Credit unions benefit teen shelter

Celebrating International Credit Union Day on October 19

[October 18, 2017]

Spokane, Wash. Crosswalk Teen Shelter in Spokane is getting a much-needed update to its facilities thanks to the cooperative efforts of 20 Spokane-area credit unions.

On October 19, designated as International Credit Union Day, volunteers from area credit unions will gather to renovate and revitalize the teen shelter. From cleaning and organizing to painting and basic maintenance work, credit union volunteers will provide an entire day of service to Crosswalk.

The non-profit emergency shelter serves more than 1,000 homeless teens, ages 13 to 17, each year. In addition to a safe place to sleep, the shelter provides lifesaving and life-changing programs dedicated to breaking the cycle of youth homelessness. A program of Volunteers of America, Crosswalk relies heavily on community support.

"Credit unions around the globe celebrate International Credit Union Day on the third Thursday of every October," said Wendie Ellis, president of the Spokane Chapter of the Northwest Credit Union Association. "It's an amazing opportunity for all of us to come together and embrace our philosophy of  'people helping people.'"

Credit unions providing financing, volunteers, or both include:

  • Alaska USA Credit Union
  • Avista Credit Union
  • BECU
  • Cheney Federal Credit Union
  • Firefighters Credit Union
  • GESA
  • Global Credit Union
  • Horizon Credit Union
  • Inspirus Credit Union
  • Numerica Credit Union
  • PrimeSource Credit Union
  • Progressions Credit Union
  • Sears Federal Credit Union
  • Safeway Credit Union
  • Spokane City Credit Union
  • Spokane Federal Credit Union
  • Spokane Law Enforcement Credit Union
  • Spokane Media Federal Credit Union
  • STCU

$20K donated

In addition to volunteer efforts, area credit unions donated more than $20,000 of goods and services to Crosswalk. This included updating the entertainment area, buying much needed computers for the organization, and a cash donation.

"This day of service proves how committed each credit union is to make our community better and stronger," said Fawn Schott, president and CEO of Volunteers of America Eastern Washington and North Idaho. "The volunteers' time and financial commitment provides our homeless teens with a space to relax, grow, and heal. Our heartfelt thanks to all of our local credit unions for this work."

Donations were also collected by credit union employees to surprise Crosswalk.

"The teens who find shelter at Crosswalk often come with little more than what they're wearing and a backpack," said Ellis, an assistant vice president of branch and loan operations at Numerica Credit Union. "Collecting essential items for the teens like personal hygiene products, undergarments, and bus passes was something employees were proud to lend a helping hand for."

This is the second year that Spokane-area credit unions joined forces on International Credit Union Day. Last year, volunteers helped build a new playground for the Northeast Youth Center.  

The project team in Spokane will be joined by Troy Stang, CEO and President of the Northwest Credit Union Association.

About credit unions

Credit unions are not-for-profit cooperatives owned by their members. More than 100 million Americans enjoy the benefits of credit union membership, including 3.3 million members of Washington credit unions. Research conducted for the Credit Union National Association indicates that Washington credit union members save an average of $92 a year or $175 per household in fees and interest costs, compared with what they would pay at for-profit financial institutions.

International Credit Union Day has since 1948 been celebrated on the third Thursday of October. The day highlights the history and achievements of the credit unions, and the cooperative nature of the credit union movement.

A credit union is a money co-op