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7:52 AM

Charity of the Month: March of Dimes

Published April 7, 2017

March of Dimes, the leading nonprofit for pregnancy and baby health, is an organization dear to many Meriwest employees.

“We had stories from fellow employees of how March of Dimes helped them with their babies, and others spoke about the good work they do for the community,” Assistant Financial Center Manager Marlene Dippell said. “Personally, I had a niece born with spina bifida, and March of Dimes was a great help and support for my sister and brother-in-law during her first five years of many surgeries.”

Meriwest’s Chesbro financial center collected over $1,200 for March of Dimes last month through a bake sale and selling paper icons. March of Dimes Development Manager Catherine Villaverde explained the organization is important because it is a major funder of innovative research in its efforts to put an end to the crisis of preterm birth.

“Premature birth is the number one killer of babies in the United States and the leading cause of death among children under five-years-old around the world,” Villaverde said. “We are working to improve the health of moms and babies by raising research dollars, advocating for more health coverage for maternal and child health, education programs and more.”

March of Dimes invests 76 cents of every dollar raised in their mission to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality, Villaverde said.

Villaverde shared the story from the father of a preterm baby, named Miranda, who was born at 27 weeks and one day, weighing 1 pound 4 ounces due to preeclampsia.

“After 111 days Miranda was able to come home with her ecstatic, yet terrified parents,” the father said. “Our family supports the March of Dimes so that other babies and their families should not go through this frightful and stressful experience. Thank you for your support in the past, today, and in the future. Your help today helps the March of Dimes help families and their babies tomorrow.”

Dippell said the most rewarding aspect of the drive was the generosity of Meriwest employees and also members.

“Volunteering and fund raising is all about people helping people, and that’s also what Meriwest Credit Union believes and instills in its employees,” she said. “It feels good to help others!”

Want to help support March of Dimes? There are several ways:
• Join: Sign up for their advocacy newsletter here
• Fundraise: Support March for Babies at
• Volunteer: Volunteers are needed for the March for Babies on April 30, call Catherine Villaverde for more information at (408) 490-2947

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