As one of California’s worst-ever wildfires rages on, communities are united in their efforts to save lives, homes and businesses. And, in keeping with their mission of “people helping people”, credit unions remain on the forefront of these relief efforts.
Here’s a snapshot of our industry in action:
Food and Financial Aid
Headquartered in Pleasanton, California, Patelco Credit Union is extending a helping hand to Shasta County’s Carr Fire victims. The 7th most destructive fire in California history – and the largest of the 17 wildfires currently burning throughout the state – the Carr Fire has already killed at least six people, displaced more than 37,000 others, scorched some 115,000 acres and destroyed more than 1,000 homes.
Patelco is aiding Carr victims through its Disaster Relief Program, which provides immediate financial resources to members in good standing who are affected by natural disasters. This program includes access to no- or low-cost loans, reimbursement of non-network ATM fees, deferred loan payments and more.
The $6 billion credit union also came together just days after the wildfires started to burn to help pack more than 7,500 pounds of fruits and vegetables to be distributed as groceries to families in need.
Redding-based Members 1st Credit Union is also involved in wildfire relief efforts by offering up its branch locations as water-collection sites for firefighters and evacuation centers.
The $199 million credit union has been impacted directly by these events – with 17 staff members facing evacuations and other hardships. Currently, all four credit-union branches are open and fully staffed.
Evacuation Site Support
In Yuba City, $973 million Sierra Central Credit Union has felt the effects of the Carr Fire directly – 18 of its own employees have been impacted in some way by the devastating blaze.
To help aid Carr Fire victims, the credit union has donated $10,000 to Shasta Community College, which is doubling as an evacuation center for those who have been displaced.
Strengthening Relief Organizations
With $11.9 billion in assets, Sacramento-based Golden 1 Credit Union operates a branch in Redding, where the Carr Fire originated. It is reported that several of its employees were forced to evacuate their homes, but all have been guided to safety.
To help its members throughout Shasta County, Golden 1 is contributing to Carr Fire relief efforts by donating $5,000 to the Shasta Community Regional Foundation and another $5,000 to the Gold Country Region of the American Red Cross.
Getting Involved Through CUAid
Even if you are not impacted by these events, you can provide much-needed assistance – by donating to CUAid. An online disaster relief system organized by the National Credit Union Foundation, CUAid raises money for credit union employees, volunteers and members affected by disasters such as earthquakes, fires and floods.
Every dollar donated to CUAid goes directly to credit union disaster relief – the foundation does not use disaster relief funds to pay for the CUAid.coop web platform or any of the foundation costs to administer the national disaster relief program for credit unions.
To help CUAid make a difference in the lives of fire victims throughout California, CO-OP has donated $10,000 to the organization. We invite you to join us in these efforts.
To learn more about how you can help, visit www.cuaid.coop.
Access through CO-OP Shared Branch and CO-OP ATM Locations
CO-OP Financial Services manages two industry networks that can service credit union members throughout the country whenever they are away from home. The CO-OP Shared Branch network includes 5,600 credit union branches nationwide, enabling members to enter any branch and conduct business. In addition, CO-OP ATM provides access to nearly 30,000 ATMs across the country.
To find a CO-OP Shared Branch or a CO-OP ATM, members can visit https://co-opcreditunions.org/locator; or, download the CO-OP ATM and CO-OP Shared Branch mobile Locator app at Google Play and iTunes stores.