Unitus Community Credit Union of Portland, Ore., celebrated 75 years of service this summer.
To mark the occasion, Unitus recently held several celebratory events with free food and prizes at each of its eight branches, including a complimentary community concert at Unitus Plaza in downtown Portland. Unitus staff also initiated many random acts of kindness benefiting animal shelters and families with sick children.
One particular action came in response to a community partner’s cry for help. Unitus saw the Good Neighbor Center’s Facebook post asking for emergency assistance during an extreme food shortage for their temporarily homeless family guests. So Unitus’ kindness crew responded with a surprise delivery truck from Safeway with enough groceries to fill the food pantry’s shelves.
Unitus Community began in July 1937, when 11 Pacific Telephone Co. employees formed the Oregon Telephone Employees Credit Union. The daughter of a founding father expressed her version of the occasion, “My father Genard D. Gleason with his friends started the credit union with $25 apiece. It was an important year for my father. He had graduated from law school, and I was born as well as the credit union. I have been so proud of this credit union and they have always been good to me.”
Two name changes and 75 years later, Unitus is one of Oregon’s oldest credit unions and has expanded well beyond the telephone industry, with 78,500 members, over 200 employees and nearly $916 million in assets.
The year-long celebration also included a special luncheon for the Telephone Pioneers of America that honored Unitus members still connected to the telephone industry.