) at Shodair are financially challenged, there is a low, suggested donation, but no-one is ever turned away from any services at Shodair from an inability to pay.
Like credit unions, Shodair Children’s Hospital is a not-for-profit entity. It provided care for 1,685 children and received no state or federal monies. That equates to $3.5 million in charity health care, and wearing jeans will help that commitment continue.
When a child has an emotional breakdown, psychotic episode, or needs intervention for a number of behavioral issues, the family unit is deeply affected. Experts say the more a family can be involved in treatment and care the better the outcomes. The staff at Shodair has listened to this insightfulness and put it into action with the Shodair Family House.
While children across the state depend on Shodair often in times of chaos and distress, Shodair Children’s Hospital relies on the generosity of Montanans to provide such care and healing. The new Shodair Family House is the first of its kind in this region. It means that families are able to be more deeply engaged in the treatment which research proves to have better outcomes. The state-of-the-art facility can house about 26 people in the family suites and single rooms with a self-serve, shared kitchen and dining room; therapy rooms and on-site laundry. It’s a safe environment that is well-thought-out, and credit unions have shown their support by selecting pieces of furniture to purchase.
The Montana Credit Union Network is proud to spearhead this statewide effort, and we’re thrilled about its potential because we believe it’s just the beginning of an effort to foster a culture of support for Credit Unions for Kids, which on a national level provides millions of dollars to the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals every year. Shodair Children’s Hospital is Montana’s only Children’s Miracle Network Hospital and all the money raised in Montana stays in Montana.
This partnership with Shodair is a simple yet impactful way for those of us who belong to or work for a credit union to make a difference in the lives of many children — and their families — in our state. It doesn’t take much effort but merely a $5 contribution and sportin’ your favorite pair of blue jeans.
For more information visit your local credit union or visit www.miraclejeansday.com
Alana Listoe is with the Montana Credit Union Network, a nonprofit based in Helena that exists to promote and enhance a thriving credit union community by providing services, advocating and implementing programs to improve the social economic well-being of all Montanans.