Our Role in Stopping Human Trafficking

Many people don’t realize the essential role the financial services industry has in the fight against Human Trafficking. Often, the only time a trafficking victim talks to a person who can help is when they interact with frontline representatives at their credit union or bank. In addition, the type and location of financial transactions can indicate abuse, be it trafficking, elder abuse, forced labor, or something else. That is why at WCU one of our ongoing training topics is how to recognize the signs of human trafficking, and what to if an interactions raises multiple red flags.

It’s so important to continually stay up-to-date about the signs of trafficking is the ever-changing reality of the forms it takes. COVID-19 has changed many things, and how abusers prey on vulnerable victims is one of them. With more people struggling with job loss and economic insecurity, and spending more times isolated from their support groups.

That’s why we’re staying vigilant, and continuing to educate ourselves, and work with other financial institutions to recognize the signs. We ask that our members learn the indicators that somebody they interact with may be at risk, or under the influence of an abuser or trafficker.

And if you need help, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline (NHTH),1-888-373-7888 or text HELP or INFO to BeFree (233733). The NHTH is a national, toll-free hotline available to answer calls from anywhere in the country, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year. The NHTH is not a law enforcement or immigration authority and is operated by a nongovernmental organization funded by the Federal government.

El orgullo de servir a los miembros que usan ITIN

The Pride in Serving ITIN Members

Uno de los valores principales del movimiento de las cooperativas de ahorro y crédito es brindar servicios financieros equitativos a grupos que históricamente han sido desatendidos. Hoy en día, Wauna Credit Union está desarrollando un programa y contratando personas para que estén presente para los miembros de nuestra comunidad que otras instituciones financieras no parecen querer ayudar, personas que viven y trabajan en nuestras comunidades con un número ITIN, y sin un número de seguro social. A menudo, las personas que no son hablantes nativos de inglés entran en esta categoría. Debido a que muchas instituciones financieras carecen de personal multilingüe, o a menudo consideran a las personas sin un número de seguro social de alguna manera más riesgosas, las comunidades Latinas se encuentran en desventaja y, a menudo, son el objetivo de prestamistas abusivos.

Una de nuestras primeras contrataciones en nuestra sucursal en Forest Grove fue contratar a Frank Elizondo-Alcalá, quien comenzó a trabajar compartiendo el estilo de Wauna Credit Union “Hay bancos que no ofrecen este tipo de préstamo, lo creen que es un riesgo muy grande para ellos y nosotros lo vemos de manera diferente, nosotros no vemos a la comunidad que usa ITIN o a la comunidad hispana como un riesgo”.

Univisión presentó recientemente el programa ITIN de WCU y destacó un gran ejemplo de cómo la Cooperativa de Crédito está marcando la diferencia.

“Me ha facilitado la vida porque antes uno no podía obtener un carro nuevo, tenía que andar comprando carros más económicos que no tienes que tener un crédito para comprar un carro nuevo, entonces a cada rato te fallaba, se descomponía, ya no servía y tenías que gastar en otro carrito”.

Además, nuestra Sucursal Virtual, el chat en línea y las unidades de Cajeros de Video cuentan con personal que puede ayudar a nuestros miembros de habla hispana. También estamos traduciendo y localizando nuestros documentos y materiales digitales e impresos para garantizar que no solo estamos abriendo una cuenta o otorgando un préstamo, sino también comunicando nos con nuestras comunidades en su idioma preferido y obteniendo su membresía de por vida.

The Pride in Serving ITIN Members

El orgullo de servir a los miembros que usan ITIN

A leading ethos of the credit union movement is to provide equitable financial services to groups that are historically underserved. Today, Wauna Credit Union is developing program and hiring people to be there for our community members that other places don’t seem to want to help, people who live and work in our communities with an Individual Tax ID number (ITIN), but without a social security number. Often times, people who aren’t native English speakers fall into this category. Because many financial institutions lack multi-lingual staff, or often consider people without a social security number somehow riskier, Latinx  communities find themselves at a disadvantage, and often the target of predatory lenders.

One of our first hires at our newest branch in Forest Grove is Frank Elizondo-Alcalá, who went to work sharing the Wauna Credit Union way. “People were so excited to see somebody come in the door who not only speaks fluent Spanish, but more importantly understands the issues they are facing,” he said.

Univision recently featured WCU’s ITIN program, and highlighted a great example of how the Credit Union is making a difference.

“It has made my life easier because before you couldn’t get a new car, you had to go around buying cheaper cars that you don’t have to have a loan to buy a new car, so every so often it failed you, it broke down, it no longer worked and you had to spend on another cart.”

In addition, our Virtual Branch, online chat, and Video Teller Units are staffed by people who can help our Spanish-speaking members. We’re also translating and localizing our digital and printed documents and materials to help ensure we’re not just opening an account, or giving a loan, but earning your membership for life.

Clatsop SBDC, Wauna Credit Union and OSU Extension Bring Free Small Business Education to Clatsop County

Small business owners will continue to have access to no-cost, practical education thanks to a new collaboration between the Clatsop Community College Small Business Development Center, Wauna Credit Union, and Oregon State University Extension.

This collaboration has launched a digital masterclass series, “Summer Small Business Bootcamp,” where new and existing business owners can learn from business experts in seven sessions covering topics critical to business success including strategic planning, financial management, marketing, and human resources. The classes will be offered live via Zoom and then available on-demand so busy business owners can design their own learning path. 

Lindsay Davis of Oregon State University said of the collaboration: “We see great value in combining forces and resources to best support the rebound of Clatsop County’s economy in this time of great need. By working in partnership with Clatsop Community College’s SBDC, it will be a solid one-two punch of University and Community College educational offerings for the community.”

Clatsop Community College SBDC will receive $7500 in total in direct and indirect support to fund the digital series that will be offered free to the public through live streams and on-demand videos, starting July 14th.

Michael Murdoch of Wauna Credit Union said “Building relationships with organizations like the SBDC links directly to our vision and mission as a financial cooperative. Moreover, the SBDC truly fosters our local economies, encouraging profits to stay close to home and providing invaluable support to our neighborhoods and communities.”

In addition to the Boot Camp masterclasses, community members looking to hone their leadership skills can participate in the Clatsop SBDC’s “Books & Brews” Leadership Book Club.  This summer’s reading is Brene Brown’s Dare to Lead and will be facilitated by Astoria-Warrenton Chamber of Commerce’s Executive Director, David Reid.  The first meeting of the book club will be July 15 and pre-registration is required.

Jessica Newhall, Associate Director of the Clatsop SBDC said “Our mission is to help our region’s small business community thrive. Wauna Credit Union and OSU Extension’s support ensures all small business owners can access no-cost, practical education designed to help them overcome challenges and be positioned for success.”

Notable speakers leading the boot camp include Seth Morrisey of Oregon Web Solutions, Alyssa Logan of Fort George, Chelsea Morrisey of Morrisey Digital, and Sarah Lambert of Riverview Bookkeeping.

For more information and to register for the Summer Small Business Boot Camp or Books & Brews Leadership Book Club, visit www.bizcenter.org/Clatsop

Non-Discrimination Declaration 
It is the policy of Clatsop Community College that there will be no discrimination or harassment on the grounds of race, color, sex, gender, marital status, religion, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression or disability in any educational programs, activities, or employment. Questions or complaints should be directed to Naomi Garbutt, Affirmative Action/Gender Equity (Title IX) Officer, Towler Hall, Suite 110, ngarbutt@clatsopcc.edu 503-338- 2450; TDD 503-338-2468. The Director of Disability Services, Mallory Vollner, is located in Towler Hall, Suite 104A, mvollner@clatsopcc.edu 503-338-2474. 

Accommodations 
Persons having questions about or a request for special needs and accommodation should contact JoAnn Zahn, Vice President of Finance and Operations, at Clatsop Community College, 1651 Lexington Avenue, Astoria, Oregon 97103, Library Suite 110,  jzahn@clatsopcc.edu Phone (503) 338-2421 or TDD (503) 338-2468. Please send special needs and accommodations requests here. Contact should be made at least two business days in advance of the event. 

 
Declaración de no-discriminación 
Es la política de Clatsop Community College que no habrá ningún tipo de discriminación o acoso por razón de raza, color, sexo, género, estado civil, religión, origen nacional, edad, orientación sexual, identidad de género o expresióno discapacidad en los programas educativos, actividades o en la contratación. Preguntas o quejas deben ser dirigidas al Naomi Garbutt, Oficial de Acción Afirmativa / Título IX localizado en Towler Hall número 110  ngarbutt@clatsopcc.edu número de teléfono 503-338-2450, TDD (discapacidad auditiva) 503-338-2468. Director de Discapacidad Dervices, Mallory Vollner, se encuentra en Towler Hall, numero 104A, mvollner@clatsopcc.edu número de teléfono 503-338-2474. Para ADA y otras peticiones de servicios llame al 503-338-2474 o para TDD (discapacidad auditiva) 503-338-2468. 

Ayuda a personas discapacitadas 

En cuanto a las personas discapacitadas, se les pide que se comuniquen con JoAnn Zahn, la Vice Presidente de Finanzas y Operaciones en Clatsop Community College, 1651 Lexington Avenue, Astoria, Oregon 97103, Library Suite 110,  jzahn@clatsopcc.edu número teléfonico (503) 338-2421 o a TDD (503) 338-2468. Haga el favor de notificar a la oficina para que se le pueda proporcionar apoyo. La comunicación debe tomar lugar por lo menos dos días de trabajo antes del evento por el cual se requiera tal ayuda. Para más información, vea la página Web de Clatsop Community College bajo Información en Español. 

2020 Scholarship Winners

Wauna Credit Union Awards Area Students Over $12k in Scholarships

It was definitely a year unlike any other. Graduations did not have the pomp and circumstances that the Class of 2020 was probably expecting, but in many ways that made the awarding of scholarships to deserving students even more rewarding.

WCU’s 2020 scholarship recipients were selected based on a variety of factors, including GPA, community involvement, and their need for financial assistance.

“This was not an easy decision as we had a huge amount of wonderful applicants this year,” said WCU CEO Robert Blumberg. “We take that to heart, because we believe not just in our communities and our schools, but in our future. And who better to make that future brighter than our children,” said Blumberg.

Fifteen students from eight area high schools are recipients of this year’s WCU Scholarships, which range from $500 to $1,500 each. This years recipients include:

  • ELI Takalo – Astoria
  • Kegan Rascoe – Astoria
  • Gabriel Katon – Clatskanie
  • James Helmen – Clatskanie
  • Gina Limon – Clatskanie
  • Jonathan Moravec – Clatskanie
  • Catherine Ruado – Forest Grove
  • Nada Jones – Rainier
  • Josiah Jones – Rainier
  • Kelsey Ela – Scappoose
  • Allisandra Kuni – Scappoose
  • Kaytlenn Worlitz – St. Helens
  • Sofia Wolf – Vernonia
  • Jessica Butcher – Vernonia
  • Katrina Diego – Warrenton

Alert: Unemployment Fraud

The NW Credit Union Association has alerted us to a significant increase in unemployment fraud hitting or footprint. Please be aware if you, your friends, or family are asked for your account information and then see a deposit from a state unemployment division. Scammers are using this new method to conduct fake check scams https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/how-spot-avoid-and-report-fake-check-scams

Washington state law enforcement has recently reported investigating a widespread fraud campaign in which victims’ identities are being used to file false unemployment claims. While similar reports have not be issued for Idaho and Oregon, other states across the country are reporting the latest in fraud trends. Victims, who have not filed unemployment claims, have received notification from their employer’s Human Resources department, or the State Employment Securities Department, indicating an unemployment claim has been filed on their behalf.

The Seattle Police Department’s cyber-crime investigators have recommended the following steps for anyone who knows, or believes, they are a victim of unemployment fraud. Credit unions may wish to share this information with their members who may be potential victims of this fraud.

Steps to Protect Your Financial Identity & Credit History

  • Step One – Contact Human Resources
    • Contact your organization’s HR staff to coordinate and report the incident to your employer.
  • Step Two – Contact Your State’s ESD
    • Call the State Employment Security Department (ESD) (Idaho: 877-540-8638 or Fraud@labor.idaho.gov; Oregon: 877-668-3204; Washington: 800-246-9763 to report the fraud or contact the ESD via an online form: https://fortress.wa.gov/esd/webform/ContactUS/)
    • You will need the following information for identity verification:
      • Last 4 of your SSN
      • Date of birth, address
      • Current phone number
      • Information on how you learned a claim was filed on your behalf
  • Step Three – Police Report
    • File an online or non-emergency report with the agency whose jurisdiction you live in.
    • Start keeping a file folder or journal with the information from this incident, including any case numbers. Some government services and accommodations are available to victims of identity theft that are not available to the general public, such as getting certain public records sealed.
  • Step Four – The Three Major Credit Bureaus
    • Obtain your free credit reports from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion at www.annualcreditreport.com or call 1-877-322-8228
    • Report to the credit bureaus that the fraudulent claim was made using your identity and provide them with the case number from your police report. You can have a fraud alert put on your identity or freeze your credit. Doing either is free by law.
      • A fraud alert is free and will make it harder for someone to open new accounts in your name. To place a fraud alert, contact one of the three credit bureaus. That company must tell the other two.
      • Experian: 1-888-397-3742
      • TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289
      • Equifax: 1-888-766-0008
    • Check your credit activity at least once a year. As a victim of identity-theft you have the right to check it monthly if you choose.
    • Credit Freeze – If you do not have upcoming large purchases, such as a home, you may want to freeze your credit for more protection. It is free and you can do it yourself. More information about freezing your credit can be found here.
  • Step Five – FTC & IRS
    • File a short report with the FTC and give them the case number for your local police report. The FTC offers more information here.
    • Consider setting up an IRS account. If you create an account with your social security number, it will prevent criminals from creating an account using your identity.
    • Another option is to lock your social security number, which can be done here. (The next wave of this cyber-attack may be IRS tax fraud.)
    • All of this reporting seems redundant, but we want to make sure you are recognized as a victim by the local, state, and federal government. Also, the more people who report it, the more support law enforcement agents will receive to pursue the perpetrators.
  • Step Six – Keep Your Notes
    • Hang on to any notes, copies of emails, etc regarding the issue. This is the paper trail that you can reference if you face any identity issues or locate inaccuracies on your credit history sometime in the future.

Protecting Your Data and Identity
You are done dealing with the fallout from this unemployment fraud incident, but may choose to further protect yourself from cyber-crime. Below are some steps and resources that the cyber-crime detectives recommend for anyone wanting additional protections for themselves and their families.

  • Control Your Own Information

What to do if you need help

The health and safety impact of the COVID-19 outbreak can not be understated, but neither can the economic impact. Last week Oregon and Washington reported record new unemployment claims, and our footprint has been affected. If you run into trouble paying bills or loans, or paying on time, there may be a number of options to help, especially if you reach out to us, as well as your other creditors. Even though our branch lobbies have temporary restricted lobbies, you can still talk to us face-to-face through our video teller units and WaunaCU Now. More information about how to reach us can be found on our COVID-19 resource page.

Reach out!

This is the most important step at all. We’re always here to help, and right now companies are doing everything they can to lessen the impact of the financial hardships many people are facing. Being behind on your payments can have a lasting impact on your credit but making your lender aware of your situation may not only provide peace of mind, it can also help you create a plan.

WCU, Credit card companies, and other lenders may be able to offer you a number of options to help you. This could include waiving certain fees like Overdraft, ATM, and late fees, as well as allowing you to delay, adjust, or skip some payments.

When contacting your lenders, be prepared to explain:

  • Your situation
  • How much you can afford to pay
  • When you’re likely to be able to restart regular payments
  • In the case of mortgages, be prepared to discuss your income, expenses and assets


Also, if you have student loans,
you may qualify for a delayed or reduced payment program. Just remember, even though you don’t need to make payments now, interest will continue to accrue, and you will have to make up these amounts eventually. Contact your student loan servicer to find out more about your options.

Help is on the way

The federal government just passed its emergency stimulus package that provides a wealth of resources for almost every American. The $1,200 payment to each tax payer (or at least those who make under $75,000), and $500 credit for each dependent child are getting the headlines, but there are many more benefits to individuals and small businesses.

The Oregon Health Authority and benefitscheckup.org are amazing resources, that not only are a repository of COVID-19 stimulus items, but provide links to regular government programs as well.

Stay Safe Against Financial Fraud

An unfortunate reality of the world is that even though most of us are pulling together and helping each-other in this time of need, there are a few bad actors out there who see the current pandemic as an opportunity to make money.

Scammers have always followed the news. Now more than ever is the time to safeguard your information.

  • Be extra vigilant when clicking on links, or going to websites, about the Cononavirus.
  • Wauna Credit Union will only contact you via email from an address that ends with @waunafcu.org
  • If you get a call, text or email from us and you aren’t sure, simply call back a number you know is the credit union
    • That will usually be our 800-773-3236 number, but we currently have enabled direct branch calling as well
    • All information can be found at https://waunafcu.org/covid-19.shtml
    • Fraudsters can trick you into thinking the number is from our 800 number, so never give out any identifying information about your account including transaction details with anything more than a yes or no answer
  • We will never ask you over the phone for your PIN, CV2 codes or Expiration Dates.

53rd Annual Meeting -Update 3/13

Due to COVID-19 (Coronavirus) we are making changes to our annual meeting procedures.

  • In order to prevent unnecessary cross-contamination we will not be serving food/beverages or distributing prizes
  • We will also place a suitable distance between all seats
  • The Annual Meeting will be live streamed on Facebook to ensure members do not need to risk their health.

Erlene Darby Learning Center 49249 Hwy 30, Westport, OR

Tuesday, March 17th, 2020, 6:30pm

Doors open at 6pm/Light refreshments served

The Board of Directors has approved three nominees for three positions on the Board of Directors from applications submitted by members. Their names and biographical information are included below.

William “Bill” Delager, Incumbent, Birkenfeld

I am a lifelong resident of Oregon. I attended Clackamas High School, Oregon State University and I earned a PHO in Economics from Portland State University. I am married to Sheila, a high school classmate. We have two daughters and three granddaughters. I am retired from the Air Force and Air National Guard. Sheila is a retired CPA. We are enjoying retirement, tending our farm and active in volunteer activities. In the past I have served on the Mist-Birkenfeld Rural Fire Protection District Board, the Upper Nehalem Watershed Council Board and the Columbia Soil and Water Conservation District Board. I appreciate having had the  opportunity  to represent you on the  Wauna  Board these past eight years. I look forward to serving again. Thank you.

Erick Holsey, Incumbent, Clatskanie

I am interested in serving on Wauna  Federal  Credit Union  Board  of  Directors as an  opportunity  to  serve my  community  in the spirit of volunteering. I am a longtime resident  of Clatskanie,  a  graduate  of Clatskanie  High  School,  US  Army  veteran and currently employed at Columbia River  Fire & Rescue/Scappoose  Rural  Fire Protection  District. My  educational background is a Bachelor of Science in Fire Service  Administration  with  a  minor  in  chemistry  from  Western  Oregon University and A.A.S degrees in Fire Suppression, Emergency Medical Technology Paramedic, and Oregon Transfer  Degree from Chemeketa Community College. I have been  awarded  approximately  $900,000  dollars in  federal  grants to  include  a new fire engine for our  community. Throughout  my  residence  I  have  had  the  opportunity  to  serve  on  the  Clatskanie School Board as a director and on the budget committee, a member of the  Clatsop  County  Advisory  Board  for  Fire suppression and EMS programs, the Columbia County Fire Investigation Team, and the Lower Columbia Regional Training Association. My local civic memberships include the Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion. I believe that  my experience and education with public service provides myself a unique skill set that can  have  a  benefit  to  credit  union members and the community  in  which  I live.  As  a  frequent  customer,  I  have  always  been  greeted  by  friendly  staff, helped with all  types  of  financial  transactions  and  have  been  provided  sound  advice. I  would like to  take this  opportunity to provide some of my time into helping those  employees  continue  to  provide  that  service  while  encouraging  other community members to share my same experience.

Robin Clarke, Rainier

As a long-time member of WFCU, individually and for business, it would be my great pleasure to have the opportunity to not only continue learning about the credit union industry, but to also help the credit union’s continued growth  and  success in our local communities. I have been on the Supervisory Committee for three years and have seen WFCU grow into a strong financial institution. It supports and encourages individuals and businesses in our  area and this is such a  vital benefit to all of us in the region. I have developed a strong background in business and administration over many years and I believe I can add value as a member of the Board by having a broad general understanding of business practices and principles. Confidentiality, and having to make informed and sometimes  difficult decisions, are part of my  job to serve the best interests of our family businesses. This comes naturally to me, along with the energy and commitment to help in any way that will be a benefit to the Board and WFCU. I wish to continue my service beyond my current role as a member of WFCU’s Supervisory Committee and also serve on the Board of Directors.

An election will not be conducted by ballot, and there will be no nominations from the floor at the annual meeting when the number of nominees equals the number of positions to be filled, which is currently the situation. Any member who desires to run for the Board may do so now only by a nomination by petition signed by 270 credit union members in good standing 18 years of age or older.

An application may be requested by calling 1-800-773-3236, Ext 3124. Completed applications may be mailed to ATTN: Governance Committee P.O. Box 67 Clatskanie, OR 97016 or delivered in person to any branch.

Completed applications must be received by end of business on February 6, 2020.

 

It’s For the Kids – Helping DHS Spread Cheer

Michael recently talked about the Power of Giving. It’s our third year giving each employee $50 to give back as they see fit. Some of our employees donated to local charities, others donated to families in need, and others still simply chose to buy groceries for a stranger at the grocery store, or give an extra tip to their favorite server.

Amy Grubb, Member Services Manager of the Scappoose Branch, saw an opportunity. Every year, the Columbia County Department of Human Services organized a giving tree for local children in need. “We always had the donation tags in our branch, and members and employees had always looked forward to helping those in need. This year I realized the tags never came.”

Amy learned that the department was severely understaffed. The caseload usually managed by five people was instead being done by just two people. The team simply hadn’t had the ability to manage the giving program.

There were other groups within DHS that had their own giving trees, but Amy knew there were families that counted on the donations from WCU.

“Even though we didn’t know their names, their are families that counted on Wauna Credit Union,” said Amy. “I had to do something.”

Amy reached out to the rest of the credit union with a plea. She asked that those who had not yet earmarked their donation for another cause pool their money to buy gifts for the families.

“It was so great to see the credit union come together. Especially in Columbia County, we saw so many donations. Because we got so much in donations, we were able to buy gifts for kids aged 6-months to 17-years-old.”

Amy and St. Helens MSM Melissa get ready for a big night of wrapping

Amy’s perseverance showed what can happen when credit unions live up to the mantra of people helping people.