SEATAC, Wash. (10/31/14)--Credit unions save Northwest households $114 on average annually, and that amount was given to unsuspecting recipients by credit unions during the Northwest Credit Union Association's Pay It Forward campaign.
|The $114 given by Renee Gehring of Valley CU, Salem, Ore., (left) to Family Building Blocks during the Northwest Credit Union Association's Pay It Forward campaign represents the average savings credit unions provide to Northwest households annually. (Valley CU Photo)|
Held on International Credit Union Day, the no-strings-attached cash giveaway focused on giving back to the community.
For instance, Adam Hermosillo had a past-due heating bill and no way to bring it current (Anthem Oct. 28). He happened to be in the Klamath Lake Community Action Services office when in walked Janet Buckalew, vice president of member advocacy and business development, Pacific Crest FCU, Klamath Falls., Ore.
She handed Hermosillo a stack of bills worth $114. "He could not believe it," Buckalew said. The amount was enough to get his electric bill current and help a friend with his electric bill, she added. Hermosillo was not a member of the $149 million-asset credit union, but he did say he would look into what credit unions had to offer.
Linn-Co FCU, Lebanon, Ore., with $81 million in assets, paid it forward to 18 people in three towns--Lebanon, Albany and Sweet Home. Kathleen Burt, public relations officer, and Rebecca Grizzle, chief sales officer, focused on job-seekers. "We liked the idea of employment offices," Burt said, "because these were people looking for work."
When they saw a young woman filling out a job application at a restaurant, they gave her the money. "People were stunned, grateful and frozen with disbelief," Burt said.
Pay It Forward cash also went to community organizations that address the homeless, child abuse and neglect prevention, and advocacy for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.