BECU People Helping People Awards - Recipients Announced

Posted in Community News on May. 01, 2014

As a not-for-profit credit union founded on the principle of people helping people, we are encouraged by the work done by our members and non-profit organizations in communities around the Puget Sound region. The BECU People Helping People Awards were formed to recognize and honor our members and the non-profit organizations that you support.

We are pleased to announce our recipients of the 2014 BECU People Helping People Awards
$5,000 Community Benefit Award recipients (in alphabetical order):

1.  Assistance League of Seattle
Assistance League of Seattle’s primary project provides new clothing for over 1200 Seattle area school children in need each year.

“I was clothing a 4th grader who had won a poetry contest. He was going to be reading his poem that evening and didn’t have clothes to wear. We found shirts, pants, underwear, socks, and a coat. He asked me, “Whose clothes are these?” I told him they were his… he started to cry. He had never had new clothes before.” Sara Lewis, Nominator

2.  Citrine Health
Citrine Health’s newest program, The Bra Shop, will serve women who need specially fitted breast prostheses and post-mastectomy bras.

“I have worked for the agency for many years and I can’t begin to tell you how many times I have spoken with women in tears, so grateful that we were there. Women are so grateful to be treated with care and respect which has been an important aspect of all we do.” Anne Miles, Nominator

3.  City Fruit
City Fruit harvests fruit from residential trees and donates it to programs serving Seattle residents who don’t get enough to eat.

“We’re relied upon by those providing fresh fruit to children and families in need so that they are able to enjoy the healthy benefits of eating local and organic. City Fruit has gone from a passionate idea to a full-fledged non-profit that is now the ‘go-to’ organization for all things fruit in Seattle.” Hazel Singer, Nominator

4.  Eastside Baby Corner
Eastside Baby Corner helps kids thrive by providing basic necessities for disadvantaged children.

“The one thing we all want to do in life is to make a difference. Eastside Baby Corner allows volunteers, donors, staff and provider partners to make a profound difference in the lives of vulnerable children right here in our own community. EBC allows us to give kids and their parents what they need to thrive. We give both help and hope!”  Karen Ridlon, Nominator

5.  Friendship Adventures
Friendship Adventures is an all-volunteer non-profit organization dedicated to enriching the lives of people with developmental disabilities.

“It all started with a Saturday evening dance… a twirl here, a twirl there, a two-step now and again, an Elvis impersonator to top it all off. From there, the concept grew… why not provide recreational opportunities to people with developmental disabilities who might not otherwise have the chance to meet, socialize, laugh and grow together? Out of this love and laughter grew Friendship Adventures.” Katy Browning, Nominator

6.  Kent Firefighters Foundation
Kent Firefighters Foundation is dedicated to helping the community they serve. Each firefighter can react to a need immediately by providing funds.

“Sometimes the things we encounter while responding to 911 calls will affect us so profoundly that we struggle to find ways to help beyond the initial emergency.  That is why we started our foundation.  It gives us an avenue to help beyond the scope of our job. We want our community to know that firefighting is more than a job; it is a commitment to help them.” Janet Williams, Nominator

7.  Northwest Urban Ministries
Northwest Urban Ministries offers an after school program and summer camp in Tukwila.

“Northwest Urban Ministries goes above and beyond to give back to community, assist families, and building community in so many ways. The volunteer base not only helps students, but also provides support to the families. For a lot of families English is their second language so a family night is provided to help bridge the gap in the community.” Carrie Dash, Nominator

8.  Plus One Foundation
Plus One Foundation serves children and adults with a neurological injury, disorder, or disease.

“I believe we all benefit from physical activity, no matter what our physical condition or limitations. When I learned a friend had started a local foundation to support and promote aquatic and other therapies for adults and children with a neurological injury, disease, or disorder, I was inspired. I knew I could help.” Jerri Harden, Nominator

9.  Rainier Beach Community Empowerment Coalition
Rainier Beach Community Empowerment Coalition engages their community’s residents through annual events.

“Rainier Beach is Seattle’s most diverse neighborhood. Lack of accessible quality affordable housing and a reputation as a place to avoid rather than embrace are just a few of a host of challenges the neighborhood faces. The Rainier Beach Community Empowerment Coalition has gained significant traction in lifting up positive activities as countermeasures to these realities and pressures.” Harry Hoffman, Nominator

10.  Seattle Community Law Center
Seattle Community Law Center identifies and assists disabled and homeless individuals in the community who are eligible for federal benefits.

“SCLC believes very firmly that due process, fair representation, and equal justice should never be contingent upon how much money one makes or one’s abilities or limitations. For that reason, their lawyers and volunteer attorneys help hold the government accountable while assisting people in their efforts to achieve financial stability and a better quality of life.” Xana Moore-Wulsin, Nominator

11.  Soup Ladies
Soup Ladies provides warm food to search and rescue first responders. They provided hot meals to search and rescue workers in Oso, WA.

“The Soup Ladies serve those that serve us… the responders that serve and protect.  First responders need support from us as a populace.  By volunteering with the Soup Ladies I can give back to the responders with support, warmth and a smile that will hopefully help them do what they need to do.” Lester Selzler, Nominator

12.  Transitional Resources
Transitional Resources is a community mental health agency that assists people with severe and chronic mental health diagnoses.

“Transitional Resources helps individuals find housing and ensure they have everything they need to live on their own successfully. Things like furniture, bedding, towels, dishes, pots/pans, etc. are provided.  Many of the individuals were homeless prior to coming to Transitional Resources and this is the first time they’re living in the community successfully on their own.” Carrie McBride, Nominator

13.  Vine Maple Place
Vine Maple Place’s goal is to break the cycle of homelessness for families in the greater Maple Valley area.

“Vine Maple Place is all about enabling families to climb out of homelessness, or avoid homelessness entirely. The philosophy is to give our clients a “hand up” rather than a “hand out” by training them in essential life skills and by providing enabling support through counseling and employment services. ” Peggy Kanaga, Nominator

14.  Washington Access Fund
Washington Access Fund’s mission is to promote access to technology and economic opportunity for individuals with disabilities.

“The Access Fund most importantly helps clients obtain the technologies they need, but also these loans and savings plans help create more financial stability and opportunity as well. The technologies obtained have helped clients to remain in their homes, graduate from college, or find and maintain meaningful work. The programs offered help these individuals become more fully engaged and contributing members of society.” Alan Knue, Nominator

15.  Washington State Smile Partners
Washington State Smile Partners is a non-profit mobile dental unit.

“Some of the children we see may have never been to the dentist before and some of our patients are new to the country. We love what we do and we are all passionate about oral health care in our communities. This job rewards you every day- helping children always feels good.” Stacie Niemela, Nominator

16.  White Center Food Bank
White Center Food Bank provides healthy food, diapers and other necessities to their community.

“The majority of the work done for the Food Bank is voluntary. We are constantly implementing creative ways to ensure the great need in the White Center community is met. We have partnered with local produce stands to offer healthy and nutritious options and we have set up a baby pantry which provides diapers and other necessities. It greatly excites and humbles me to imagine how many lives we have been able to change.” Adrian Hedwig, Nominator


$5,000 People’s Choice Award (voted by the community)
Vine Maple Place                    

$15,000 Member Volunteer of the Year
Outreach and Resource Services (OARS) for Women Veterans

Outreach And Resource Services (OARS) for Women Veterans sole mission is the betterment of our women who served or are serving in the United States military.

“Our four founding members decided to create an organization focused on reentry into civilian life, successful transitions, making lives better one woman veteran at a time. We are 100% volunteers for our organization. Our focus continues to be helping woman veterans continue to thrive.” Julia Sheriden, Nominator

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