Purposeful Branch Opening Celebration Underscores the Credit Union Difference

When SELCO Community Credit Union recently opened a new branch in North Redmond, Oregon, local residents were invited to participate in the standard celebratory fanfare that usually accompanies a branch opening — the classic ribbon-cutting ceremony, fun raffles and daily prizes, and tours of the new space. But the credit union saw an opportunity to make an even greater impact on this new community, one that really spoke to the Credit Union Movement’s core tenet of “People Helping People.”

During their opening week, SELCO dedicated four days to spotlight four local nonprofit partners that help, heal, and grow the community:

  • Jericho Road provides consistent, nurturing, and tangible support to the homeless and those in need within the Redmond, Oregon, area.
  • NeighborImpact supports people and strengthens communities throughout Central Oregon, helping to meet the needs of 55,000 households annually.
  • KIDS Center is dedicated to the prevention, evaluation, and treatment of child abuse.
  • J Bar J Youth Services promotes innovative options for at-risk youth and families toward self-sufficiency and personal responsibilities.

Being front and center at the branch opening provided these nonprofits a valuable chance to meet and engage with local residents.

“From a non-profit perspective, we gravitate toward the ‘non-traditional’ partnerships,” said Rachel Visser, KIDS Center’s Prevention Education Manager. “Too often these partnerships are simply presented in print or as a note on a website. But when we come out and meet members in person, we can discuss how our partnership is helping change the landscape of the community – and for our organization, fight against child abuse.”

Partnerships like this require intentional planning and a desire to bring a unique spin to a traditional event — but that “community-first” mindset is what makes credit unions different.

“Finding ways to make a meaningful impact is built into our DNA — both as an organization and a credit union — so when it comes to increasing awareness or furthering the missions of the community nonprofits we support, we’re all about it,” said Olivia Sorensen, SELCO’s Community Development Specialist.

SELCO is one of many credit unions going the extra mile to invest back into the communities they serve. It’s what the Movement has coined the “Credit Union Difference,” and for good reason. When it comes to improving people’s lives, credit unions know it’s about so much more than providing financial services; it’s about putting people first. It is going out into the areas they serve and asking, “Who needs help, and what can we do to help them?”

Posted in CU Difference.