At Unitus giving back is a cornerstone of what we do. In 2018, employees collectively gave a record 2,860 volunteer hours with over 80 organizations – an inspiring level of support for the communities where we live and work. I consider myself lucky to be surrounded by a team of employees that bring their full selves, including their passion for the community, to work every day. We couldn’t do this without the amazing relationships formed with schools and nonprofits through our community partnership program. As a Unitus member, you contribute to these efforts. We hope you take pride in reading about some of our collective achievements and how we came together to build a better, stronger, united community.
1. Investing in students’ financial futures
At the heart of Unitus is our commitment to empower youth with tools to prepare for career and financial success. In 2018 we partnered with Junior Achievement (JA) Finance Park to play a key role in bringing a mobile financial literacy program to middle and high school students. The program will help more than 6,000 students learn critical skills related to budgeting and money management. The JA Finance Park experience will be making stops during the 2018-19 academic year in Albany, Central Oregon, Klamath Falls, Medford, and Portland.
2. Fighting summer hunger
Summer should be a fun and exciting time for all kids. But for 1 in 5 children among low income families in Oregon, the end of the school year can also mean hunger as they lose access to school meals. To help bridge the summer hunger gap, Unitus joined forces with Oregon Food Bank to host a Summer Hunger fundraiser. Through sales of apple and orange paper icons at our 11 branches, employees and members together raised $2,240. All of the proceeds went to providing children and families access to no-cost nutritious meals at schools and local non-profit sites throughout the summer months.
3. Returning kindness in our communities
Kindness connects us to each other. Each month for the past 10 years, our Random Act of Kindness crew has hit the streets to deliver simple acts of kindness to everyday people. A few of our memorable acts from this past year included:
- a surprise visit to Mrs. Ali’s 4th grade math class at Harrison Park School to talk about the importance of saving and hand out Youth Week goodies
- dropping by Beaverton Sub Station during the lunch rush to pitch in $5 for the first 50 customers
- clean-up efforts in partnership with SOLVE to restore and protect South Waterfront Park
4. December holiday giving
During the holiday season we partnered with Gotta Have Sole, a nonprofit that provides new footwear to children in homeless shelters around the U.S. With their help, Unitus employees and members donated 240 pairs of shoes, 861 pairs of socks, and 256 cold-weather items to children staying in local shelters throughout Oregon and Washington. Recognizing youth needs around the world, Unitus also partnered with the World Council of Credit Unions to raise over $570 for the Busia Compassionate Centre in western Kenya. This donation will provide orphans and foster children essentials such as shoes, clothing, and food. Finishing strong, our credit union gifted $9,934 to our community partner organizations through employee fundraising and corporate giving.
We absolutely love being part of our communities! Thanks for helping us make life a little better for people where we live and work.
Posted By: Aimee Berg
About the Author: A native Oregonian, Aimee Berg is the Community Development Officer at Unitus Community Credit Union. She has been with the Unitus team for 8 years and has a deep passion for charitable work. When she’s not out volunteering and building relationships in the community, you can find her exploring new running trails that the great PNW has to offer. The rugged Wildwood Trail is among her favorites.