News and Notes: Here’s What’s Happening in Northwest Credit Unions

Inspirus Credit Union recognized for giving back to education in Washington; Red Canoe Credit Union celebrates 80th anniversary

Inspirus Credit Union recognized for giving back to education in Washington

Inspirus Credit Union was among seven award recipients for this year’s Healthy Community Corporate Champion Awards, hosted by the Puget Sound Business Journal in partnership with the Seattle Foundation. The Washington-based credit union was honored for its commitment to ensuring student success in the communities it serves.

The award demonstrates Inspirus Credit Union’s commitment to the philanthropy-focused mission it established when it was founded by a teacher in 1936.

Inspirus team members volunteer upwards of 1,000 hours each year in education, supporting schools across the state, and each credit union branch location is a public drop off site accepting donations to support local McKinney-Vento students in the neighboring school districts. Inspirus team members and community members contribute food, school supplies and clothing donations to support these programs, benefitting homeless students.

In addition to in-kind and volunteer giveback, Inspirus contributed over $295,000 to education in Washington in 2016. This went to programs such as the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center’s Student Internship Program, a program that helps high school students immerse themselves in science labs for the summer. Over $200,000 of Inspirus Credit Union’s giveback in 2016 went directly to classrooms through a partnership with DonorsChoose.org, providing teachers with critical learning materials for their classrooms.

Red Canoe Credit Union Celebrates 80th Anniversary

May 26, 2017, marked Red Canoe Credit Union’s 80th anniversary. Red Canoe was founded in 1937 with 114 initial members depositing just $1 to charter the financial cooperative. Today, the credit union operates in two states with nine branches and over $700 million in assets.

“Celebrating 80 years is a big deal,” said Amy Davis, chief marketing officer for Red Canoe. “We have a rich history of being a people-driven organization, and it’s worth celebrating the uniqueness of who we are and where we came from as a part of the credit union movement.”

Red Canoe took its historic celebration into the community by launching a giving project called 80 Things. The credit union selected nine organizations across the Northwest and donated 80 items to each, including 80 blankets for the Villager Retirement Center in Castle Rock, WA; 80 cases of baby wipes for the Family Tree Relief Nursery in Albany, OR; 80 boxes of granola bars for The Youth Advocacy Project student testing in Puyallup, WA; 80 pounds of dog food and 80 cans of cat food for the Human Society of Cowlitz County, WA; 80 welcome bags for The Emergency Support Shelter in Longview, WA; 80 packs of peanut butter for the Harvest House Food Pantry in Graham, WA; 80 breakfast food items for the Community House in Longview, WA; 80 kids activity kits for the Child Justice Advocacy Center in Longview, WA; 80 high-need food items for the BAG Weekend Feeding Project in Federal Way, WA.

Red Canoe also produced a video highlighting its founder, Wally Ohlfs, an early pioneer in the Credit Union Movement, and conducted staff training to help employees learn more about the credit union’s heritage. A complete story of the credit union’s history can be viewed on their website.