Volunteerism Meets Advocacy at Spokane Chapter Event

On May 21, the Spokane Chapter of Credit Unions hosted “Service & Advocacy Night,” an innovative event that blended advocacy, collaboration, and giving back to the community. Nearly two dozen credit union representatives gathered for the evening at Second Harvest, a nonprofit that supplies a network of partner food banks, meal sites, and other programs feeding people in need in 21 counties in Eastern Washington and five counties in North Idaho.

Three state legislators, Rep. Suzanne Schmidt, Rep. Marcus Riccelli, and Rep. Leonard Christian, joined the chapter group to sort and package 5,000 pounds of apples and pears that were being distributed to people in need before Memorial Day weekend. “Having the opportunity to roll up our sleeves and volunteer alongside legislators and fellow credit union partners before sitting down to talk advocacy really helped to enable a casual, honest, intimate discussion,” said Jen Wilson, Community Engagement Administrator for Horizon Credit Union and VP of the Spokane Chapter.

After the volunteer work was done the chapter hosted an hour-long advocacy panel with the three representatives moderated by GoWest’s VP of Legislative Affairs for Washington, Joe Adamack, where attendees heard more about how the legislators got involved in the state legislature, their thoughts on the work credit unions do, support for financial literacy initiatives, how lawmakers still collaborate and work together here in this Washington, and more. “This event not only strengthened our advocacy efforts but also made our legislators feel more accessible to our members and taught us that they want to hear from each of us,” said Max Fitzell, Contact Center Operations Assistant Manager at STCU and President of the Spokane Chapter.

“Our host from Second Harvest Inland Northwest mentioned how palpable the energy in the room was,” Wilson added. “It was a wonderful evening, truly showcasing the CU motto of People Helping People, right in front of our local legislators’ eyes.”

“This event was a huge success for the chapter, our members, and even our legislators and really helped build excitement and engagement in the advocacy area,” Fitzell concluded.

Posted in Chapters, Community Impact, Top Headlines, Washington.