Columbus Day Holiday Provides Opportunity to Support Local Nonprofits.

Traditionally, Columbus Day falls within the list of “banking holidays” observed by financial institutions—it represents a day off for employees, but not much more. For our 125-plus employees at Mid Oregon Credit Union, however, Columbus Day 2019 was a rare opportunity to serve our communities in more ways than funding loans and processing deposits: A day of community service.

While our seven branches were closed on Monday, October 14, the Mid Oregon team still reported to work—trading business attire for t-shirts and work boots as we deployed throughout the region to serve our community in projects ranging from clearing invasive species for a local veteran’s ranch to purchasing needed supplies for homeless expectant mothers.

The Drive to Give Back

“One thing that sets credit unions apart is our commitment to the communities we serve, and we tend to attract employees who have the same drive to give back,” says Kevin Cole, Mid Oregon Executive VP. “Our employees have been asking us for an opportunity to do more to connect with their local communities, and this was the perfect time for us to make this happen.”

A total of 10 branch and department teams chose a local organization to work with on a service project or supply-gathering effort, and the credit union supplied each team with a budget to purchase needed supplies or equipment to complete the project. After a morning of team-building and training for the entire staff, each team assembled in the afternoon to work on their local community projects.

Serving Around Central Oregon

As Mid Oregon is headquartered in and serves only Central Oregonians, our entire staff was focused on Central Oregon organizations. Our branch locations in Bend, Redmond, Madras, Prineville, La Pine and Sisters provided the starting point for our day of community service.

Team Community Organizations and Activities:

TEAM 1 Bend: Grandma’s House– Installing storage shelving and tubs, reorganizing a storage shed, assisting with garden cleanup.

TEAM 2 Bend: MountainStar Family Relief Nursery– Deep cleaning and organizing classrooms, purchasing and delivering needed supplies.

TEAM 3 Bend: Boys & Girls Clubs of Bend– Leading an activity on financial literacy, providing donations for prizes and operating expenses.

TEAM 4 Madras: Jefferson County Meals on Wheels/Jefferson County Senior Center: Gift bags for all Meals on Wheels recipients with warming items, toiletries, small gifts and activities (puzzle books, games).

TEAM 5 La Pine: La Pine Senior Activity Center– Repainting bathrooms.

TEAM 6 Prineville: Family Access Network (FAN)– “Food for Kids” program- Collecting additional groceries and donations at Ray’s Food Place, purchasing food for weekend backpack meals for local kids.

TEAM 7 Bend: Saving Grace (assistance for survivors of sexual assault)– Fundraising, donating to support the services offered through Saving Grace.

TEAM 8 Bend: Bend Park and Recreation– Park Cleanup (raking, mulching, picking up litter and dog waste).

TEAM 9 Redmond: Central Oregon Veterans Outreach (COVO) and Central Oregon Veterans Ranch– Making donation to COVO of funds and supplies collected in the branch, spending the day removing invasive weeds from future livestock/pasture at the ranch.

TEAM 10 Sisters: Family Access Network (FAN)/ Sisters School District Admin Offices– Donating funds for emergency fund gift cards, winter gloves and hats, and helping to organize two storage rooms containing emergency supplies for homeless families.