OCCU Provides Winter Storm Relief to People, Nonprofits in Need

OCCU is a force for good, showing up for its members and communities when it matters most. In January 2024, a winter ice and wind storm brought communities across Oregon to a standstill, toppling trees, downing power lines, damaging property and creating treacherous road conditions. Businesses and households waited out freezing temperatures with no power and faced the costly prospect of replacing lost perishables.

As citizens surveyed the damage, OCCU’s philanthropic arm — OCCU Foundation — jumped into action, distributing more than $40,000 in total emergency relief in the storm’s aftermath. OCCU Foundation’s Feeding Families Fund directed $20,000 to agencies addressing food security, providing resources to help local food banks and mobile pantries replace the tons of perishables lost due to power outages.

OCCU Foundation allocated another $20,900 to provide OCCU team members with assistance in replenishing their personal food stores. In total, 121 team members applied for aid in denominations of $100 or $200, based on the severity of need.

“I lost power for eight days,” said OCCU team member Nicole P. “We lost all our refrigerated items and lived out of a cooler. With the help of OCCU Foundation, we were able to restock what we lost in the ice storm. It was a major relief, and I am very grateful to OCCU for providing such support.”

Nicole’s experience was one of many similar stories throughout OCCU’s communities. OCCU team member Melissa S. also lost power and food. “What a huge relief to come back to work after not having power for nine days to find out that the OCCU Foundation was so generously donating aid to employees in need,” she said. “We lost all our food between two refrigerators and a chest freezer. Our restocking bill racked up to over $700. Thank you OCCU for filling our bellies and saving us some cash!”

For those residing in rural areas, where power restoration can sometimes take more time, individuals can feel overlooked. For team member Robbie L., the cash help was a “godsend” and a reminder of being part of a community. “We live in a rural location, and the ice storm hit us hard,” he said. “Over 10 days without power, we spent hundreds on gas and food. I’m proud to be a part of an organization that looks out for its community in these ways.”

Responding to the immediate needs of team and community members is part of OCCU’s dedication to its vision of enriching lives and creating a better future for all. The orgMyOCCU.org/Foundation.anization works to support members and the places they live, and that includes stepping up during natural disasters. Following Oregon’s catastrophic wildfires in 2020, for instance, OCCU Foundation’s Fire Relief Fund donated more than $250,000 to nonprofit partners aiding in the rebuilding and recovery process.

Since its start in 2018, OCCU Foundation has granted more than $3 million to build happier and healthier communities through wellness support and community response initiatives. More information is available at https://myoccu.org/about-occu/community/occu-foundation.

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