Disaster Relief, Financial Education, New Programs Highlight Foundation’s 2015

A family rebuilds their fire-damaged home near John Day, Oregon. In Longview, Washington, a high school student sits down to update his monthly budget. The founder of a Seattle restaurant opens the doors on her second venture.

Northwest credit unions helped make all of these things possible in 2015, plus much more, through the Northwest Credit Union Foundation (NWCUF)—a joint philanthropic endeavor of the credit unions of Oregon and Washington.

With its grant-making, scholarships, and relief funding, the NWCUF is outfitted to fulfill its three-pronged mission of asset building, economic empowerment, and cooperative development.

“The Foundation is very proud of its many accomplishments in 2015,” said Barbara Mathey, NWCUF Board Chair and President/CEO of IBEW & United Workers Federal Credit Union. “From teaching high school students how to manage their money, to helping disaster victims recover across the Northwest, our Foundation had a life-changing impact. In addition, we created new platforms of future impact by bringing new programs to our region.”

Disaster Relief

In the wake of historic wildfires, floods, and wind storms, the NWCUF supported disaster survivors throughout Oregon and Washington. The Foundation gave over $114,000 to support those who lost homes and property, most of which was implemented by the Red Cross.

“When our communities needed them most, credit unions leapt into action this year,” said Jamie Dedmon, Managing Director of the Northwest Credit Union Foundation. “They supported Northwest families and schools recovering from fire, winds, and floods. This shows why credit unions are more than just an industry—they’re a social movement founded on the philosophy of People Helping People.”

The NWCUF created five disaster relief funds in 2015, and seeded them with a total of $30,125. Northwest credit unions, together with individuals, credit unions, and leagues across the nation, donated another $84,004.


Six grants were awarded by the NWCUF in 2015. The total dollar figure of these grants was more than $17,800.

The number 11,144 is a highlight of the difference these grants made. Financial education grants impacted 11,144 students in Oregon and Washington, helping to point them towards a lifetime of financial strength.

The NWCUF also awarded $94,970 in scholarships, advancing the Credit Union Movement by supporting the careers of leaders and professionals. In total, the NWCUF received 113 scholarship requests.

New Programs

The NWCUF helped launch two new programs this year. And NWCUF Executive Director Denise Gabel, who also serves as Chief Operating Officer of the Northwest Credit Union Association, said that they’re not done yet.

“We built a runway for the future in 2015 by bringing new programs to life through your Foundation. MESA, the Matched Education Savings Accounts program, helps deserving students get the education they need. And Business Impact Northwest supports entrepreneurs who need small amounts of capital to make a big splash. Your Foundation has even more great programs in store to add value in your communities for 2016!”

As the NWCUF looks to the new year, Mathey took a moment to thank those who made 2015’s impact possible.

“Our accomplishments this year were made possible through the dedicated work of the Foundation Board and the outstanding support and contributions of our credit union community,” said Mathey. “On behalf of the Foundation Board I would like to thank each of you for your support and let you know that what we accomplished in 2015 will create opportunities for years to come and we look forward to expanding our reach and positive impact within the Northwest and beyond.”

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

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