Unitus Community Credit Union’s “Art Day” Creates Fun & Auction Treasures

Volunteers from Unitus’ staff convert a hospital playroom into an art studio one day every year.

Aimee Berg doesn’t have to go looking for staff willing to volunteer for Art Day at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital.

“Employees sign up to volunteer before the email request is even sent out,” says Berg, Community Marketing Coordinator for Unitus Community Credit Union.

One of the oldest credit unions in Oregon, Unitus actively supports Credit Unions for Kids and the Children’s Miracle Network through a variety of fundraisers throughout the year. Since 2008, Unitus has raised more than $350,000 for Doernbecher Children’s Hospital through a popular “Wine on the Willamette” event, featuring boutique wines, food, music, and a silent auction.

The top-selling auction items have always included artwork created by hospital patients that has been collected by the credit union staff and professionally framed. Three years ago, Berg had a brainstorm: instead of simply collecting artwork, the credit union would convert a hospital playroom into an art studio—if only for an afternoon.

Credit union volunteers brought paints and other materials and spent time helping the young artists create at least two masterpieces—one to keep and another to sell. “We’ve volunteered and done a variety of things for the hospital for many years,” Berg says. Art Day has become not only a tradition, but a favorite. It touches people in so many ways.” 

The credit unions of Oregon and Washington not only improve their members’ lives, they are foundational to the entire Northwest economy. Learn more here.

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