Credit Unions Worldwide Celebrate International Credit Union Day (ICU Day)

“Those who are happiest are those who do the most for others.” ― Booker T. Washington

Today, Wauna Credit Union joins some 68,000 credit unions ― spanning 109 countries, serving 235 million members ― to celebrate ICU Day. Whether these members are rich or poor, from villages or cities, credit unions are on duty 24/7, across cultures and languages, helping others realize their dreams.

We call this “The Credit Union Difference”.

When did this start? Well, in 1948 (the year when the first tape recorder was sold and fare on the NYC subway cost 10 cents) the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) established a national “Credit Union Day”. Fast forward 69 years to today’s aptly-named “Dreams Thrive Here” celebration.

“Dreams Thrive Here” spotlights how Credit Unions are transforming goals into realities. It is this community commitment and positive economic and social change that separates us from banks. Because we are different…very different…both in philosophy and structure.

And in the spirit of ICU Day, let’s recognize all credit unions for the roles they play. Think of the people who would have been unable to afford homes, businesses, or education without credit unions. Together, we are helping people overcome challenges.

Wauna Credit Union opened its doors in 1967 with a mission to help others. Our mission hasn’t changed: we are providing opportunities for our members to build their financial well-being. With your support, Wauna Credit Union has grown to over 24,000 members.

So it is your recognition of the contributions that credit unions make that is beyond awesome it’s superhero status. We thank YOU for joining us in celebrating ICU Day.

One smile per member, one member at a time, Wauna Credit Union will continue working around the clock to build a stronger world.

We look forward to serving you and your family for many, many dreams to come.

ICU Day

Serving Our Communities: Funds Raised For Clatsop Community Action

During the last quarter of 2016, Wauna Credit Union staff raised more than $2500 for Clatsop Community Action.  Depending on the year, we have changed charities quarterly or annually. Staff nominates and vote on each organization we support. It is part of the Credit Union culture to support our communities through volunteering and donations, and it carries down from the very top to our front line staff. One of the reasons many of us have chosen to work for a financial cooperative is the philosophy of “people helping people” and our desire to make a positive difference in the communities around us and the world.

For part of 2016, Wauna Credit Union raised money for Clatsop Community

Robert Blumberg, Amy Stocky and Debi Smiley presents a check for $2,543.20 to Elaine Bruce and Viviana Matthews of CCA
Wauna CU presents the check to CCA

Action (CCA). Clatsop Community Action is an incredible organization in Clatsop County that helps fund the food bank, they offer energy assistance for people when money is tight, whether it be a seasonal layoff, sudden unemployment, or just not earning enough. They help low income workers get needed items, offer training programs, and even find housing for those without any. They do so much in the community, it is impossible to imagine Clatsop County without them!

It was with great pride and deep gratitude, that we presented Clatsop Community Action’s tireless director Elaine Bruce with a check for $2,543.20, and more than 50 pounds of personal care items for those who need them. It is great knowing all of these funds will be used to help people in Clatsop County.

The tourism economy, which is a major part of Clatsop County’s business, can be Wauna CU CEO Robert Blumberg and CCA Executive Director Elaine Brucea volatile way to live for those who work within it, much like fishing, it is seasonal. Tourism industry work consists of many low paying jobs – food service, retail, and hotel housekeeping, these jobs typically pay minimum wage with few, if any, benefits. It can be hard to make ends meet. Luckily, CCA is here to help people when ends don’t meet, when the off season lasts just too long, or when bad luck has knocked good people off their feet. CCA is also mostly volunteer run.

The money goes towards CCA clients who have no money for critical items such as diapers, toothbrushes, bus passes, replacing lost identifications needed for job searches and other emergency services that are not served due to limits placed on grant funds do not allow.  Many families have children and are living in their cars or a shelter with little or no money to live on.

Our fundraising is done through a variety of methods, some employees allow for an automatic deduction from each paycheck to go to the charity fund year-round. We also do “Jeans Days” on paydays, in which every employee wearing jeans puts $5 into the fund. Another fundraiser is “Spirit Days”, when on non-payday Fridays staff is encouraged to wear various themed attire, in December every Friday had a special theme, including wearing elf or Santa hats, wearing Silver and Gold, or jerseys of a favorite team. When members see staff dressed down in this clothing or in jeans, they can rest assured, our staff is being philanthropic!

Other ways we raise money for our charities are staff raffles, silent auctions, and with the candy we sell at the teller windows. All of the money raised from the candy sales go right to our charity fund. Occasionally, we enter members and staff into raffles for sporting event tickets or weekends at the beach if they donate a certain amount into our charity fund.

Thank you CCA for all that you do in our community, and for all the people you work so hard to help!

Board of Directors Voting Open

Whenever we talk about Wauna Credit Union and what we do it comes back to the members. Anybody who has an account, loan or credit card at Wauna CU is a member and a shareholder, and gets a say in what we do. Nowhere is that more tangible than with the voting for our board of directors. Today through February 26, 2017 all members age 18 or older who are in good standing are eligible to cast a ballot, either online, by mail or on Facebook.

Unlike for profit banks, where maximizing dividends for stockholders is most important, a credit union’s board sets policies to make sure decisions are in the best interests of you, the member-owners. Wauna Credit Union’s board consists of dedicated volunteers who represent the interests of the member-owners by meeting regularly with credit union management. This year we are electing three people, each of whom will serve a 3-year term.

As an added incentive 10 random voters will win $50 as a thanks from us for helping make sure our board reflects the wants and aspirations of all our members.

To learn more about the elections, as well as our annual meeting where we will announce the new board, visit our annual election page (waunafcu.org/about/annual-elections). Each of the candidates has provided a few words on why they want to serve on the voting page (cuballot.com/waunafcu).

There are three ways to vote.

To vote by electronic ballot:

  • Go to the Wauna CU website (waunafcu.org)
  • Click the link for the 2017 Board of Directors Elections
  • Select the Vote Now button and follow the instructions now

To vote by mail:

  • Call 877-597-9507
  • Select the option to vote by paper ballot
  • All ballots must be received by February 26

To vote on Facebook:

We hope everybody gets a chance to vote. The more members vote, the more opportunity to have a board that fully represents the membership, and the better Wauna Credit Union is able to meet the needs of our diverse community.

Wauna Credit Union Proudly Supports Local Backpack Program

Backpack-Check2016
Wauna Credit Union officials, church members, and volunteers hold the giant check for the Backpack Program

Recently, Wauna Credit Union celebrated a successful staff fundraiser with the presentation of a giant check. The check for $6486.42 was presented to the Clatskanie Baptist Church for the Backpack Program they organized at several local schools. While every organization Wauna Credit Union staff votes to fund-raise for does amazing work, the Backpack Program was especially close to many of our hearts.

The Backpack Program helps fight childhood hunger in America by supplying children in need with a backpack of prepared, or easy to prepare food, to sustain them over the weekend. Many children in America must rely on free school lunch and breakfast programs in order to eat on a daily basis, so this can make for a long and painful weekend if they live in a home without enough food. It is terribly sad to think about and abhorrent in a nation such as America.

Wauna Credit Union’s Jenifer Katon nominated the cause. She found out about the program and the great work they were doing, and was disheartened to learn there was a waiting list for kids. The waiting list meant that all the children in need would line up on Fridays and organizers would hand out as many bags as they could, this left many children walking away empty handed!

Jenifer decided the Backpack Program needed to benefit from our fundraising immediately, so instead of the money accruing in an account, she gave it out as it came in. Almost immediately, all children were off the waiting list so no one had to go home empty handed. Then, the program was able to expand to another school and another.

In total, the program was able to serve 5 local schools, and give out thousands of meals to children through the last school year, and even into the upcoming one! It was a huge boost for all of us on the Wauna Credit Union staff to hear how the program was growing and serving more and more children in Clatskanie and St Helens each month.

Of course our staff benefitted too through the many raffles that offered cash, sports tickets, and even a beach weekend getaway with the beach house donated for the cause by the amazing folks at Paulson Printing. There was an auction, payroll deductions, “Jeans Days”, and plenty of in branch candy sales, which helped everyone’s sweet tooth, members and staff alike.

Oftentimes members will buy a chocolate bar or a lollipop as a quick snack or in support of “the cause”, but without understanding what that cause even is or where that money is really going. Everyone who gave into the craving for a chocolate pretzel or other treat should be proud of themselves that the pretzel they munched on helped a hungry child to eat on the weekend. Thanks to all who support our staff fundraisers, they do so much more than you realize.

If you want to volunteer or donate money to the Backpack Program, please contact The Clatskanie Baptist Church.

Congratulations to our 2016 scholarship recipients!

josie robertsAt Wauna Credit Union, we pride ourselves on serving our communities the very best that we can. One of the ways we do this is by annually offering scholarships to local student members in an effort to help them afford their higher education goals. We welcome previous winners to apply annually also.

 

IMG_3960The scholarships are awarded based on a variety of criteria including need, academics, community activity, plus essays we ask them to write.

Learn more about our scholarship program on our website: https://waunafcu.org/annual-scholarship.shtml

Below are the 2016 recipients, we are so proud of them and look forward to seeing them progress in their lives and careers!

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What is “Thanks A Latte”?

 

Support The Credit Union Movement!

Thanks-A-Latte
Thanks A Latte launches to support Credit Unions

July is CULAC month in the world of Credit Unions, but what does that mean?

CULAC stands for the Credit Union Legislative Action Council, they work to influence our leaders in Washington DC to protect the rights – and the very existence – of Credit Unions against the powerful lobbyists from banks.

This year, we are encouraging our members to donate via “Thanks A Latte”, which asks you to donate $3 or more to CULAC. To make donating easy, we have “Thanks A Latte” boxes and envelopes in every branch of WaunaCU for that purpose.

Wauna Credit Union strongly supports CULAC and their grassroots efforts to keep Credit Unions alive, thriving, and part of the fabric of America. Please support this organization if you can.

Thank You!

Want to know more about what CULAC does? Check out this video:

 

From the CUNA Website (http://www.cuna.org/Grassroots-And-Political-Action/CULAC/What-Is-CULAC):

CULAC’s purpose, as defined in its Articles of Association, is to “provide the opportunity for individuals interested in the future of the credit union movement to contribute to the support of worthy candidates for federal office who believe, and have demonstrated their belief, in the principles to which the industry is dedicated.”

CULAC accomplishes its mission by contributing to and supporting federal candidates and committees that support the Credit Union Movement. It is your continued involvement, support and dedication that provides us with the resources to elect credit union advocates to Congress.

 

Backpack Program offers children in need food on the weekends

backbackprogrampicIt’s hard to believe that in America, the richest nation in the world, children are going hungry. Sadly, that is a hard truth in the world today. Even in our own communities there are many children living below the poverty line, and while schools work hard to make sure all children are eating enough during the week, there’s still the weekend.

2013-BackpackIn Clatskanie and St Helens, concerned people got together and began a chapter of what is known as The Backpack Program. The Backpack Program provides school children with a backpack of food every Friday, so they will not go hungry on Saturday and Sunday.

We found out these participating schools had waiting lists for children because so many more were in need than they could serve. This meant children would line up on Friday, and they would pass out as many backpacks as they could, and after they ran out, the kids at the end of the line just went home empty handed. This literally broke our hearts.

Hearing about this wonderful program and their waiting list, Wauna Credit Union staff took action! All across our service area our staff donated money, sold candy, and raffled prizes. Some employees even set up automatic payroll deductions to assist this amazing cause!  Members participated too, by buying candy at our branches and donating to be part of raffles for a beach weekend and Trailblazers tickets.

We have raised money since the beginning of the year, and as school comes to a close for the summer, we are proud to say, there is no more waiting list! All of the needy children at the participating schools are getting backpacks of food every Friday, the program was even able to expand to the high school to help older kids who need it.

As the fundraiser comes to a close, we are helping more than 120 children and have donated more than $5500 to assist the caring volunteers who organized this program, purchase food, and come in to fill backpacks every week. We are so proud to help in this smallest of ways!

If you know of a great program that could use help, please let us know. Or, if you would like to start a Backpack Program at your school, we are glad to put you in touch with the organizers we worked with. It’s the small acts of kindness that can really change the world, and the acts of regular people trying to make a difference. We at Wauna Credit Union try to honor our communities every single day!

UPDATE! Clatskanie Branch Remodel In Words & Pictures

DSC02826This is a very exciting time for Wauna Credit Union and the Clatskanie community as we watch our Clatskanie branch morph into a modern Financial Center! Our Clatskanie branch was built back in 1988, and has looked basically the same for all these years! Today, with financial services changing, we wanted to create a new style of branch that serves our member needs now.DSC02823

Aside from the amazing physical changes shown in these photos, the entire way our branch works will also change! Very soon when you come to our Clatskanie branch you’ll be greeted by our Member Consultants. No longer will members have to speak to different staff for loans or for transactions, they will all be able to serve in every capacity. We will also be introducing “hip to hip” banking, so instead of being across the counter, you will see exactly what out staff is doing on the computer screen! DSC02820DSC02819

We are also expanding our administrative area on the second floor to better serve our growing organization. Currently, our back office staff is getting rather crowded together, and the time has come to redesign our floor space to better serve our departments.DSC02869

We are very excited about these changes, and we welcome the community to join us on June 20th. We will unveil the first phase of our remodeled branch and then take on the other side and finish the second floor. Stay tuned for more details to come…

Check out the event on Facebook!

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PRESS: Wauna CU Donates Reflectors To Improve Pedestrian Safety

Reflector article

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s the link: http://pamplinmedia.com/scs/83-news/297435-174322-reflectors-donation-helps-promote-pedestrian-safety

The Department of Human Services Self Sufficiency office in St. Helens intends to offer its clients safety reflector key chains to make them more visible as pedestrians.

The offer is being made possible following a donation from two community members Wednesday, March 9.

Victoria Worral, a Columbia City resident, and Cameron Willett, branch manager of the St. Helens Wauna Federal Credit Union, presented a donation of $1,200 worth of safety reflectors to Stephanie Wetherbee, an employee with the state Department of Human Services, on Wednesday.

Using donated funds from the credit union, Worral, who jokingly calls herself the “Reflector Lady,” was able to provide 480 safety reflectors to St. Helens Self Sufficiency to distribute to those who need them.

Worral has been promoting pedestrian visibility through the use of safety reflector keychains throughout the St. Helens area for nearly two years.

The donation will help promote safety and visibility for Columbia County residents by removing any economic barriers that might be exist, Wetherbee explained.

“A lot of the people that will be receiving these would not be able to purchase them on their own otherwise, for one reason or another,” Wetherbee said. “It’s amazing and it’s awesome that they’ll be able to get these.”

Worral met Willett at a Columbia County Rotary Club meeting in 2014 when she was promoting a safety awareness campaign through the use of reflector key chains. Willett said his two children regularly walk home from school, and Worral’s message stuck with with him. The two struck up a deal more than a year ago for the credit union to purchase reflectors that could be donated to the St. Helens community.

“Her message really resonated with me. Both my kids walk home from school everyday,” Willett said. “A lot of the streets in our neighborhood aren’t really well lit. My wife and I had the conversation about how it’s kind of a dangerous walk home and we plan for the best route for them to take, so when I heard what [Worral] was doing with reflectors, it just made sense for me.”

Worral spent most of last year working with Glimmis, a Swedish company, as a reflector distributor. During that time, she began to work with elementary schools, local businesses and, eventually, the St. Helens Youth Council, making connections in the community to sell and donate reflectors. One of those connections was also with employees at the Self Sufficiency office in St. Helens.

Wetherbee said the office plans to give reflectors to any client who comes in and may need one, including young families and adults who walk in areas that may not be well lit.

“It’ll still go to the same population of folks, children and families, people that will be in need and will be grateful to get these reflectors because they are traveling on foot and on bicycles, really all times of day and even at night,” Wetherbee said.

Wednesday’s donation also marked a small turning point for the work Worral has been doing. When Worral began her safety awareness campaign, she started by promoting reflectors for school-age children, enticing them with cool designs. Providing reflectors to an agency that serves a wide variety of clients of all ages will promote safety among adults as well, Worral said.

ANNUAL MEETING: Saturday, March 5th

Join us on March 5th at the Westport Community Church in Westport Oregon (across the street from our Wauna CU Learning Center), for our Annual Meeting!

Doors open at 2 pm, the meeting begins at 3 pm.

The Annual Meeting is open to Wauna CU members only, but no tickets are required. The meeting is free.

Fultano’s Pizza will be hosting our refreshments.

Come out and meet our Board Of Directors, find out the election results, and get to know more about the Credit Union Difference and our People Helping People philosophy.

 

Here are a few photos from the 2015 Annual Meeting in Warrenton.

AM2015-1
Our Board hears the results from the Supervisory Committee chair.
AM2015-2
Three of our Board members enjoy a laugh at the 2015 Annual Meeting.
AM2015-3
HR-VP Sharon and our COO Debi, get photo bombed by Branch Manger Jeff.
AM2015-4
Branch Manager Jeff, with our Internal Auditor Randy, at the 2015 Annual Meeting.