NW CUs comfort members stricken by wildfire

July 2, 2015

SEATAC, Wash. (7/2/15)--Northwest credit unions have banded together to launch the Wenatchee Wildfire Relief Fund to support those who lost homes or were displaced by recent fires in Washington.

The Northwest Credit Union Foundation (NWCUF) seeded the fund with $5,000. Those who wish to donate to the fund can visit the foundation’s website (Anthem July 1).

Residents of the small city of Wenatchee, Wash., returned to their neighborhoods Tuesday to find their homes reduced to ashes and smoldering rubble. At least 24 homes and two businesses were destroyed when what officials are calling a wind-driven “firestorm” swept through a housing development in the northwest part of the city.

“The residents of Wenatchee are our neighbors and credit union members, and it is a privilege for our Northwest credit unions to come to their aid,” said Jamie Dedmon, NWCUF managing director. “Serving our communities is why credit unions exist. The credit unions of Oregon and Washington are proud to reach out and support those whose lives have been disrupted by this disaster.”

Several local credit unions were forced to close their Wenatchee branches during evacuation. Those credit unions stand ready to assist their members. Gesa CU, Richland, is offering special assistance in the form of low-interest emergency personal loans and fee-free payment extensions to credit union members who have lost their homes or been displaced from their homes by an evacuation order.

“In times of great need, supporting our members and the communities where they live is a vital part of our mission,” said Don Miller, Gesa president/CEO. “We have been by our members’ side for over 60 years in Eastern Washington and we stand ready to demonstrate the credit union motto of ‘people helping people.’”