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Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Freedom Credit Union is collecting cash donations at all its branches throughout Western Mass. to benefit Unify Against Bullying, whose mission is to bring an end to bullying through the celebration of true diversity. The Springfield-based nonprofit organization provides grants to those who are in the best position to make a difference — children, parents, teachers, and administrators. Freedom Credit Union is accepting donations through Tuesday, Aug. 31.

“Bullying affects children of every shape, size, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or physical ability,” Freedom Credit Union President Glenn Welch said. “We hope to raise funds this month to assist Unify Against Bullying in their important work of understanding and eradicating the stigmas surrounding differences that fuel the majority of bullying.”

Throughout August, Freedom Credit Union employees and members, as well as the community at large, are invited to make monetary donations at any Freedom branch or online at freedom.coop.

Unify Against Bullying works to provide grant funding for schools and other programs where individuals are on the frontlines of potential bullying every day. By providing added resources, they hope to promote awareness and acceptance and to show children that the days of ignoring or tolerating bullying are over. They hope to promote the celebration of differences and come together as one community.

“Not only is this a cause we are proud to support, but our West Springfield branch officer, Debra Mainolfi, is a member of the board of directors for Unify Against Bullying,” Welch said. “We are proud that so many of our employees are involved in organizations working to better our communities, and we’re honored to support them in any way we can.”

Daily News

HOLYOKE — On Monday, Oct. 26, high-school students of all shapes, sizes, styles, ethnicity, and physical abilities from schools in Western Mass. and Northern Conn. will strut their stuff at a fashion show celebrating true diversity. In this unprecedented time, the Unify Against Bullying team has decided to stream the event free on Facebook Live for all to enjoy.

One addition this year is an online auction where individuals can bid on prizes from the comfort of their home. The organization will also accept donations during the event to support their mission and the youth they serve. Delaney’s Market is offering a Unify meal package to order, pay for, and pick up curbside at one of four locations to make the event a party with family and friends.

“The event this year is especially poignant for all as Christine Maiwald, one of the founding board members and the executive director for the past three years, will be retiring on October 30,” said Sarah Goff, president of Unify Against Bullying. “Chris will be missed by everyone, especially the students she has worked with through the years. She plans to spend more time with her grandchildren and travel to visit with friends in South Carolina and Florida. The board of directors, students, and families that we serve wish Chris all the best in her retirement. We thank her profusely for her tireless pursuit of working with students to create respect and kindness toward one another.”

Maiwald added that “we are grateful to the countless businesses who step up to support the kids of Unify. It’s through their generous donations that we are able to help families struggling with this pervasive issue throughout our region and beyond.”

For information on streaming, sponsorship, and program advertising, visit www.unifyagainstbullying.org or call (413) 304-0668.

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