2021 Winners

Connor, holding his fireman utility bag and stuffed Dalmatian, posing with Kirby (who is holding his Little Heroes certificate)

September 2021 - Connor

Connor has been helping out the Town of Binghamton Volunteer Fire Department since he could walk! He recently completed the 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb, where participants climb the equivalent of the 110 stories of the World Trade Center to pay tribute to the firefighters that lost their lives on 9/11. That’s 343 flights of stairs!

Visions donated gift cards for Wal-Mart and Target to Connor to support his passion of helping our firefighters, and Kirby gave him a fireman utility bag and a stuffed Dalmatian. 

Willow being surprised with a $100 donation to her non-profit, Wildlife with Willow, and a $603 donation to Every Dog's Dream

August 2021 - Willow

Willow is always raising money for, and donating to, organizations that support animals, and she is currently working to make her Wildlife with Willow initiative into a non-profit. Since Willow was our Little Heroes winner during Youth Month, we decided we wanted to help her make a big impact. In addition to donating cat food and cat litter to her charity of choice, Every Dog’s Dream, we also reached out to our staff and told them Willow’s story. For every donation our employees made to Every Dog’s Dream, Visions matched it, which came to a total of around $603! 

But that’s not all! Kirby the Kangaroo also likes to do something special for our Little Heroes winners, and he decided to gift her $100 to help her continue to support the animals that she loves so dearly. 

Emil working his produce stand

July 2021 - Emil

Emil loves to grow vegetables in his family's garden and sell the fresh produce at his own stand. All of the money earned from his farmer's market is donated each season to a different local charity in Paramus, NJ. This growing season, Emil is using the money from his produce to purchase food and other essential items to donate to the "Table of Plenty," a local program that supports families in need.

To show Emil our support, we donated non-perishables and Ziploc bags to Table of Plenty, and Kirby surprised him with gardening tools and a gardening bag.

Ben, Preston, and Kirby pictured with a large $100 check donation from Visions to Nathan's Butterflies

June 2021 – Ben

Ben started Nathan’s Butterflies in memory of his little brother. His not-for-profit organization raises money to help others in the community and provides opportunities for children to experience the effects of empathy and kindness. He is pictured with Kirby and one of his board members, Preston. 

We were so inspired by Ben's story that we donated $100 to Nathan’s Butterflies. Plus, Kirby Kangaroo gifted him a $25 Dick's Sporting Goods gift card, a $25 Barnes and Noble gift card, and a couple Kirby drawstring bags. Keep up the amazing work, Ben!

Calle pictured with Visions FCU Branch Manager of the Randolph, NJ office, Jeanne. They are holding a large check for $100.

May 2021 – Callie

In March 2020, Callie (then 10 years old!) wanted to spread kindness and positivity to others during the COVID-19 pandemic. She began decorating sets of 8-10 blank white flags with drawings and inspirational messages to give to frontline and essential workers, local businesses, non-profit organizations, and community volunteers in and around Morristown, New Jersey. Callie's project developed into Flags of Gratitude, a web store for her artwork where she has raised over $5,000 for her favorite charities. 

To help Callie continue spreading joy in her community, Visions presented her with a $100 check and a $100 gift card to Michaels to help her purchase more art supplies.

Amelya and Blaine posing with Kirby Kangaroo with their Little Heroes certificate and gifts from Visions

April 2021 – Amelya and Blaine

In Franklin, NY, there was an animal cruelty case involving 20 dogs. They were held in a cold barn in tiny crates stacked on top of each other, and were being used for dogfighting in the city. When Amelya, age 10, heard about this, she wanted to help. She organized a hat day at her school where the students paid $1 to wear a hat for the day. The money collected was donated to 3 local shelters among which the dogs had been divided. She then asked 2 local businesses if they would be willing to match whatever she raised. Overall, she raised over $800 for these shelters.

Fast forward to March, 2021. Blaine, age 7, was not able to have a birthday party with his friends due to COVID. Instead, he asked people to gift him an animal product or food to donate to the local shelters. Ameyla also did the same thing with her March birthday.

In order to help these wonderful kids continue their charitable deeds and gather more donations for their local shelters, Visions gave them each a $50 Petco gift card. Kirby Kangaroo also gifted them a Kirby bag with a dog stuffed animal and some books to read this summer.

Desiree posing with Kirby Kangaroo with a table filled with donations from Visions for her charity of choice, the Schuyler Humane Society

March 2021 – Desiree

For the last 5 years or so, Desiree chose to forego birthday gifts for herself and encouraged her friends and family to donate food, supplies, and cash to the local Humane Society. In 2020, even when a birthday party was not possible, she still encouraged donations due to the Humane Society's increased need for supplies during COVID. Desiree partnered with a local ice cream shop to create the Pints for Paws fundraiser, which raised $200 in addition to food and supplies donated by her family that year.

Inspired by her incredible generosity, Visions donated up to $100 of supplies to the Schuyler County Humane Society, including paper towels, milk bones, cat food, dog and cat toys, and kitty litter. PLUS, because she foregoes her birthday presents, Kirby Kangaroo gifted her (2) $50 Barnes & Noble gift cards to thank her for her inspiring acts of service.

Hanna posing with Kirby Kangaroo and the Branch Manager of our Dumont office, Tammy Lamazza, with a giant check for $100

February 2021 – Hana

At the start of this year, Hana started making and selling cute and colorful chain mask holders. She then donated half of her proceeds to Dumont Social Services and Food Pantry. To help support her cause, Visions presented her with a $100 check, and two $50 gift cards (one to Michaels and one to Walmart). 

Madelyn posing with Kirby Kangaroo and a check for $100

January 2021 – Madelyn

Maddie was our very first Little Hero! When libraries and book stores were closed due to the pandemic, Madelyn and a friend started a book drive. The books were collected by community members and distributed to organizations and local businesses for free. They gave away over 800 books of various genres, from sci-fi to cookbooks to adult fiction and more! In recognition of her good deeds, Visions presented her with a $100 check, and a $100 Barnes & Noble gift card to continue to help her with her project.