Northwest Credit Unions Give Back to Local Charities, National Relief Efforts

In keeping with the credit union philosophy of “People Helping People,” credit unions in Oregon and Washington have made significant contributions to local charities and national relief efforts in recent weeks.

NW Priority Credit Union recently teamed up with Branch 82 of the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) in Portland, Ore., to raise funds to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA), setting a $4,000 goal for the 24-day “Fill the Satchel” campaign.

“After just five days we were halfway to our goal,” said Lori Connelly, NW Priority’s vice president of marketing. “So, we increased the goal to $5,000. We raised $4,000 by Oct. 26, and our $5,000 goal was reached on Nov. 1. Our staff did such a fantastic job along with all our members that donated to MDA.

All told, NW Priority raised $6,200, and Connelly said the credit union’s staff was “proud of what they accomplished in such a short time.”

“We are so thankful for everything NW Priority Credit Union did,” said Jim Cook, president of NALC Branch 82. “We are so appreciative of the dedication [their] staff put into this fundraising effort.  NALC selected MDA as our main charity in 1952, and we have been working to raise funds for them for over 60 years.  With NWPCU’s hard work, we have far surpassed our fundraising goals.”

This marks the second year that NW Priority has joined NALC in raising funds for MDA, having raised $3,213.28 in 2011.

Oregon Community Credit Union (OCCU), meanwhile, announced that it had raised nearly $45,000 through its successful United Way Employee Giving Campaign.

United Way of Lane County has been improving the lives of those in Lane County for more than 70 years, focusing on the building blocks for a good life: education, income, health and basic needs.

Every October, OCCU reaches out to its employees to remind them of the importance of investing in their community. In partnering with United Way of Lane County, OCCU has exceeded its participation goals, with 52 percent of OCCU employees having contributed to the campaign.

This year, employees donated a total of $38,260, marking a 38.14-percent increase from the previous year. Thanks to a $50 donation from OCCU for each participating employee, the credit union raised a grand total of $44,960.

Pie in the FaceFor making a donation, OCCU employees were entered into a drawing for various prizes, and participants were also chosen for a “Pie in the Face Contest,” allowing contest winners were allowed to throw a pie in the faces of two credit union executives.

Six members of the senior team voluntarily competed to take a pie in the face. Ethan Nelson, director of credit administration, and Rosie Pryor, chief marketing and strategy officer, received the most nominations from employees.

“What a great way to give my co-workers some fun while they do good,” Pryor said. “I can’t think of a better reason than United Way for taking a pie in the face. We exceeded our goals, and that made it all worthwhile.”

On a national level, Northwest credit unions also made significant donations to disaster relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. Fourteen different donors contributed a combined $13,770 to CUAid, the credit union movement’s disaster relief fund, including a $7,500 donation from the Northwest Credit Union Foundation (NWCUF).

OnPoint Community Credit Union also donated $10,000 to the American Red Cross last month to support relief efforts following the devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy.

Community members were invited to join OnPoint in donating directly to the American Red Cross as well, and the credit union accepted donations at each of its 22 branches in Oregon and southwest Washington through the end of November.

“Our thoughts go out to those suffering the effects of this devastating storm,” said OnPoint President and CEO Rob Stuart. “We sincerely hope this donation will help in their relief and recovery efforts.”


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