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WOCCU Kenyan Project Sparks Birthday Boy's Gift
Click to view larger image Seven-year-old Cole Treat joined the featured drumming group's performance at the World Council of Credit Unions' afternoon tea reception for Busia Compassionate Centre Supporters on Wednesday at the Kenya Embassy in Washington, D.C. (Photo provided by Larry Glatt).
MADISON, Wis. (3/5/13)--A Michigan Credit Union League staffer's work with World Council of Credit Unions' (WOCCU) Kenyan Engagement program has prompted a seven-year-old's unique gift to an orphanage.

Cole Treat, the son of friends of league representative Stephanie Klocinski, heard stories about Kenya when Klocinski returned to the U.S. When his parents asked him what he wanted for his seventh birthday, he replied that he didn't need anything and instead wanted to help Kenyan orphans obtain shoes, WOCCU said.

So guests at Cole Treat's seventh birthday party brought flip flops instead of gifts for him, and he collected 38 pairs of flip flops in different sizes and donated to them the Kenyan Busia Orphanage by dropping them off at the WOCCU booth at the Credit Union National Association's Governmental Affairs Conference in Washington, D.C., last week.

Click to view larger image After hearing about the Busia Compassionate Centre from family friend Stephanie Klocinski, league representative at the Michigan Credit Union League, who attended a World Council engagement program to the Kenyan orphanage last year, Cole Treat asked family and friends to donate flip flops to orphans for his birthday.  (Photo provided by the World Council of Credit Unions)
 

Cole and his family were at the Kenyan Embassy reception Wednesday in Washington, D.C.

The idea of donating flip flops originated with American Heritage FCU in Philadelphia last year, WOCCU said. The $1.27 billion asset credit union held a local fundraiser to raise money and flip flops for the Kenyan Busia Orphanage, raising about $6,000 and collecting 5,000 pairs of flip flops.

WOCCU took the flip flops to Kenya when it traveled to Busia for the engagement trip in November. Cole likely saw the photos of those flips flops being distributed, WOCCU said.

WOCCU has worked with the orphanage since 2007 and now is focusing on sustainability efforts, including the construction of better facilities, access to water and food sources.

The orphanage volunteers in Busia have created a credit union to bring financial services to the community--efforts supported by WOCCU.
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