Rivermark Community Fund
The Rivermark Community Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation gives an annual grant to a local nonprofits focused on housing security. This year, we selected Rebuilding Together. The Washington County and Portland chapters of Rebuilding Together each received $10,000 for their work providing health and safety repairs at no cost to low-income homeowners.
Rebuilding Together provides critical home repairs, accessibility modifications, and important improvements for low-income homeowners. They focus on underserved populations and target repairs to address key health and safety hazards. The grants provided by the Rivermark Community Fund will support their year-long projects for local families and individuals in need of assistance.
Due to the public health risks this year, we made the difficult decision to cancel our flagship fundraiser, the Rivermark Community Golf Tournament. Although this meant forgoing replenishment in the Community Fund, we knew that our local housing nonprofits need grant money now more than ever.
Tualatin Grand Opening Give Away
To celebrate the opening of our new branch in Tualatin, we gave away prizes related to a cozy home, and hosted a random drawing with a grand prize of a year’s worth of housing payments. The winner, Ana, had been facing challenges that paralleled many of our neighbors—when the pandemic hit, her hours at work were cut, and her husband was laid off. They had a baby on the way, and amid these financial challenges, Ana’s baby arrived early. Thankfully, the whole family is doing well now, and upon hearing the news of winning the grand prize drawing, Ana exclaimed, “This is incredible! I never win anything!” They plan to buy a house in a year using the money they will save from the year’s rent payments that Rivermark is covering.
My Father's House
We attended the Gresham Chamber Golf Tournament alongside a local housing shelter and resource center, My Father’s House.
We also volunteered cleaning up, building furniture, and preparing rooms in a Gresham community shelter, My Father's House, which helps families with children get back on their feet. The Gresham branch team went further by participating in their "adopt a room" program, in which they filled cupboards with necessities for incoming residents, as well as their “adopt a family” program by providing a family at the shelter with Christmas gifts.
Every year, Rivermark and other regional credit unions pool together financial resources and human capital to fundraise for OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital through a collaboration we call CU4Kids. Since 1996, CU4Kids has raised over $195 million for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals nationwide, and it all started here in Oregon!
This year presented unique challenges, so we decided to bring the fundraising campaign to community members in the comfort and safety of home. We partnered with KATU throughout the month of October, and together with the generosity of the community, we raised a total of $349,000 for the children’s hospital!
KGW Great Food Drive
Time and again, we are wowed by the generosity of our community members and staff. The 2020 KGW Great Food Drive achieved the highest donation weight yet, with a whopping 3.6 million pounds of food donated! That provided almost 3 million meals! Rivermark staff and members contributed $4,801 and a dozen barrels of food during the March event.
We also donated an additional $10,000 to the Oregon Food Bank this year, as the pandemic and economy caused a widespread surge in need for food assistance.
Join PDX Food Donations
When the food drive ended in April, many Oregonians had recently lost their jobs, and the Oregon Food Bank was confronted with a sudden upsurge in need from across the state. Meanwhile, the new physical distancing measures meant less volunteers to safely handle sorting and distribution.
Instead of adding to their logistical workload, Team Rivermark reached out to our friends at JOIN PDX, who were working hand-in-gloved-hand with other non-profits in the PDX COVID-19 Mutual Aid Network. We then rented a UHAUL, picked up a dozen barrels of food donations from our branches, and delivered them to JOIN for distributing to our community neighbors in greatest need.
We explored some of the most pressing concerns that our members are facing through live webinars, recording and posting them on our YouTube channel for those who couldn’t make it.
When the pandemic began to spread, scammers and fraudsters kicked their activity into high gear, and we sought to empower members to protect themselves against threats to their personal information and financial security with a webinar dedicated to this topic.
We also recognized that many in our community were facing income losses like layoffs and reduced hours, so we dedicated another webinar to money management in times of crisis.
We remain a close partner and supporter of Financial Beginnings, a non-profit that facilitates financial literacy programming in schools and community institutions, coordinating volunteers with expertise to teach their curriculum. This year, our staff volunteered by teaching classes virtually, and we are grateful for the nimble dedication of the Financial Beginnings team for navigating the logistical challenges of this uncertain year so that we could continue helping to continue this vital literacy program.
Developing New Ways to Access and Manage Finances
At Rivermark we are proud to pair our best-in-class service with exceptional technology innovations. In the early days of the pandemic, we jumped right into transforming our branches to protect members and staff, while kicking into high gear our innovative technology development to serve all members. We now offer free video banking, allowing you to speak face-to-face with an account officer or specialist from the comfort of your home.
Friends of Trees & the City of Tualatin at Ibach Park
We jumped right into the Tualatin community by volunteering with Friends of Trees and the City of Tualatin planting over 1,500 native shrubs and grasses to impact stream health and improve biodiversity at Ibach Park. We also purchased sack lunches for our fellow volunteers as a way to get to know our new neighbors in the fresh air (covered from the Pacific Northwest rain we know and love).
Spooktacular Pet Photo Contest
Raising awareness for the Clackamas Dogs Foundation, Rivermark hosted our 2nd annual Spooktacular Pet Photo Contest! The grand prize winner, Teddy Le, received a large gift basket of goodies and a donation of $2,000 to the Clackamas Dogs Foundation in his name. The second and third place winners also received $100 gift baskets tailored for them!
Credit Union Development Education (DE) Day of Service
As a co-operative, we love to work together with other credit unions to do good. Here are a couple Rivermark staff (sporting their “We Are One Team” t-shirts), alongside friends from other credit unions cleaning up the downtown area after riots this summer.
Dress for Success Drive
In February, in honor of Women’s Month, we hosted a professional clothing drive and collected over 1,100 items that we delivered to Dress for Success when it was safe to donate. Special thanks to our business neighbors, ZRT Laboratories, Rexel, and DAT Solutions, whose staff helped spread the word and contributed donations!
The Dress for Success organization is "about much more than simply a new outfit”. The mission of Dress for Success is to empower women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and the development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.
Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization and New Avenues for Youth
We made some new non-profit partnerships this year, including with the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (IRCO) and New Avenues for Youth. We were excited to support them and share news of their events throughout the year, however, since in-person events were canceled, we took to virtual means of spreading the word about their great work and providing direct donations.
IRCO serves the holistic needs of immigrants, refugees, and mainstream community members in Oregon and SW Washington. As a community-based organization, they empower children, youth, families, and elders from around the world to build new lives and become self-sufficient by providing more than 200 culturally and linguistically specific social services.
IRCO created All Hands Bazaars that feature beautiful works from artisans and entrepreneurs who have joined our community from all over the world, as well as live music and delicious cuisine. We were excited to sponsor one of these great events in 2020, but the event was canceled when the pandemic hit, so we turned the sponsorship funding into a donation to support their general programming, which needs support now more than ever. We do look forward to supporting future community Bazaars when we are able to safely gather in-person again.
You may have noticed a social media donation match campaign that we ran to benefit New Avenues for Youth this year. New Avenues for Youth is dedicated to the prevention and intervention of youth homelessness. Thanks to your contributions, we were able to donate over $3,000 to support their programming, and we increased awareness for the great work they do.
The wildfires this year devasted a million acres and destroyed thousands of homes. To help the relief efforts, Rivermark donated $10,000 to Clackamas Emergency Services Wildfire Relief Fund, supporting first responders and those affected by the fires.
The wildfires were yet another unprecedented hardship of 2020 that hit close to home; 30 of Rivermark’s own staff needed to evacuate their homes. We immediately began connecting individuals with resources and created an emergency loan program with 0% interest for members and staff. Our employee experience team ensured that all staff were supported, just as our member experience team dedicated assistance, support, and resources to our members. No one should feel alone in navigating such an ominous scene; in times like these, we collectively chose perseverance and togetherness.
2020 was the year that the USA, as a whole, truly began confronting the repugnant reality of systemic racism and the need for justice reform. Shockwaves reverberated across the world as we watched in horror the heartbreaking video of George Floyd, and we heard countless more tragic stories of police brutality against Black, Indigenous, and other people of color. This collective awakening has forced us to examine our society and ourselves for unconscious biases. It has placed a spotlight on the darkest hours in our nation’s history and urged us to listen and learn from those who have experienced injustice in its many forms.
To support the path to greater racial equity, Rivermark donated to the Urban League of Portland and provided an additional 8 hours Volunteer Time-Off for all staff, several of whom used the time to peacefully gather with the Black Lives Matter movement.
We have also invested in building a company-wide roadmap for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. It is integral to providing an exceptional experience for members and our staff that Rivermark embodies a culture of belonging and acceptance for all, and that we operate with awareness and empathy for populations that have been historically marginalized and underrepresented.
Emergency Assistance Loans
In addition to granting over $654,000 in emergency loans at 0% interest, Rivermark waived fees for skipping a monthly payment and for early withdrawal from Certificate of Deposit accounts. This saved our members over $185,000 in the first few months, and we continue to assist members with an individualized approach to get through the turbulence, to brighter skies ahead.