Wauna Credit Union Donates $12,000 to Local Warming Shelter

More than any other season, winter poses serious risks for homeless populations, as temperatures drop and winds pick up.

For those on the Oregon coast facing homelessness, the Astoria Warming Center is a beacon of hope. The center provides overnight shelter and access to hot showers during the winter months. Like many organizations, it relies heavily on donations to keep its doors open, and in 2020, the center needed more help than ever.

That’s why the employees at Wauna Credit Union, based in Clatskanie, Oregon, voted to support the Astoria Warming Center as their 2020 official credit union charity. Every year, WCU chooses a new corporate charity to support through employee contributions and volunteerism.

“When we were choosing our annual charity, the Astoria Warming Center was an obvious choice,” said Kristen DeForrest, a member of the WCU Operations team who believes in supporting the center. “Many of our employees live in Astoria and see the good work they do every day.”

DeForrest happily presented a check for $11,299.09 to the Astoria Warming Center’s Board Member, Annie Martin; longtime Center Coordinator, Cheryl Paul; and new Executive Director, Kathleen Sullivan. Just shy of $12,000, the funds were raised exclusively by WCU employees.

“We’re quite choked up. Thank you, WCU,” said Sullivan. “We couldn’t continue without such kindness from the community!”

Martin explained that the center depends on its community partners in order to serve those most in need.

“We are grateful to the Astoria First United Methodist Church, who allows us to use their first level for the center,” she said. “We also are grateful for the local restaurants who are still donating meals despite the mandated closures due to COVID-19.”

The center provides up to 28 beds on the nights they are open and offers showers to those in need on Wednesday afternoons, from noon to 4 p.m.

“It has been so important to people with nowhere else to go, to have a safe, warm place to get out of the winter weather,” said Paul. “Thank you, WCU employees!”

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