Credit Unions Aid Washington Mudslide Families
The Oso, Wash. mudslide that claimed the lives of 24 people has hit close to home for the Washington credit union community, which is rallying to raise funds to help families affected by the March 22 natural disaster.
Troy Stang, president/CEO of the Northwest Credit Union Association in Seatac, Wash., said that at least one credit union member lost his wife and a grandchild, and at least four credit union members lost their family homes. Twenty-two people are still missing, the Associated Press reported Tuesday.
“We believe as the recovery efforts continue, we will learn of more impact on credit union members,” Stang said. “But member or not, they are our neighbors and our credit unions want to help.”
The Northwest Credit Union Association and Northwest Credit Union Foundation are raising funds to provide for the needs, such as temporary housing and supplies, for the affected families, NWCUA and NWCUF said in a prepared statement.
The Northwest Foundation has set up an online link through which credit unions, employees and members from Washington and Oregon can make contributions. Credit unions and their members from across the nation are also welcome to make contributions.
The Northwest Foundation has arranged for the United Way of Snohomish County, where Oso is located, to channel the credit union contributions directly to the families impacted by the mudslide.
“Everyone coming into the credit union has a story,” said Gayle L. Yost, president/CEO of the $11 million Community Healthcare Federal Credit Union in Everett, Wash. “Either someone they know or even a relative was affected. The need is great.”
Stang pointed out that homeowners insurance won’t likely cover the loss of the home or mortgage payments of the mudslide victims.
“We thought as credit unions, the most impactful difference we can make is to help with their immediate financial needs,” Stang said. “And we know credit unions in the impact area are working with their members as well.”