What if my stimulus payment is delayed?

Millions of American are beginning to receive the $600 federal stimulus payment. However, many will have to wait and may even have to file their tax return to collect.

Americans struggle to receive missing stimulus checks
Stimulus Checks Delayed

By law, the IRS must issue all payments by Jan. 15. But beyond then, those entitled to a check, but have yet to receive one, may need to claim it as a credit on their 2020 returns.

The IRS recently began issuing a second round of stimulus payments to those eligible. Unfortunately, because of an IRS error, which has since been remedied, millions of payments were sent to the wrong accounts and some may not have received their stimulus payment.

As of today, January 8th, delayed stimulus payments are being deposited to accounts. We expect most payments to be available right away, but your financial institution could take a few business days to process. Stimulus checks will be deposited to the same account that you received your 2019 tax refund.
 
Wauna Credit Union understands how important these funds are for so many of our members. We are here for consultation or if you have questions about your accounts.
 
For more information about stimulus payments, please go here.

Warming Astoria

It’s impossible not to see the struggles of our community when visiting the Riverwalk or supporting the local stores and restaurants. The COVID-19 pandemic has hit Astoria hard, and has placed countless obstacles for many just trying to get back on their feet.

The issues with houselessness are vast and complicated. Health and safety risks pose dangerous threats to Astoria’s homeless citizens and these risks worsen during winter, when living out of a car or on the street are lethal, as temperatures drop and winds pick up.

Check presentation
Members of our staff were happy to present a check to the Astoria Warming Center

A beacon of hope exists, however, in the Astoria Warming Center. A modest organization with a huge heart, the Center provides overnight shelter during winter months. Located at the First United Methodist Church, the Center exists solely to support people in need, which includes those experiencing homelessness. Like many beacons of home, the Center relies heavily on donations to keep their doors open. This year that, reliance has increased, as the Center moves toward paid employees.
This reliance was one of the many reasons Wauna Credit Union (WCU) employees voted to support the Astoria Warming Center as the 2020 official credit union charity.
“When we were choosing our annual charity, the Astoria Warming Center was an obvious choice,” said Kristen DeForrest, a member of the WCU Operations team, and a huge supporter of the Warming Center. “Many of our employees live in Astoria and see the good work they do every day.”

Kristen has long volunteered for the Center, and knows how important the role it has in helping the people of Astoria, “We see so many folks every day who just need a little help,” she said, “just giving a warm room to sleep when the temperature starts to dip is a huge benefit.”

Kristen was recently on hand to present a check for $11,299.09 to the Astoria Warming Center’s Board Member, Annie Martin, longtime Center Coordinator, Cheryl Paul, and Kathleen Sullivan, the Center’s new Executive Director. Just shy of $12,000, the donation was raised exclusively by WCU employees.

“Thank you so much for this incredibly generous donation! It means even more that your employees chose us! Please thank your employees for us. Wow! We’re quite choked up. Thank you, Wauna Credit Union,” said Sullivan. “We couldn’t continue without such kindness from the community!”

“The Astoria Warming Center depends on our community partners in order to serve those most in need, Annie Martin added. “We are grateful to the Astoria First United Methodist Church who allows us to use their first level for the center. We also are grateful for the local restaurants who are still donating meals despite the mandated closures due to COVID-19.”

Cheryl Paul, the Center Coordinator for a number of years, said she was proud that the Astoria Warming Center offers up to 28 beds on the nights they are open, as well as offering the public showers on Wednesday afternoons from noon to 4:00PM. “It has been so important to people with nowhere else to go, to have a safe, warm place to get out of the winter weather. Thank you, WCU employees!”

Annually, WUC chooses a new corporate charity to support through employee contributions and volunteer work. For 2021, the employees chose the Amani Center in St Helens www.amanicenter.org. The Amani Center (The Columbia County Child Abuse Assessment Center) is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization created to assist our community in responding to child abuse.

Easing Children’s Anxiety During COVID-19

As Credit Union Youth Month comes to a close, we thought it prudent to take a deeper dive into not only building the financial futures of your little ones, but also the importance of their mental health, especially during these trying times.

The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting every corner of the globe and every corner of our lives. It’s changed the way we do things, in ways many of us would have never imagined and it’s not surprising that most of us are feeling stressed and anxious. But remember, too, that our kids are feeling the effects.

Fortunately, there are things we can do to help our youth cope during this stressful time. Children take their cues from the adults who care for them, so if you are displaying outward signs of stress and anxiety, it will be hard to calm your kids and soothe their fears. Dealing with your own anxiety can be powerful in ensuring your kids feel safe and secure.

Here are a few steps you can take to ease the anxiety of COVID-19 for you and your family.

Establish a routine.
Kids need routine. As much as they like to push against it, they actually thrive when a regular schedule is in place. Whatever your new “normal” looks like, structure their day so it involves exercise, regular meals, and a healthy amount of sleep –especially for the teens in your household – as it will help regulate your family’s moods and worries.

Stay connected.
To keep children from feeling alone, use technology to help them stay connected with friends and family. Let them talk with their friends on the phone. Schedule virtual playdates with their school mates and friends. Encourage them play games or eat together.

This holds true for the adults as well. Coordinate virtual meetups and dinner parties with business groups, friends, or family regularly. Social distancing is meant to keep us healthy, but don’t let it keep you away from social support networks.

Get the facts.
Be smart about what you are reading. It’s easy to get pulled into looking at or clicking on every update as it is reported. Consider limiting the number of articles you read or for how long you read about the coronavirus each day. If consuming content about the pandemic causes you to become anxious, take a break. Staying informed is one thing but being overexposed is another.

Stay calm by focusing on mindfulness.
Remind yourself that your family is doing its part to minimize the spread of the virus by practicing social distancing, wearing a mask in public and at small gatherings, and keeping your hands and your home clean. While it’s sensible to prepare for the future, it’s even more important to make sure you’re dealing with things in the present moment.

If you find yourself getting carried away with the “what ifs,” try practicing mindfulness, which is a tool that will help your family stay grounded and calm in the present moment. Focus on the present. Be intentional and thoughtful about where you are and how you are feeling. Sounds simple, but it takes work, especially when concerns about what the future holds feel so heavy.

Some mindfulness activities you can do with your kids include:

Belly Breathing: Put one hand on your stomach and one hand on your chest. Slowly breathe in from your stomach (expand like a balloon) and slowly breathe out, letting your belly deflate.
Mindful Meal: Pay attention to the smell, taste, and look of your food. Don’t work or watch television while you eat. Focus on chewing your food and think about all of the effort it took to get that meal on your plate. Consider where food comes from vs. thinking food is an end product.
Squeeze Muscles: Start with your toes and pick one muscle group to squeeze. Count to five and release. Notice how your body changes. Repeat this exercise moving up your body.
Meditation: Sit in a relaxed, comfortable position and focus on your breath. When your mind wanders (and it will wander!), bring your attention back to your breath.
Blowing Bubbles: Notice their shapes, textures and colors.
Coloring: Find something to color and focus on the colors and designs.
Listening to Music: Focus on the lyrics of a song or listen specifically to the voice or an instrument.

As we continue to navigate these uncertain waters, remember that your financial well-being is one of our highest priorities. If you find yourself worrying over money, reach out to us right away for a complimentary account review. Stress can be contagious, and if we can help even a little by adding confidence in your financial situation, you’ll have added room to be there for your youth.