Social Responsibility on Steroids: Northwest Credit Unions Recognized for Community Involvement


Horizon’s Go.Give.Grow. Day.

In a single marathon half-day last year, over 225 employees of Spokane Valley-based Horizon Credit Union fanned out to serve 13 charitable organizations across three states. To support its employees’ volunteerism goals, the credit union closed all 20 of its branches, and empowered the team to roll up its sleeves at an event they called, “Go. Give. Grow. Day.”

The results are fodder for the record books. The volunteers collectively contributed 1,125 volunteer hours. They moved, sorted, or packaged 27,000 pounds of food for food banks, raised over $750 toward the purchase of weekend food backpacks for children, sorted 1,000 pounds of donated clothing, prepped food for 5,000 meals, put together 400 hygiene kits, assembled 320 weekend food backpacks, and cleaned and painted service venues in the communities Horizon serves.

InRoads’ “Team Up for Schools” campaign.

And as they say in the news business, “Wait. There’s more.” In addition to providing all that hard work, the credit union donated $1,000 to each of the organizations served on Go. Give. Grow. Day.

For that work, Horizon was one of four Northwest credit unions honored with Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Awards at the Northwest Credit Union Association’s MAXX Convention in Spokane.

InRoads Credit Union in St. Helens, Oregon was honored for, “Team Up for Schools,” a program that helped cash-strapped schools in its largely rural and low-income footprint. InRoads offered debit cards bearing three local schools’ colors and logos and made cash contributions to the schools each time the cards were used. Nearly 5,000 InRoads members opted into the program and that resulted in contributions of nearly $73,000 to the schools.

The PrimeSource team is a volunteering team.

The credit union was also honored for a combination of social responsibility impact, including donations of care packages to foster kids, random acts of kindness across local communities, and $30,000 in contributions to local community organizations.

The 25-member staff at Spokane-based PrimeSource Credit Union contributed an impressive 340 hours of volunteer service last year. Preretirement classes taught by the staff helped adults prepare to navigate Medicare, Social Security, long-term care challenges, and estate planning. Overall, the staff’s volunteer army delivered for 22 community organizations and events, and the time their team committed doubled the credit union’s annual volunteerism goal.

Also on the red carpet at MAXX was Red Canoe Credit Union. The Longview, Washington-based credit union’s team contributed 682 hours of labor and $31,030 to benefit 15 important causes.

Red Canoe’s giving back to those in need.

Activities Red Canoe employees engaged in included giving up their Columbus Day holiday last year, so they could volunteer at five community organizations. They also raised $5,000 for the widow and child of a Sheriff’s Deputy who was tragically killed in the line of duty. Employees contributed to California Wildfire victims as well. One program – Concern for Community—raised over $11,000 for seven local nonprofits. When wildfires ravaged parts of California last year, the team again helped out with a contribution.

“Dora Maxwell was a pioneer in the Credit Union Movement, who developed volunteer programs that helped to improve living conditions for the poor and needy,” said Christine Ruzzi, NWCUA’s Assistant Vice President of Enterprise Engagement Resources. “The honors given in her name are well deserved for these credit unions, whose employees committed hundreds of hours of labor and money to make their communities stronger.”

Providence’s Caregiver Loan program.

Also celebrated at MAXX was Providence Federal Credit Union for its Caregiver Loan program. Providence was awarded with a Louise Herring Philosophy-in-Action Member Service Award. The Milwaukie, Oregon credit union’s program offered lower-wage healthcare workers with a low-interest alternative to payday loans. The credit union recognized these financially vulnerable members needed a partner to help them with emergency expenses, rent, and essential living costs.

To learn more about the 2019 CUNA and Micro-Community winners at MAXX, check out this video from the Awards Gala


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