Credit Unions Step up to Help Wildfire Victims

The Carlton Complex fire continued to rage in central Washington, burning another 7,000 acres overnight Monday. An estimated 150 homes have been destroyed. The Carlton Complex fire is the largest of of several wildfires burning in Washington and Oregon this week.

The credit union community is already offering help. The Northwest Credit Union Foundation seeded an emergency $5,000 fund and invited credit unions to donate online. A similar effort earlier this year resulted in $108,000 in contributions from credit unions and leagues across the nation for victims of the Oso mudslide.

“Credit unions in our region have shown time and time again that they understand how important it is to provide immediate support and they always step up when there is a disaster,” said Kim Vu, Executive Director of the NWCUF. “We always realize that these are not just members of our credit unions, but they also part of the local communities we serve who could be losing their homes and this is when they most need us.”

Credit unions are raising funds and offering financial assistance to members who may be directly impacted by the wildfires. In Spokane, STCU is leveraging a long time relationship with the American Red Cross, and a local television station to raise emergency funds for fire victims. Numerica credit union reached out to members through its popular Facebook site to offer both financial assistance and personal support. A spokesperson for Numerica reports that as many as 30 members in the Patero location live in one of the active fire zones and could be at risk.

Numerica is also encouraging employees to support the fundraising. For a donation to help victims of the wild fires, employees will receive “Casual for a Cause” coupons valued at $25.

In addition the credit union is sponsoring the Rain Down Hope Benefit Concert Wednesday, July 23, at 5:30 p.m. to benefit the Chelan Valley Hope Fire Relief Fund.

Credit unions and employees interested in making a donation can donate directly through the Northwest Credit Union Foundation, to benefit the Community Foundation of North Central Washington’s Fire Relief Fund.

Questions about this story? Contact Lynn Heider: 503.350.2225,

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