Greater Nevada CU Donates $30,000 to Help With Fire Relief Efforts

helping hands

Greater Nevada CU has donated a total of $30,000 to three credit unions hit hard by recent wildfires and that are coordinating local fire relief efforts: Sierra Central CU, the Redwood CU Community Fund, and Rogue CU Foundation in Oregon.  

"With so many new fires burning through forests and foothills across California and Oregon, credit unions are stepping up to help their communities in their greatest time of need", said Greater Nevada Credit Union CEO Wally Murray. "We want to be part of supporting our neighboring credit unions as they serve their members and help their communities rebuild."

Sierra Central CU CEO John Cassidy said the credit union plans to distribute the money it received from Greater Nevada, along with another $10,000 for a total of $20,000 to the Salvation Army in Oroville, a city devastated by the Bear North Complex Fire. The organization is working with the Red Cross and Tzu-Chi and the money will go for gift cards for fire survivors. In addition, Sierra Central is donating $5,000 to Butte County Sheriff's Rescue and another $3,000 to the Yuba-Sutter United Way to help support The Brick House in Marysville. 

At this point, all evacuated employees are back home and "we're 100 percent operational," Cassidy said. It is now assisting impacted members in Butte, Lassen, Glenn, and Yuba counties. 


During the COVID-19 crisis, Travis CU was quick to provide assistance. In April, It announced a $1 million philanthropic initiative that was disbursed among 96 non-profits in Contra Costa, Napa, Solano, Merced and Yolo counties. The credit union also is matching up $20,000 for local non-profits’ fundraising efforts—for a total of $4 million. That means an organization could get $40,000 total--$20,000 on its own with an additional $20,000 match from Travis CU, according to Community Relations Director Damian Alarcon.

When the LNU Lightning Complex Fire erupted—affecting the counties the credit union serves and leading to hundreds of homes either lost or damaged, “we had to step up,” Alarcon said. An employee-led fundraising effort garnered $5,200 to help fellow employees impacted by the fire.

And then, through its Travis CU Foundation, it launched a fire relief effort to address urgent local needs due to the fire. Travis CU is covering all administrative costs, so 100 percent of all donations will go directly towards supporting recovery efforts in the local service area. You can make a secure, tax-deductible donation online, or send checks payable to the Travis Credit Union Foundation, noting that the donation is for the Wildfires Relief Fund. Checks should be mailed to: Travis Credit Union Foundation, PO Box 1086, Vacaville, CA. 95687-9998.

So far, the Foundation has raised more than $40,000 and now it has begun to accept applications from people residing in Solano, Yolo, and Napa counties who lost homes or experienced damage to their properties. Applications will be processed from October 1 through December 31, 2020.  Using a volunteer committee, the Travis CU Foundation plans to carefully and meticulously review the applications to ensure residents impacted get the assistance they need, according to Community Relations Manager Shannon Lujan.

The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) is monitoring the wildfires in California and across the West closely, as well as the conditions of credit unions in their path. The agency stands ready to provide assistance to federally insured credit unions in the affected areas, the agency announced.

Credit unions are encouraged to keep in contact with their examiners, and the agency will be ready to assist credit unions with maintaining or restoring operations, if necessary. The agency maintains a Hurricane and Disaster Information webpage with more material on preparedness, disaster recovery, and staying safe.

Freddie Mac is reminding mortgage servicers of its disaster relief policies for homeowners amid the ongoing wildfires threatening Western states. Freddie Mac's disaster relief options are available to homeowners whose homes or places of employment are located in presidentially-declared Major Disaster Areas where federal individual-assistance programs are made available to affected individuals and households. Mortgage servicers may immediately leverage Freddie Mac’s short-term forbearance programs to provide mortgage relief to homeowners who have been affected by the natural disasters. Affected homeowners currently on a COVID-19 related forbearance or other relief plan should contact their servicer to discuss options. Read more here


As a reminder, CUAid disaster grants are available for credit union employees and board members to assist with immediate disaster relief needs. Visit the Leagues’ Disaster Relief & Preparedness webpage for more information on these grants, including an application form. In addition, credit unions are encouraged to consider donating to CUAid to help with disaster grant funding.

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