Around the Northwest: Unitus Community Credit Union Helps Local Children and Families


The spirit of giving was in full force over the holidays at Oregon’s Unitus Community Credit Union. Unitus raised nearly $10,000 through fundraising efforts and corporate donations during a Holiday Drive to benefit homeless children in Portland.

“We couldn’t do this without the amazing relationships formed with schools and nonprofits through our community partnership program,” said Aimee Berg, Community Development Officer at Unitus. “We couldn’t do this without our members who enable us to make these positive impacts in our communities.”

Working with Gotta Have Sole, a nonprofit organization that provides homeless youth with new shoes, Unitus also collected a variety of essential items for children during an annual donation drive:

  • 240 pairs of new shoes, 861 pairs of new socks, and 256 cold-weather items.
  • 20 holiday shoeboxes for children and teen residents of the Good Neighbor Center, a shelter providing emergency housing for families.
  • 103 care packages for patients at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital.

In other acts of holiday giving, Unitus made a $581 donation to Busia Compassionate Centre, an orphanage in western Kenya, which provides essentials for overlooked children including items such as clothing, food, and shelter. Unitus employees also gave their time, collectively donating 286 volunteer hours to 19 organizations during the month of December, the equivalent of seven full-time 40-hour weeks.

SELCO Community Credit Union Expands Scholarship Program

SELCO Community Credit Union is accepting applications for its newly expanded scholarship program. The Oregon-based credit union has raised individual scholarships to $2,500, up from $1,500, to 20 high school seniors planning to attend an accredited college or university.

“We are thrilled … to make higher education a bit more affordable for 20 deserving students and their families,” said SELCO Senior Vice President of Lending & Business Solutions, Craig Carpenter.

To qualify for a SELCO scholarship, applicants must be:

  • SELCO members or immediate family members of a SELCO member. A SELCO membership is just $5 and is open to anyone who lives or works in one of the 26 Oregon counties SELCO serves.
  • Graduating seniors from a four-year accredited high school with a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher; and,
  • Planning to attend an accredited two- or four-year college or university.

Applicants must apply online by April 1 and submit an essay that answers the question: “What advice would you give your future self on your college graduation day?” SELCO’s Scholarship Committee will review each application and notify recipients by May 8.

“Since we started the program in 2008, we’ve provided more than $300,000 in scholarships and helped hundreds of students fulfill their educational goals,” said Carpenter. “It’s a continuation of the work begun by the teachers who founded SELCO more than 80 years ago. Since then, our commitment to supporting our members and community through educational opportunities has only strengthened.”

Posted in Community Impact.