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News Release
Credit Union "Volunteer Army" to Clean Downtown Portland Wednesday - 09/14/21

Vowing to help this resilient city, a coalition of credit unions joins the SOLVE organization to make a positive difference.


Portland, Oregon (September 14, 2021) —Downtown Portland, long admired for its waterfront, park spaces, and architecture, has struggled with its image over the past year, but it’s a challenge many local businesses and volunteers are up for. One year ago, SOLVE, a local nonprofit organization that works through volunteers to improve the environment, began a series of downtown cleanup events. Since then, more than 4,750 volunteers have helped to remove nearly 50,000 pounds of litter from the area. Tomorrow, Sept. 15, a group of credit union volunteers will roll up their sleeves at the next Downtown Portland Cleanup Day.

A group of seven credit unions is providing financial support and their employees are providing the “elbow grease” as a way of making a positive collective impact. It may seem unusual for businesses in the same industry to be cooperating instead of competing but when it comes to community service, it’s typical of credit unions. As not-for-profit cooperatives, they look out not only for their members’ financial well-being, but also for the wellness of the communities they serve. 

“Dedicating the time and effort to this initiative helps move our members and our community forward by creating a cleaner and safer environment for everyone,” said Sarah Buck, Director of Experiences at Forrit Credit Union, one of the financial institutions supporting the effort. “Working with SOLVE on a Portland cleanup is important to Forrit because this is our home, our neighborhood, and has been for over 80 years.” 

In addition to Forrit, other participating credit unions will include Advantis, Central Willamette, Consolidated Community, iQ, OnPoint Community, Rivermark Community, and Unitus Community. The Northwest Credit Union Foundation has also provided funds for the cleanup. More than 300 volunteers have signed up.

The cleanup begins at 9:30 a.m. and will last about two hours. SOLVE has selected four locations for the volunteers to work in. They include the Waterfront Park area near the Burnside Bridge, the I-405 downtown corridor, and sections of the city near The Benson Hotel and The Standard. SOLVE selects settings where volunteers can work in safe and socially distanced environments. The organization provides heavy-duty garbage bags, litter grabbers, safety vests, and vinyl gloves.

“We are thrilled to have such strong involvement from credit unions,” said Kris Carico, CEO of SOLVE. “One of the goals of SOLVE’s Downtown Portland Litter Cleanup Days is to make Portland a cleaner and safer place to live, work, and play. It’s great to see so many credit union employees invest in their community through this type of volunteerism.”

More information about the collaborative event is linked here

“As not-for-profit cooperative financial services providers owned by the members using their services, credit unions are committed to helping consumers achieve brighter financial futures, and to improving the local communities they serve,” said Troy Stang, President and CEO of the Northwest Credit Union Association. 


Credit Unions volunteer at SOLVE Downtown Portland Cleanup Day

Sept. 15 9:30-11:30 a.m.

Locations: The Benson Hotel, The Standard, Waterfront Park at the Burnside Bridge, and the I-405 Corridor


The Northwest Credit Union Association is the trade association representing more than 175 not-for-profit, cooperative credit unions in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington, and their 8.1 million consumer members. As not-for-profit cooperatives, credit unions look out for their members’ financial well-being. Everyone should open their eyes to a credit union.  For more information, please visit: 


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