September 25, 2018

Credit union seeking to empower abuse victims through Superhero September

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STANDISH — For the entire month of September, North Central Area Credit Union will raise money and awareness for Superhero September, an event created to empower children suffering from physical and sexual abuse.
In partnership with the Arenac County office of the Child Abuse and Neglect Council Great Lakes Bay Region, the NCACU Standish branch will not only be collecting cash donations but will also encourage families to bring in superhero-themed items, such as T-shirts, backpacks and toys, which will be given to children who receive services at these centers, NCACU Marketing Director Tracy Wilson said.
The goal of the fundraiser is not only to empower victims of abuse but also to start a conversation among families in the community, Wilson said.
“We are trying to teach our kids what is safety, how do they protect themselves and how do they ask for help,” Wilson said. “When you think about what a superhero is, you think about the old comic strips and movies and usually it’s somebody who is in a rough situation that has been gifted with superpowers and then comes back to help other people in similar situations.”
She said she got the idea for Superhero September from a childhood friend who started the event in Phoenix, Ariz. While Wilson is not the original creator, she said she feels very strongly about the issue due to her background in social work and health education.
“Credit unions have a basic philosophy of people helping people,” Wilson said. “As a credit union we strive every day to give back to our community.”
Community support is crucial to an organization like CAN, CAN Resource Development Manager Danielle Russell said, which is why events like this are so beneficial, especially since the organization is still new to Arenac county.
“We are so grateful for (Wilson’s) enthusiasm and her team’s enthusiasm for our mission to develop communities where our children are free from abuse and neglect,” Russell said. “That’s really what we focus on.”
CAN provides services for children who have been victims of abuse and neglect in Arenac County and has expanded its programming to provide prevention education, Russell said.
NCACU branches in Grayling, Roscommon and Houghton Lake will be giving proceeds to the Northern Michigan Children’s Assessment Center of Roscommon and , and the efforts of the Standish branch will benefit CAN. Wilson said all offices will be decorated to match the month’s superhero theme.

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