press releases

Celebrating National Nonprofit Day

ST. JOSEPH, MI. — Inspiration is nothing new to the Curious Kids’ Museum in downtown St. Joseph, Michigan. The team, volunteers, board members and educators have been inspiring children to explore and learn through cooperative hands-on play since 1989.

Curious Kids Museum in St. Joseph, Michigan

To celebrate National Non-Profit Day (8/17), United Federal Credit Union is happy to salute the Curious Kids’ Museum for being an outstanding Member that continues to inspire the community—even in the face of adversity.

On July 5, 2022, a small fire started in the museum’s attic causing extensive damage to the ceiling, as well as additional water, smoke, and foam damage. Estimates put the damage at hundreds of thousands of dollars, and the museum has been forced to temporarily close its main location at 415 Lake Boulevard on the bluff in St. Joseph. But in the spirit of being a committed non-profit organization, the Curious Kids’ Museum has quickly rallied thanks to the resiliency of the team and its leadership, and incredible support from the community.

“In the days immediately following the fire, we formulated plans for re-opening—figuring out what that would entail and perceived timelines,” said Lori Marciniak, Executive Director of the Curious Kids’ Museum. “After only the second day following the fire, it became apparent that our initial thoughts of a timeframe for re-opening were clearly not achievable. As the days have become five weeks, the prospect of reimagining the museum into something even more inspiring for children is very exciting. As we discuss this potential of a major renovation with community members, the shared excitement and commitment to support our efforts is very exciting!”

In times of need and as part of everyday business, the team at United has worked side-by-side with the Curious Kids’ Museum as a vital partner in supporting their inspiration to turn this tragic event into a moment of growth for the museum, volunteers, staff, and most importantly—the kids.

Curious Kids Museum in St. Joseph, Michigan

Immediately following the fire, an account was set up at United to deposit the funds from the generous community donations for the museum. That fund has already reached over $122,000 and continues to grow as more needs arise.

“The Curious Kids’ Museum is one of our community’s most treasured resources,” said Maria Kibler, United’s Director of Treasury Management. “We support our community in good times and in bad. Right now, is one of those challenging times where Team United instinctively rolls up our sleeves and finds solutions to help. The Curious Kids’ Museum is more than a tourist attraction; it is a fun and safe place where children can learn while at play. That is a vital experience for kids to have, and so our team’s focus is to give support through our time, talents, services, and financial resources.”


While rebuilding from the fire has been a focus in 2022, maintaining daily operations of the Curious Kids’ Museum remains a very real need. Lori and her team have a direct line of contact with United and know their finances are safe and secure through the credit union’s Non-Profit Checking accounts, Payroll management services, and Online Banking system.

Curious Kids Museum in St. Joseph, Michigan

“Having United Federal Credit Union as our financial partner has always been amazing, but after the fire, it has given us such peace of mind to know that they are just a phone call away to help with all our account and financial needs,” Lori said. “From setting up additional accounts, to helping us with direct donations through wire transfers from generous donors who live in other areas, when I am not sure how to get something done there are so many United employees who have been incredibly helpful. I have never had to try to figure something out on my own because the United team has taken my questions and provided a solution immediately.”

Support doesn’t stop at the branch doors, however. Team United is a co-sponsor of the museum’s annual fundraising event that helps keep the inspiration and innovative learning experiences accessible to the community.

The Celebrate Curiosity 2022, an Evening at Etre Farms fundraising event will be held at Etre Farms—472 W. Glenlord Rd., St. Joseph, MI at the end of September, and is sold out! To donate to this event (auction items or monetary support), visit the Curious Kids’ Museum website or Facebook page.

“We truly feel privileged to be a partner with Curious Kids’ Museum and help them work through this opportunity to reimagine,” Maria said. “Non-profit organizations are the heartbeat of our community. Volunteers and staff tirelessly give of themselves so that important services, like childhood play and education, are available for all to enjoy. United is thankful for the work Lori and her team does every day to create memorable learning opportunities for our kids, and to make Southwest Michigan a great place to raise a family.”

About United

United Federal Credit Union has served its Members since 1949 by helping them to build a sound financial future. United consists of more than 191,000 Member/owners worldwide and manages assets in excess of $3.8 billion. Its corporate office and main branch are in St. Joseph, Mich., with additional branches in Arkansas, Indiana, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, and Ohio. Federally insured by NCUA. Equal opportunity lender. Equal housing lender. For more information visit