Around the Northwest, Credit Unions Serve Communities


Oregon State Credit Union Celebrates Earth Day with a Community Shred Event

Oregon State Credit Union is holding a free community event, a document shred day at the Linn County Fairgrounds in Albany on April 21. The event is scheduled in conjunction with the Earth Day worldwide celebration of efforts toward environmental protection.

The public is invited to bring up to three boxes of documents, such as old checks or any other outdated material that contains personal information. Participants also have an opportunity to donate canned food to the Linn Benton Food Share. The event is supported by the Linn County Sheriff Department and the Albany Police Department.

Linn County Sheriff’s Office Undersheriff Jim Yon said, “Our Sheriff’s Office believes in the power of knowledge. We can all play a role in protecting ourselves by reducing the opportunity and risk of becoming an identity theft victim. Supporting Oregon State Credit Union’s shred day is an excellent opportunity to help our community.”

The event is the first of three similar events that will take place between April and September.

The Southwest Chapter of Idaho Credit Unions Host Financial Reality Fairs for High School Students

This month, high school students in Caldwell, and Nampa, Idaho, will have an opportunity to learn important financial information while having fun. The Southwest Chapter of Idaho Credit Unions is presenting Financial Reality Fairs at two high schools that offer students an in-depth look at how to manage the cost of living.

The events take place in the school gyms where students are given a “Reality Roadmap” with a preset occupation and an Idaho-based salary, as well as a credit score. Students then navigate to a variety of tables to learn about various aspects of the cost of living that includes housing and household expenses, transportation, recreation, saving for retirement, and random “Life Happens” scenarios, which might be a windfall inheritance or a $500 insurance deductible payment. They make choices at each table, such as renting versus buying a home or living with their parents, as well as choices of transportation and recreation. They then subtract the cost of that choice from their budget.

Throughout the Financial Reality Fair students learn about how their credit score impacts the cost of living and what their life choices cost them each month. The events have been popular with students, teachers and advisors.

Horizon Credit Union Employee Volunteer Gives Back to Community

Wendy Duncan, Horizon Credit Union Director of Retail Services, is an active volunteer who believes in supporting her community—Medical Lake, Washington. She is among eight other Horizon employees who reached the 100-hour volunteer mark in the Horizon Credit Union Go-Givers employee volunteer program, which encourages employees to engage with their communities.

Volunteers who go above and beyond are awarded the chance to make a donation to a 501c(3) non profit of their choice on behalf of the credit union.

Duncan’s volunteer hours earned a $500 donation for the Medical Lake Dollars for Scholars program. As a board member of that organization, she makes a difference in her community by supporting young adults in pursuing their dreams. Volunteering is a priority for her, and while Duncan acknowledges the value of financial contributions, she also values giving time, attention, and effort, as well.

“As DFS board members, we seek to better our community by encouraging and assisting our local students in attaining their post-secondary pursuits,” she says.

Duncan also serves as a board member for the Spokane Chapter of Credit Unions, where she contributes to planning for educational sessions on topics that include leadership development, legislative meetings, and events that bring credit unions together to give back to the community.

Credit Union Fundraiser Provides Local Kids Access to Free Health Screenings

Mid Oregon Credit Union encourages Bend and surrounding community members to stop by a branch and “Adopt-A-Bear” between April 2-20 to support Healthy Beginnings in ensuring that every preschooler in Central Oregon is healthy and prepared for kindergarten.

Since 2004, Mid Oregon’s Adopt-A-Bear annual fundraiser has raised nearly $25,000 to help support Healthy Beginnings to provide no-cost health and developmental screenings to preschool children in Bend and the surrounding communities. Mid Oregon Credit Union staff, members and community participants “adopt” bears with their donations to Healthy Beginnings. Health screenings are performed by top-level medical, dental, nutritional, and behavioral specialists from the area, providing parents a thorough assessment of their child’s physical and developmental health.

The state has identified universal community screenings as a best practice, providing consistent, reliable, valid, evidence-based screening for young children. Unfortunately, there is no state funding for the screening initiative so Mid Oregon’s Adopt-A-Bear program bridges the gap with financial support.

For the past 24 years, Healthy Beginnings has relied on community donations to keep their screenings free for all families who utilize their services. Healthy Beginnings serves nearly 1,000 children and families each year in Bend, Redmond, La Pine, Madras, Prineville, Sisters, and Sunriver.

Community residents can “Adopt-A-Bear” at any Mid Oregon Credit Union location through April 20, or by calling 541-382-1795. For information about child screenings go to

Posted in Around the NW.