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--- Issued December 21, 2011

In 2011, GE Credit Union took under its wing a whole community of young public housing residents at the Housing Authority’s John E. Horan Garden Apartments (JEHGA.)

About 60 children attend the JEHGA/YMCA Kids club each day, six days a week.

The GE Credit Union Volunteers, shown above, called the inProve Charitable Giving Committee, shown in the photo above, helped at the Kids Club through all of 2011. All of the volunteers work for the GE Credit Union, located just north of JEHGA on East Lake Road.

Volunteers helped public housing youths maintain the outdoor vegetable gardens initially established a number of years ago. They also participated in activities at the Kids Club ranging from talent shows to basketball to art projects to video games.

“One of our goals at the Housing Authority is to engage other major institutions in partnerships that serve our residents,” said John E. Horan, executive director of the Housing Authority of the City of Erie. “This has included Community Health NET, the YMCA, the Erie County Library, and Gannon University.

“We are pleased that our GE Credit Union neighbor has joined these other institutions at the JEHGA Youth Club to work with our young residents in our various education and recreation programs.”

The GE Credit Union volunteers also raised funds for public housing youths through promotions and community events. One volunteer persuaded a local business to donate $500 to the YMCA Kids Club. Credit Union volunteers presented the Kids Club with a new flat screen television for the Club facility. They also donated an entertainment center, including an Xbox video station and several Xbox video games

The volunteers finished the year at the Kids Club with a Christmas party.

“Anything worthwhile you can think of, these volunteers did with our kids,” said Michael Fraley, HACE residents’ initiatives coordinator. “The GE Credit Union has had a huge impact on about 100 different kids. “When we thanked the volunteers, the response we got was, ‘Well, these kids are our neighbors,’” Fraley said. “Amazing.”