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WSECU Giving Tuesday Donation - Press Release

December 2, 2019

WSECU Marks Giving Tuesday With $30,000 Donation to Help Families in Need Stay Warm This Winter

December 2, 2019 (Olympia, Wash.) – Families in need across Washington will have a warmer winter thanks to WSECU. For GivingTuesday, the credit union is donating $15,000 each to two emergency funds: Project Share and the Warm Home Fund. Both provide energy bill payment assistance to help keep residents warm during cold weather months.

“No family should have to go without heat or power because they are struggling,” said Ann Flannigan, WSECU’s vice president of public relations. “This donation is part of our commitment to support programs that enable individuals to achieve financial stability. We want everyone to be warm this winter.”

According to the SNAP, a Spokane human-services agency that administers the Project Share emergency fund, demand for assistance is high.

“The needs of the community are almost always greater than our one agency’s capacity,” said Carol Weltz, Director of Community Action for SNAP. “Energy bills skyrocket in the winter, which is a strain on families who are already struggling to make ends meet. WSECU’s assistance to keep families warm during the cold and expensive winter months is a timely and needed boost.”

More than 1,750 households in the Avista utility service area received assistance from Project Share during the last cold weather season, with an average aid payment of nearly $240. Many families were turned away because sufficient funding wasn’t available.

“Avista and our employees have a strong commitment to our communities and to the residents who find themselves in difficult circumstances,” said Chris Drake, Avista’s energy efficiency manager. “As the major contributor to Project Share, we are pleased and grateful for WSECU’s added contribution.”

In addition to helping residents in Eastern Washington, the credit union is contributing an additional $15,000 for emergency utility assistance on the state’s west side. The funds are administered by the Salvation Army of the Northwest for customers of Puget Sound Energy. According to the nonprofit, the Warm Home Fund has a significant impact on a family’s well-being. Once utilities are shut off, it can be a downward spiral toward homelessness.

“PSE is committed to helping families in need, so we are honored to be the recipient of WSECU’s donation that will ensure more families will stay warm this winter,” said PSE President Mary Kipp. “It’s important for us to meet our customers where they are through our different programs. The Warm Home Fund is one way our customers, employees and community partners can contribute in making a difference.”

The $30,000 investment in energy assistance is the largest GivingTuesday project to-date for the 260,000 member credit union. Each year, WSECU dedicates 4% of its net income to give back to community and nonprofit groups across Washington. The credit union expects to invest $1 million in these efforts during 2019.

WSECU was an early participant in GivingTuesday, a global generosity movement celebrated this year on Dec. 3. Since 2013, they have regularly used the day to highlight the importance of acts of generosity and giving back. Two years ago, employees at branches handed out $100 bills to randomly selected members with the request that they pay it forward however they chose, leading to dozens of acts of kindness.

“We love the idea behind GivingTuesday to illuminate the need for more good in the world,” added Flannigan. “At this time of year when we’re racing through the stores or filling our online carts, it’s great to have a day just about doing something good for others.”

WSECU is an Olympia-based, not-for-profit credit union open to all Washington residents with a special emphasis on serving those who embrace the values of giving, sharing and supporting their communities. WSECU has 260,000 members, 21 branches, and $3 billion in assets. It commits 4 percent of its annual net income to invest back into the communities it serves through partnerships with education and other nonprofit institutions.

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