County Teachers Win Golden Apple Awards

Golden Apple Awards Reception Held June 22

Freedom Federal Credit Union President and CEO, Mike MacPherson, with 2018 Golden Apple Annual Education Awards recipients
Freedom Federal Credit Union President and CEO, Mike MacPherson, with 2018 Golden Apple Annual Education Award recipients. (L to R): Jacob Bennett, Kathleen Ford, and Tara Recor

Freedom hosted a reception at the Credit Union’s Park Avenue branch to celebrate this year’s Golden Apple Awards winners. Kathleen Ford, a music teacher at the John Archer School won this year’s grand prize. Ms. Ford received the $2,000 prize for her plan to better connect students with disabilities through music and song. One of Ms. Ford’s goals is to purchase a complete set of Music K-8 magazines and CDs. Her entry also calls for adapted instruments, assistive devices and software. These items will better enable students with severe physical challenges to produce music independently.

Although we received a record number of submissions this year, Ms. Ford’s thoughtfulness and creativity in considering how the award could affect positive change for her students, school, and community made her application standout.

Additionally, two runners-up were selected: Jacob Bennett, Kindergarten Teacher at Havre de Grace Elementary, and Tara Recor, Gifted &Talented Resource Teacher at Prospect Mill and Halls Cross Roads Elementary schools. Both Mr. Bennett and Ms. Recor will receive $500 each to fund initiatives at their respective schools.

The Golden Apple Educator Award benefits Freedom members who work for HCPS and have a creative vision for education that can only be met with community support. Contest applicants must submit an essay demonstrating how their idea would serve their students, class, school and the Harford County community. A panel of Freedom employees, board members, and community leaders judges each year’s entries.

Empty Stocking Fund Collection Drive

Empty Stocking Fund Collection Begins October 6Empty Stocking Fund Collection

Join us in helping to make the holidays a little brighter for Harford County’s families in need—donate to the Empty Stocking Fund! Bring new unwrapped toys, food goods, or monetary donations to any of our five branches. The collection drive kicks off October, 6th and continues through the end of the year.

Collection bins for new unwrapped toys and food items will be available at all five Freedom branches. Collected items go to Empty Stocking headquarters as the bins fill. Before the holidays, volunteers then pull together a “stocking” full of of donated items specially chosen for each child on the Fund’s list. Bring in a gift for a baby, a teenage boy, or a toddler girl. Stockings are given out to kids of all ages and with all interests!

Get in the holiday spirit and make a donation to The Empty Stocking Fund this season!

Freedom Employees Get Destructive

Staff Complete Habitat for Humanity Demolition

On a hot August day, nine Freedom staffers joined Habitat for Humanity Susquehanna to help their community and burn off some energy. Habitat staffer Bill Schmidt began the day by explaining Habitat’s mission and methodology. The home project, located in Edgewood, required staffers to clear out trash and debris, remove doors and trim, pull up carpet—whatever it took to create a clean slate for renovation inside and out.

As the day’s temperature soared, kitchen cabinets were demolished and floors ripped up. A load of recyclable metal and reusable items was assembled and loaded onto Habitat trailers. A large dumpster was filled and hauled away. And a sweaty, tired bunch of employees was ready to head home for a shower! The dirty work was all to help local residents buy safe, affordable housing in our area. It was a gratifying experience for the volunteers.

You, too, can support Habitat for Humanity Susquehanna. Go online to Habitat for Humanity Susquehanna’s web site to see what it’s all about and become a volunteer. Or simply buy discounted building supplies, appliances, antiques and more from Habitat’s new ReStore location in Aberdeen.

Freedom employees who volunteered for a Habitat for Humanity Susquehanna demolition project in August, 2016
Freedom volunteers from left: Andrea Woodard; Keith Gill; Marcus Johnson; Kati Grasmick; Bob Wehland; Jeff Herman; Habitat for Humanity staff member Bill Schmidt; Susan Tannahill; Rachel Schmidt; Kelly Berends
Bob Wehland and Keith Gill working at a local a Habitat for Humanity demolition project
From left: Bob Wehland, VP of Business Banking and Keith Gill, CFO
Freedom staffers Kati Grasmick and Andrea Woodard working
From left: Andrea Woodard, Member Services Call Center Representative, Edgewood branch, and Kati Grasmick, Financial Services Representative, Forest Lakes branch