PORTLAND, Ore. (7/23/14)--The credit union community is offering assistance to victims of the Carlton Complex fire in central Washington, with an initial $5,000 donated by the Northwest Credit Union Foundation (NWCUF).
NWCUF also is encouraging online donations--a similar effort earlier this year resulted in $108,000 in contributions from credit unions and leagues across the nation for victims of the Oso mudslide.
The fire burned another 7,000 acres overnight Monday, the Northwest Credit Union Association reported Tuesday (Anthem July 22). An estimated 150 homes have been destroyed. The Carlton Complex fire is the largest of several wildfires burning in Washington and Oregon this week.
"Credit unions in our region have shown time and time again that they understand how important it is to provide immediate support and they always step up when there is a disaster," said Kim Vu, NWCUF executive director. "We always realize that these are not just members of our credit unions, but they also part of the local communities we serve who could be losing their homes and this is when they most need us."
Credit unions are raising funds and offering financial assistance to members who may be directly affected by the wildfires. Spokane Teachers CU, with $1.9 billion in assets, Liberty Lake, Wash., is leveraging a longtime relationship with the American Red Cross and a local television station to raise emergency funds for fire victims.
Numerica CU, with $1.3 billion in assets, Spokane Valley, Wash., reached out to members through its popular Facebook site to offer both financial assistance and personal support. A spokesperson for Numerica CU reports that as many as 30 members in the Patero location live in one of the active fire zones and could be at risk.
Numerica CU also encouraged employees to support the fundraising. For a donation to help victims of the wildfires, employees will receive "Casual for a Cause" coupons valued at $25.
In addition, the credit union is sponsoring the Rain Down Hope Benefit Concert today to benefit the Chelan Valley Hope Fire Relief Fund.
Credit unions and employees interested in making a donation can donate directly through the NWCUF to benefit the Community Foundation of North Central Washington's Fire Relief Fund.