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Desert Financial Donates $1 Million To 1 Darn Cool School at Phoenix Children's
By Keller Perry - Thursday Feb 23, 2023
Desert Financial Foundation and Desert Financial Credit Union donated more than $1 million to 1 Darn Cool School at Phoenix Children’s, a fully accredited K-12 school with eight full-time master’s level teachers. The program provides hospitalized children with a traditional classroom setting or bedside instruction to help with their schoolwork as they fight illnesses and injuries.

“Many Phoenix Children’s patients are unable to attend school in the typical sense; their treatments require them to remain in the hospital for long periods of time,” said Tim Harrison, Vice President of Corporate Sponsorship at Phoenix Children’s. “Our program provides the educational structure and normalcy a developing child needs. Thanks to 1 Darn Cool School, 2,080 Phoenix Children’s patients received instruction in 2022.”

Desert Financial presented the $1,020,000 donation to Phoenix Children’s on Wednesday, Feb. 22. This is the largest single donation ever made by Desert Financial Foundation, the credit union, and its employees.

“It’s a privilege for us to support such an incredible and beneficial program as 1 Darn Cool School,” said Desert Financial President and CEO Jeff Meshey. “The impact these teachers have on the children at Phoenix Children’s warms our hearts, and we hope our support ensures their continued work for years to come.”

Surprise Scholarship

In addition, Desert Financial Foundation surprised recent 1 Darn Cool School graduate, Yeira Hernandez, with a $5,000 college scholarship.

Hernandez has been a patient at Phoenix Children’s since she was in utero. She was diagnosed with a rare digestive disorder called intestinal lymphangiectasia. The disorder prevents the absorption of fats and proteins in her small intestines.

The condition results in constant pain and requires daily treatment to prevent fluid buildup from harming her organs.

As a result, Hernandez missed more than 25% of school days every year to receive treatment at Phoenix Children’s. Because of the 1 Darn Cool School, she was still able to graduate high school on time. Hernandez now attends Arizona State University and hopes to become a pediatrician.

“I always say that you only live life once,” says Hernandez. “I am not going to be restrained by all my medication – all my pain. To not go out just because I’m not feeling well? That’s just a waste of life.”

Desert Financial has donated a total of $9.8 million to the 1 Darn Cool School at Phoenix Children’s during the past 26 years. This donation is a compilation of donations from its members, employees, Desert Financial Foundation and the Desert Financial Credit Union.

About Desert Financial Foundation
Founded in 2015, Desert Financial Foundation supports organizations and individuals in Arizona to strengthen financial capability through education and scholarships.

To learn more about how Desert Financial Foundation gives back or to donate, visit

About Desert Financial Credit Union
Celebrating more than 84 years in Arizona, Desert Financial is the state's most trusted local credit union with over $8.2 billion in assets, 400,000+ members and 46 branches. Membership eligibility is open across Arizona with contactless solutions making it easy to click, call or come in. As a not-for-profit cooperative, Desert Financial takes pride in sharing success. In 2023, members received $16 million in dividends via the Member Giveback Bonus. Learn more at