The gift of giving: Northwest Association for Blind Athletes wins $5,000 in OnPoint’s fourth annual social giving campaign

Just as many of the hardships that originated at the start of the pandemic have carried over into 2021, so too has the spirit of community and giving back. People and organizations continue to step forward to help those impacted by inflation, food and housing shortages, racial inequity, and the expiration of enhanced unemployment benefits and rental assistance. Despite their own often limited resources, local non-profits have also continued their tireless work to meet the critical needs of community members.

In honor of the invaluable contributions made by these organizations, our fourth annual social giving campaign once again gave the community a voice in our end-of-year giving. From November 30 through December 10, community members were invited to nominate six local non-profit donation recipients by following and liking OnPoint’s social media channels and sharing their favorite non-profit.

Our social media community spoke loud and clear, naming Northwest Association for Blind Athletes (NWABA) this year’s winner with an impressive 27% of total votes. This Vancouver-based organization serves blind and visually impaired youth and adults across Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana, providing life-changing opportunities through sports and physical activity. NWABA serves nearly 1,700 individuals annually, with programs that include camps, clinics, competitive teams, access to adaptive sports equipment, scholarships and awareness campaigns. As the first-prize winner, NWABA will receive $5,000 from OnPoint. NWABA previously won our social giving campaign’s runner up prize in 2018 and 2019.

“Our athletes rely on our programs not just for the physical opportunities they provide, but for the vast improvements these programs bring to their quality of life,” said NWABA Founder and President/CEO Billy Henry. “We’re immensely grateful to the community for choosing us as the winner of OnPoint’s social giving campaign and to OnPoint for its generous contribution. This donation will help ensure individuals with visual impairments continue to achieve success through our programs.”

Five runners-up in this year’s campaign will each receive $2,500:

  • CARES Northwest (CARES NW): CARES, short for Child Abuse Response and Evaluation Services, is a community-based medical program that works to assess, treat and prevent child abuse and neglect through multidisciplinary prevention, medical evaluation and ongoing treatment. A collaborative effort among four of the region’s leading health systems, CARES NW was the first program in Oregon to pair physicians and nurse practitioners with child interviewers in a medical setting to provide child abuse evaluations in one child-friendly location. Its approach increases effectiveness and healing potential, helps prevent future abuse and minimizes trauma to the child.
  • Friends of the Children-Portland: Locally, Friends of the Children provides guidance, support and mentorship to nearly 500 at-risk youth in the Portland and Vancouver areas. After a rigorous evaluation process, kindergarteners are selected and paired with highly skilled professional mentors until graduation, working to break cycles of generational poverty, foster internal resiliency, nurture long-term relationships and demand equity from themselves and the community.
  • Oregon Friends of Shelter Animals (OFOSA): Each year, OFOSA transports hundreds of homeless animals out of overcrowded, high-kill shelters from as far away as California. The organization’s highly skilled medical staff provides medical evaluation, treatment, and spay or neuter surgery to every animal before placing them in foster homes. With the help of its adoption partners and dedicated volunteers, OFOSA has successfully rehomed 99% of its rescued animals.
  • Trauma Intervention Program NW (TIPNW): TIPNW’s specially trained citizen volunteers provide emotional aid, practical support and resources to victims of traumatic events and their families in the first few hours following a tragedy. First responders can call on volunteers 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to provide emotional first aid in the wake of car accidents, violent crimes, fires and other traumatic events.
  • Volunteers in Medicine Clinic of the Cascades (VIM): VIM uses a community approach to provide healthcare to low-income, working adults in Central Oregon who lack the means or medical insurance to pay for care. VIM patients receive primary and specialty medical care, prescription medications and mental health care at no cost thanks to in-clinic volunteers and donations from patients and corporate, foundation and individual supporters.

As a community credit union, taking care of our friends and neighbors has always been one of our top priorities. Over the last two years, volunteerism and charitable giving have become more vital than ever to vulnerable community members. Our social giving campaign offers members the chance to introduce OnPoint to outstanding non-profits in need of support.

This campaign follows our fifth annual employee giving campaign, which raised over $100,000 for employee-selected non-profits. An additional $90,000 was donated through our food and shelter campaign to six non-profits dedicated to feeding and sheltering underserved community members. These efforts rounded out a record year of giving for OnPoint, with over $2.2 million donated to more than 277 non-profits, focusing heavily on organizations that prioritize diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), the environment, education and youth services.

It’s thanks to the commitment and generosity of our members and employees that we can continue giving back to the communities we call home. None of us can solve the region’s problems alone, but when we work together, we can make a lasting impact.

To learn more about OnPoint’s commitment to the community, visit onpointcu.com/community-giving.

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