SEATAC, Wash. (4/1/14)--The Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA) is partnering with the Northwest Credit Union Foundation (NWCUF) and member credit unions to fulfill the "people helping people" mission by raising funds for families impacted by the March 22 mudslide in Oso, Wash. The mudslide is responsible for the deaths of at least 25 people, and 30 area residents were unaccounted for as of March 31.
"The loss of lives and family homes is devastating," said Troy Stang, president/CEO of the NWCUA. "What we know so far is at least one credit union member lost his wife and a grandchild. At least four northwest credit union members lost their family homes. We believe as the recovery efforts continue, we will learn of more impact on credit union members. But member or not, they are our neighbors and our credit unions want to help."
The NWCUF has established an online link (see resource link below) through which it is seeking contributions from NWCUA credit unions, their staffs and the 4.5 million consumers who belong to credit unions in Washington and Oregon. Credit unions and their nearly 97 million members from around the country are invited to contribute as well.
The funds will be earmarked to go directly for the immediate household needs of the impacted families such as temporary housing, supplies, and basic needs. The NWCUF has arranged for the United Way of Snohomish County, Wash. to channel the credit union contributions directly to the families impacted by the mudslide.
"For credit unions to step up in support is important," said Steven Ellis, president/CEO of SnoCope CU--located just 30 miles from the mudslide. "Collectively, credit unions are filling the people helping people mission."
Adds Gayle Yost, CEO of Community Healthcare FCU in Everett, Wash., "Everyone coming into the credit union has a story. Either someone they know, or even a relative, was affected. The need is great."
NWCUA's Stang noted that homeowners insurance may not cover the loss of homes or mortgage payments.