Submitted by WSECU

Families in need across Western Washington will have a warmer winter thanks to WSECU. The credit union is donating $15,000 to Puget Sound Energy (PSE)’s Warm Home Fund as part of GivingTuesday to help those struggling to pay their electric and natural gas bills.

“No family should have to go without heat or power because they are struggling,” said Ann Flannigan, WSECU’s vice president of public relations. “This donation is part of our commitment to support programs that enable individuals to achieve financial stability.  We want everyone to be warm this winter.”

According to the Salvation Army Northwest, which disburses money from the Warm Home Fund on behalf of PSE, the program has a significant impact in a family’s well-being. Once utilities are shut off, it can be a downward spiral toward homelessness.

“The first step in preventing homelessness is keeping families warm and safe in their homes,” explained Lt. Colonel Bill Dickinson, Divisional Commander of The Salvation Army in the Northwest. “The Salvation Army has been honored to partner with the Warm Home Fund for several years, and this donation from WSECU means more families will be helped this season.”

The Warm Home Fund is a voluntary contribution fund to help those in need with short-term bill payment assistance to PSE customers facing financial difficulties. Nearly 2,850 families in PSE’s 10-county service area received assistance from the Warm Home Fund in 2019, with an average aid payment of about $260.

“PSE is committed to helping families in need, so we are honored to be the recipient of WSECU’s donation that will ensure more families will stay warm this winter,” said PSE President Mary Kipp. “It’s important for us to meet our customers where they are through our different programs. The Warm Home Fund is one way our customers, employees and community partners can contribute in making a difference.”

PSE customers can make their own contribution to the Warm Home Fund by including extra money with their bill payments.

In addition to supporting families experiencing hardship in Western Washington, the credit union is also contributing an additional $15,000 to Avista in Spokane for emergency utility assistance on the east side of the state.

Each year, WSECU dedicates 4 percent of its net income to give back to community and nonprofit groups across Washington. The credit union expects to invest $1 million in these efforts during 2019.

WSECU was an early participant in GivingTuesday, a global generosity movement celebrated this year on December 3. Since 2013, they have regularly used the day to highlight the importance of acts of generosity and giving back. Two years ago, employees at branches handed out $100 bills to randomly selected members with the request that they pay it forward however they chose, leading to dozens of acts of kindness.

Founded by a handful of state employees in 1957, WSECU has grown to serve all residents in Washington state, with a special focus on those who share the values of giving back to the community through employment, service, volunteering and donations. WSECU meets members’ needs at its 21 branches, by phone and through the credit union’s digital channels. To learn more, visit www.wsecu.org.

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