California credit unions, their employees and members continue survive on the edge of wild fires raging in the region.
“Everything changes with the wind, from hour to hour,” said Sherry Cordonnier, director of corporate relations, at Travis CU, Vacaville, Calif., early Thursday afternoon. “Right now they only have 3% of the fires contained.”
Travis CU closed its Napa branch on Monday, which it has since reopened. Its Green Valley branch was closed Thursday.
With a single branch, Sonoma FCU, located in Santa Rosa, where much of the worst damage has occurred, has remained open. “We want to be here for our members,” Renee Rayhill, president/CEO of Sonoma FCU. “They need us right now. There’s a lot of heartbreaking stories. We’re helping them get through the insurance quagmires and getting them started replacing the things they’ve lost.”
CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle forwarded a letter Thursday to California credit union CEOs affected wildfires in the region offering support from CUNA and the credit union system.
“You and your staff are in my thoughts as the impact of the wildfires on your community becomes clear. I have been in close contact with [California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues President/CEO] Diana Dykstra and our teams have been working together to coordinate efforts to assist you.
Nussle noted that resources that have been activated to assist credit unions
CUNA is asking the credit union system to give to National Credit Union Foundation’s CUAid program to support credit unions and employees with fire related losses at cuaid.coop.
Credit unions in need of assistance can request resources via the Disaster Relief Community. In addition, credit unions looking to offer assistance can use the same community link and CUNA will work to match their needs with offers of help.
Redwood CU (RCU) is accepting donations to assist those impacted by the North Bay fires. Anyone can make a secure donation online at www.redwoodcu.org/northbayfirerelief or at any of RCU’s 17 North Bay and San Francisco locations.
RCU’s North Bay Fire Relief Fund has been established by RCU Community Fund, in partnership with Redwood CU, Senator Mike McGuire, and The Press Democrat. RCU is paying all administrative costs; 100% of donations go directly to aid fire victims and relief efforts.
“Our hearts go out to everyone affected by the fires,” said Brett Martinez, RCU’s president/CEO. “We are supporting our members, employees and communities in a variety of way with their financial needs. We’re also accepting financial donations for the fire relief efforts and victims of these devastating fires.”