Kitsap, Peninsula, Sound, Tapco, and Connection Credit Unions Team up to Help Port Orchard Community After Recent Tornado


A tornado ripped through the Port Orchard, Washington, community on Dec. 18, leaving homes and businesses badly damaged. In response, five local credit unions worked together to raise funds for those affected by the damage. Photo courtesy of the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Department.

Kitsap Credit Union, Peninsula Credit Union, Sound Credit Union, Tapco Credit Union, and Connection Credit Union made donations to the United Way of Kitsap County recently after the strongest tornado to hit the state in 32 years touched down in Port Orchard, Washington, on Dec. 18.

With speeds as high as 130 mph, the twister left a trail of damaged homes, toppled trees, downed power lines, and families in shock. In addition to the many volunteers and organizations providing assistance and working to rebuild, the five credit unions donated more than $14,000 after matching funds were applied.

The credit unions also invited their members to donate, which resulted in total combined donations of more than $26,000. Kitsap Credit Union is making an additional $500 donation outside of the combined effort to South Kitsap Helpline.

“This tornado hits especially close to home for us, and our hearts go out to all those who’ve been impacted physically and emotionally by its damage,” said Kitsap Credit Union President and CEO Shawn Gilfedder in a press release. “We’re here to improve the lives of our members and their communities, and we hope this donation provides some relief to those affected.”

Aerial image of tornado damage
The Dec. 18 Port Orchard tornado packed winds of up to 130 miles per hour, toppling trees and downing power lines. Photo courtesy of the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Department.

To help those affected by the tornado get immediate access to cash, Kitsap and Peninsula credit unions are both offering emergency loan products to assist. Kitsap is offering the Disaster Recovery Loan, and Peninsula is providing its Emergency Payday Assistance Loan.

“Peninsula Credit Union and our other credit union partners are always here for our members during both good times and the most challenging times,” said Peninsula Credit Union President and CEO Jim Morrell. “A great example of credit unions cooperating to help support our members and the community.”

To help families affected by the tornado, donations to the United Way of Kitsap County can be made here.

Posted in Community Impact.