Member News: Northwest Credit Unions Give Back to Their Communities


BECU Awards 80 Scholarships to Student Members

Since the BECU Foundation’s inception in 1995, BECU has given more than $2 million in scholarships to more than 900 student members. This year, the foundation awarded 80 BECU student members with $3,000 scholarships each toward their college education. The scholarships recognize and promote a student’s service in their school or community, leadership potential, and academic achievement. More than 1,000 students applied for the BECU Foundation scholarships, and 80 were chosen based on grade point averages and community service work.

The recipients were honored by BECU leaders at Safeco Field, where they received career and financial advice. BECU employees shared how to create a professional LinkedIn profile, the importance of college internships and giving back to their communities, and how to set financial goals and save money throughout college.

“BECU was founded on the idea of people helping people, and the Foundation scholarship program embodies that philosophy,” said Rachel Van Noord, BECU’s director of community outreach. “We are honored to support these students who are taking the initiative to excel in school, while serving their communities. As the next generation of leaders, investing in their futures ensures we are helping strengthen all of our communities for years to come.”

Numerica Credit Union Presents $95,000 to Five Local Nonprofits

Numerica Credit Union will be presenting $95,000 to five local non-profits focused on fostering education, supporting women and children, and ending hunger and homelessness. The donation comes from Numerica’s Skip-A-Pay program, which allows members to skip a month of payments in lieu of a $20 donation.

“You can measure the quality of a community by the way in which we take care of those in need,” said Carla Altepeter, president and CEO. “Numerica is committed to giving back at least five percent of our earnings to help support those in need and make our communities better places to live, work, and play.”

Nonprofit partners presented their financial need to Numerica’s leadership team in a 30-minute presentation. Following are this year’s recipients of Numerica’s Skip-A-Pay funds:

  • Generation Alive, who engage and empower local youth to make a difference in their community.
  • HRC Ministries, whose focus is on supporting the needs and healing of human trafficking through services such as housing, treatment for trauma, and medical care.
  • Boys & Girls Club works to enable all young people to reach their full potential as productive, caring, and responsible citizens. Numerica’s support will underwrite the cost of “Born Great,” the organization’s game day on Sept. 9.
  • Women & Children’s Free Restaurant provides nutritious meals to women and children in need through their free restaurant.
  • Community Colleges of Spokane Foundation provides students an opportunity to pursue their dream of a higher education. Numerica believes that this dream should not be cut short because of financial need and is working with the Community Colleges of Spokane Foundation in the creation of the “Numerica Heart of the Community” Scholarship.

Inspirus Credit Union donates $10,000 to support Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center’s Science Education Partnership

This year, Inspirus Credit Union donated $10,000 to purchase equipment to support the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center’s Science Education Partnership (SEP) program. For 26 years, the program has enabled scientists and researchers at Fred Hutch to collaborate with more than 500 biology teachers across Washington and impact more than 400,000 Washington students.

“We’re so grateful for the support of Inspirus Credit Union so that our program can continue to flourish and grow,” said Jeanne Chowning, director of the SEP program. “In the next five years of the program, we hope to develop new cutting-edge resources, reach more teachers, and continue to have a large impact on Washington classrooms.”

During this summer’s two-and-a-half-week program, Washington biology teachers will work alongside scientists and researchers at Fred Hutch on molecular biology techniques such as DNA extraction, gel electrophoresis, and bacterial transformation, and will also participate in lab research with a mentor scientist.

“We believe in the transformative power of learning,” said Inspirus Credit Union Vice President of Marketing Sherry Lotze. “The research that’s happening at Fred Hutch is fascinating, and the opportunity this provides for teachers to learn from and bring back to their classroom is monumental in the lives of their students.”

Left to right: Kathleen Schreiber, LeAnne Parton, and Juanita Richards.

Horizon Credit Union Recognizes Employee Volunteer, Juanita Richards, with donation to Big Bend Community College Foundation Scholarships

This year, Horizon Credit Union implemented its new volunteer program, which formally recognizes its employee’s efforts to serve their communities. Top credit union volunteers are awarded with the chance to further contribute to their communities with a donation on behalf of Horizon Credit Union.

Juanita Richards, Horizon Credit Union North Central Regional Manager, earned the opportunity to donate $600 to a 501c3 nonprofit on behalf of Horizon Credit Union. She chose to support Big Bend Community College Foundation (BBCC) scholarships. Richards is a graduate of BBCC and currently serves as Chairman on the BBCC Board of Trustees. She also serves on the BBCC Foundation Board of Directors.

Horizon Credit Union CEO, Jeff Adams reflects on Richards’ volunteer activities saying, “Beyond the leadership she provides at Horizon Credit Union, Juanita is engaged in leadership roles with many organizations in the Moses Lake and surrounding communities. She embodies the credit union spirit of community involvement.”

Her strong belief in the power of education influenced her choice to select the BBCC
Foundation as the recipient of her Go-Giver donation. “So many potential students don’t realize their dreams can come true, and those dreams begin with education,” said Richards. “My donation will help a student achieve their dreams and fulfill their potential.”

Posted in Around the NW, Community Impact.