Like many of our members, Wauna Credit Union is deeply committed to sustainability and green initiatives. The careers of our founding members way back in 1967 were tied to the environment, and thousands of our current members work in fields like fishing, timber, and food production. We rely on our natural environment for our livelihood and for our recreation. Wauna Credit Union even built the very first LEED Certified Credit Union branch in all of Oregon!
With our commitment to the environment and to being involved in the community, we were incredibly excited to partner with member Buoy Beer and SOLVE, a non-profit with the goal to enhance the livability of Oregon, on an Earth Day clean-up of the Astoria Riverwalk.Even with a grey day that turned into a hard rain nearly 50 people, including employees of the credit union, Buoy Beer, Clatsop Community College and the Astoria Coast Guard picked up an estimated 300lbs of trash and debris from a 3-mile stretch along the Astoria Riverwalk.
It was especially great to see children involved in the cleanup. While we know it’s always hard to get kids out in the rain, they had a great time splashing around in the puddles, and helping their parents with the work at hand. Everybody who participated received a free beer, or non-alcoholic drink, thanks to Buoy Beer.
Overall in the state, 6,000 volunteers partnered with SOLVE to remove over 35 tons of trash, plant 3,300 native trees and shrubs, and clear 10 acres of invasive plants from 162 different sites across the state. Being part of the community is a huge part of who we are, and we’re always happy to partner with our commercial members to help keep the cities we live and work in beautiful. Let’s do it again next year!
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
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 a 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!