Member News: Community Impact

St. Helens Community CU celebrates 80th anniversary with 80 acts of kindness; Providence FCU gives $50K to local caregivers facing financial hardship.

1/30/18

Picture of girls holding backpacksSt. Helens Community CU Celebrates 80th Anniversary With 80 Acts of Kindness

To make its 80th year of operations a year to remember, St. Helens Community Credit Union will perform 80 acts of kindness per month throughout 2018.

“2018 is a big year for us,” said Brooke Van Vleet, President and CEO of St. Helens Community Credit Union. “Our monthly 80 acts of kindness will be a way to give back to the community as we celebrate eight decades with special offers, a big member appreciation BBQ in the summer, member stories, and more.”

This month, the credit union’s first 80 items were backpacks loaded with school supplies for teens in foster care. The backpacks included pens, paper, notebooks, and other necessities. The credit union’s employees put everything together and made the delivery.

“When St. Helens Community delivered 80 backpacks to our agency, it was a big moment,” said Nikki Watkins, Office Manager for the St. Helens Department of Human Services (DHS). “Those backpacks contained everything the teens in foster care need. It was a wonderful gift for the community.”

The credit union’s community efforts throughout the year will include 80 books for kids as part of Read Across America Day in April, 80 beach balls to make the summer months even more fun, 80 turkeys for those in need during Thanksgiving, 80 flowers planted at a senior center, and much more.

The credit union’s 80-year celebration will also keep members in mind. For example, by sharing their stories, members will have the chance to win an $80 gift card each week this spring.

St. Helens Community Credit Union was founded in 1938 to serve the financial needs of employees at two local paper mills. Back then, families lived on less than $50 per month, buying homes, opening businesses, and growing the community. Eighty years later, $50 doesn’t buy nearly as much, but members still get a lot of value from their local credit union.

“It’s an honor to serve and stand alongside our members,” said Van Vleet. “We’re excited to share this anniversary celebration with everyone.”

Picture of check contributionProvidence FCU Gives $50K to Local Caregivers Facing Financial Hardship

Providence Federal Credit Union this month announced a $50,000 contribution to Providence Health & Services’ Helping Hands Fund, an emergency fund designed to support caregivers facing urgent financial hardship. The donation reflects the credit union’s ongoing commitment to match dollar-for-dollar individual donations up to $50,000 to provide ongoing support to Providence Health & Services employees, families, and retirees.

“Everyone faces financial setbacks, and at times, those setbacks can be devastating. We want to ensure the very people who provide emergency medical care to our community also have somewhere to turn for emergency financial support,” said Providence FCU President and CEO Shirley Cate. “Working with the Providence Helping Hands Fund is a perfect opportunity for our credit union and our members to step up to help our neighbors in need. It is truly a community effort to support our whole community.”

Providence FCU increased opportunities to contribute by donating $10 on behalf of every new member. This, along with matching individual donations, drove the credit union’s ability to meet the $50,000 annual goal, which was established in 2016.

The Providence Helping Hands Fund offers a confidential resource to help eligible Providence caregivers who have a significant financial burden paying for rent, utilities, medical bills, food for their families, or to help with other urgent needs such as escaping domestic abuse. With the help of Providence FCU, the Helping Hands Fund exceeded this year’s fundraising goals and raised more than $162,000. These dollars are crucial — in 2017, the fund served 224 caregivers, many of whom needed financial help navigating the high medical costs and lost wages from missing work due to a serious illness or injury.

“Providence FCU’s ongoing commitment to support our Providence caregivers through the Helping Hands Fund is incredible and shows a true sense of community,” said Tam Everard, Development Coordinator for Providence Portland Medical Foundation. “It’s never easy to ask for help, but knowing we have the ability and resources to help caregivers in need, I hope we can provide support for life’s emergencies when and where they pop up.”