The Power of Giving

The Power of GivingA lot has happened over 50 years of Wauna Credit Union being Wauna Credit Union. We’ve seen 11 presidents; digital music; the Automated Teller Machine; the cellphone. We’ve watched the communities in and around our birthplace expand and change. We have seen members move away and come back, grow up and pass on.

To mark this milestone in our history, we’ve celebrated all year. There have been giveaways and cupcakes and cookies. But we’ve recognized that it’s not just about celebrating. One half of a century is more than long enough for us to have recognized how vital our communities really are.

What better way to recognize than to give back?

We’ve decided that a history and love of our communities coupled with our passion for helping others deserves something a bit more. For that reason, Wauna CU has created a very special campaign, which we’ve aptly named, “The Power of Giving X 50.”

This December, each and every staff member of Wauna Credit Union has been allotted $50 to give back as they see fit. At over 100 strong, we are a force – a force for good.

Perhaps you’ll find one of us buying groceries for a person at the supermarket or maybe you’ll see us donating to a local charity. But no matter where or how we give, it won’t always be about random acts of kindness. Because while we are giving back to these communities, we also belong to these communities.

One Wauna CU employee, Michael, has chosen to give to a local woman named Lanie. Lanie discovered in July that she has stage 4 bone cancer:

I choose this person as my good deed because it hit close to home. I choose this person because I am a two-time cancer survivor. My first diagnosis was the more serious of the two, but there was no guarantee that I was going to make it. This girl is facing some of the same challenges that most people will never understand. I know what it is like to have to go to chemo and radiation. Not only is it physically draining, but also mentally draining, which is an aspect people often fail to realize. Sometimes when going through difficult situations people need something to distract them, even if it is only temporary. If we can help take her mind off of this situation for even a moment, then to me it would have been well worth it.  

Another, Kailynn, used her power of giving to help a family at a local grocery store:

I purchased a $50.00 Safeway gift card and was carrying it in my wallet for a few days until I got the chance to give it away. While picking up some groceries after work I saw a man and his two small children doing the same. We crossed paths a few times in the store and each time all three of them were smiling, chatting, and just seemed to be enjoying their time even though they were only at the grocery store. I approached him and let him know I work for Wauna and we would like to help him with his grocery bill. He was confused at first thinking there was a catch, but after I explained to him what we were doing and why we are giving back to the members of our community he opened up to me. He let me know that he only gets to see his children every other weekend and with the limited time he has with them he always tries to make it memorable and fun for them, on his tight budget. He was so thankful and let me know that he would be taking his little ones on a movie date with the money that he would have spent on groceries.

And of course what would giving back be if we didn’t help our furry friends. Wauna CU staff member, Amy, chose the Clastop County Animal Assistance Program:

I chose CAA because a year ago today we brought our new family member home, her name is Lucy. Lucy was a hard-luck case, we are home number 5, and when she started to act erratically and aggressive a few days after coming to live with us we were very concerned. Most shelters, would have put Lucy down, instead, the CCA paid for Lucy to spend a week with a dog trainer at Hammond Kennel who also gave us books to read on dog behavior problems and how to correct them and we came in for personal lessons. Today, Lucy is a wonderful “furson”, we are so thankful they didn’t let us give up on Lucy, and helped us help her become the wonderful girl she is today. I can honestly say, I love Lucy!

Giving back generates purpose, and meaning, and positive reinforcement. Our communities have given us so much over the years, and we make a living off of what we get. But as Winston Churchill said, “We make a life by what we give.”

This month, keep an eye out for The Power of Giving, as Wauna CU’s force of do-gooders covers our communities, making people’s days brighter, and returning some of the love that all of you have brought to us.

Help Kids in Need – Win Prizes

Wauna Credit Union believes in giving back. Each year we pick a charity to focus our donations on – although we do support other charities as well throughout the year.

This year we chose to focus on Backpack Programs. Many children rely on free lunches, and don’t have access to food when not at school. These services provide easy to prepare food for school-aged children for the weekend.

  • $6 provides food for one child for one weekend
  • $24 provides food for one child for one month
  • $216 provides food for one child for the entire school year

In the spirit of holiday giving those who donate $5 will be entered to win their choice of either a Coca-Cola gift basket or a local Clatskanie gift basket. Both winners will be drawn on December 18th.

Those who donate $10 can instead choose to be entered to win 4 tickets to the January 7th Trail Blazers game against the San Antonio Spurs. The winner of this basket will be drawn on December 21st.

Members and non-members can contribute in person at any of the credit union’s branches in Astoria, Warrenton, Clatskanie, Vernonia, St. Helens and Scappoose, as well as the Mortgage Origination Office in Long Beach. Members can call the Wauna Credit Union Communication Center at 1-800-773-3236.

coca cola basket- Those who contribute $5 can chose to win this gift basket, donated from Colvins. The drawing will be held on December 18th.
Those who contribute $5 can chose to win this gift basket, donated by Colvins. The drawing will be held on December 18th.

#1 Coca-Cola Basket:
Valued at over $140, this basket was generously donated by Colvin’s Pub and Grill. It includes; 1- party drink tub ($40), 1 ice bucket ($30), I snack tray ($15), 1 straw holder ($10), one lunch box ($40), 1 tin bank ($10), 1 wreath.

For every  $5 donated to the backpack program you will be entered to win.

 

 

 

Men playing basketball Those who contribute $10 can chose to win 4 tickets to the Blazers vs the Spurs. The drawing will be held on December 21st.
Those who contribute $10 can chose to win 4 tickets to the Blazers vs the Spurs. The drawing will be held on December 21st.

#2 Portland Trail Blazers vs the San Antonio Spurs drawing:
This drawing will be held on December 21st. All entries must be received by December 20th. This drawing is for 4- Portland Trail Blazers vs the San Antonio Spurs tickets. The game will be held on Sunday, January 7th at the Moda Center in Portland at 6 pm.

For every $10 you donate to the backpack program you will be entered to win.

Gift basket Those who contribute $5 can chose to win a gift bags, with items donated by several Clatskanie business. The drawing will be held on December 18th.
Those who contribute $5 can chose to win a gift basket, with items donated by several Clatskanie business. The drawing will be held on December 18th.

#3 Local Clatskanie gift basket:
All items in this basket have been donated from local Clatskanie businesses. All money raised for this basket will go to the Clatskanie Back Pack program.

For every $5 donated to the backpack program you will be entered to win this AMAZING gift basket.

Thanks to our local Clatskanie businesses.

Business Donation
Anytime Fitness 30-day membership and 1 free training session
Clatskanie Builder’s Supply $25 Gift Card
Conestoga Pub and Grill $25 Gift Certificate
Cora Bee Naturals Cora Bee Products
Discounts and Deals Labrador retriever clock ($14.50)
Farmhouse Coffee Coffee Mug and $5 Gift Card
Flowers-n-Fluff $20 Gift Card
Fultano’s $25 Gift Card
Gun & Boot & Gear $50 Gift Card
John’s Auto Detailing Full Window tinting ($250 Value)
Katon Kids Custom Bird Houses and Crafts Essential Oil Diffuser Bracelet and Necklace ($45 Value)
Megan Hurula-Hicks Christmas sign ($15 value)
Napa Auto 2 hats
Simply Tan $20 Gift Card
Sweet Boutique Flower Barn $25 Gift Card

Contribute to the Backpack Program and be Entered to Win Seahawks Tickets

Many children across the country who rely on free school lunch and breakfast programs in order to eat on a daily basis, are left hungry once the weekend starts.  Unfortunately, Southwest Washington is no different. As the school year kicks off the Backpack Program of Pacific County is in need of donations to help meet the upcoming rush of students who need help with basic needs to get their school year started on the right foot.

Kids going back to school

While contributing to such a worthy cause is rewarding on its own, those who give $5 between today and Wednesday, August 23 will be entered to win two tickets to the August 25th Seattle Seahawks preseason game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Century Link Field in Seattle. For every $5 donated people will receive one entry into the ticket drawing.

Seattle Skyline

Members and non-members can contribute in person at any of the credit union’s branches in Astoria, Warrenton, Clatskanie, Vernonia, St. Helens and Scappoose, as well as the Mortgage Origination Office in Long Beach. Members can even call the Wauna Credit Union Communication Center and have a Member Consultant transfer money directly to The Backpack Program.

Wauna Credit Union recognized the need the Backpack Program filled in the community and wanted to help.  The credit union, with branches in Long Beach, Astoria, Warrenton, Clatskanie, Vernonia, St. Helens and Scappoose made the Backpack Program of Pacific County its official charity for the year, and throughout the year fundraises for the organization in many different ways. Employees donate a portion of every paycheck to the Backpack program, have drawings for Trailblazer games, Seahawks and even sell Tillamook pepperoni and beef jerky with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the charity.

“Being hungry makes learning that much harder,” said Natalie Hanson, Backpack Program Co-Founder, “We’re really thankful that Wauna Credit Union continues to be involved. In addition to their support, they are offering to be a collection point for members of the community.”

WCU has been successful so far, raising $7319 of its $12,000 goal for 2017, which has already helped to provide 200 children weekend meals for 12 weeks. Wauna Credit Union is actively soliciting contributions at all branches across Columbia and Clatsop counties in Oregon, and Pacific County in Washington.

“One of Wauna Credit Union’s core values is to be ambassadors in our communities and beyond,” said Jenifer Katon at Wauna Credit Union. “I cannot think of a better way to do that than through the Backpack Program. It serves the most underserved and vulnerable members of our communities. I am so thrilled to be able to give back to our communities through this program.”

More help is always needed in our area. According to Feeding America, the nationwide network of 200 food banks that leads the fight against hunger in the United States, 15.7 percent of Pacific County residents are food insecure, with many of the most vulnerable being children. The Backpack Program of Pacific County serves students at Long Beach Elementary, Ocean Park Elementary, Hilltop School, Ilwaco High School and Ocean Beach Alternative School for a total of over 200 kids per week.

 

Backpack Program Needs Donations for Summer Months

Many children across the country must rely on free school lunch and breakfast programs in order to eat on a daily basis, and unfortunately Southwest Washington is no different. The services that provide help to the students see their funding drastically drop as their services are out of sight, out of mind for the majority people during the summer.

This leads to a huge problem for the students who use these services as a safety net. Without the funding in place come September, the programs are unable to provide the food and resources needed. Nationwide backpack programs emerged to help by supplying children in need with a backpack of prepared, or easy to prepare food, to sustain them over the weekend. The Backpack Program of Pacific County serves students at Long Beach Elementary, Ocean Park Elementary, Hilltop School, Ilwaco High School and Ocean Beach Alternative School for a total of over 200 kids per week.

Wauna Credit Union recognized the need the Backpack Program filled in the community and wanted to help. The credit union, with branches in Long Beach, Astoria, Warrenton, Clatskanie, Vernonia, St. Helens and Scappoose made the Backpack Program of Pacific County its official charity for the year and throughout the year fundraises for the organization in many different ways. Employees donate a portion of every paycheck to the Backpack program, raffle off tickets to Trailblazer games and even sell Sees Chocolate with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the charity.

“People associate backpack programs with schools, and forget about us once the mercury starts rising,” said Natalie Hanson, Backpack Program Co-Founder, “We’re really thankful that Wauna Credit Union continues to be involved. In addition to offering their support, they are offering to be a collection point for members of the community.”

Boy riding bike away

WCU has been successful so far, raising $6305 of its $12,000 goal for 2017, which has already helped to provide200 children weekend meals for 12 weeks. The summer is often a hard time to raise money for school children, as people often see the Backpack Program as a school-based endeavor. Wauna Credit Union is still actively soliciting contributions at all branches across Columbia and Clatsop counties in Oregon, and Pacific County in Washington.  in Astoria, Warrenton, Clatskanie, Vernonia, St. Helens and Scappoose, as well as the Mortgage Origination Office in Long Beach. Members can even call in to donate and have a Member Consultant transfer money directly to The Backpack Program.

“One of Wauna Credit Union’s core values is to be ambassadors in our communities and beyond,” said Jenifer Katon at Wauna Credit Union. “I cannot think of a better way to do that than through the Backpack Program. It serves the most underserved and vulnerable members of our communities. I am so thrilled to be able to give back to our communities through this program.”

More help is always needed in our area. According to Feeding America, the nationwide network of 200 food banks that leads the fight against hunger in the United States, 15.7 percent of Pacific County residents are food insecure, with many of the most vulnerable children.

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!