After Devastating Wenatchee Fire, Credit Unions Offer Relief

Residents of the small city of Wenatchee, Washington returned to their neighborhoods Tuesday to find their homes reduced to ashes and smoldering rubble. At least 24 homes and two businesses were destroyed when what officials are calling a wind-driven “firestorm” swept through a housing development in the northwest of the city.

Northwest credit unions have banded together to launch the Wenatchee Wildfire Relief Fund to support those who lost homes or were displaced by the fires. The Northwest Credit Union Foundation seeded the fund with $5,000 of relief funds. Those who wish to donate to the fund can visit the Foundation’s website.

“The residents of Wenatchee are our neighbors and credit union members and it is a privilege for our Northwest credit unions to come to their aid,” said Jamie Dedmon, managing director of the Northwest Credit Union Foundation. “Serving our communities is why credit unions exist. The credit unions of Oregon and Washington are proud to reach out and support those whose lives have been disrupted by this disaster.”

Over a thousand people fled flames that moved with “mind blowing” speed, as one resident described them. Luckily, no injuries have been reported among Wenatchee residents.

Several local credit unions were forced to close their Wenatchee branches during evacuation around the fire.  These credit unions stand ready to assist their members in this time of need.  Gesa Credit Union announced today that it is offering special assistance in the form of low interest emergency personal loans and fee-free payment extensions to credit union members who have lost their homes or been displaced from their homes by an evacuation order.

“In times of great need, supporting our members and the communities where they live is a vital part of our mission,” said Don Miller, Gesa President and CEO. “We have been by our members’ side for over sixty years in Eastern Washington and we stand ready to demonstrate the credit union motto of ‘people helping people’.”

The credit unions of the Northwest have a long history of supporting those whose lives are impacted by disaster. From the Oso mudslide to flooding in Gray’s Harbor County, credit unions and their Northwest Credit Union Foundation consistently offer support to their communities.

To learn more and to donate, visit the Northwest Credit Union Foundation website.

Questions about this story? Contact James Pearson: 206.340.4790, jpearson@nwcua.org.

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