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Rogue Credit Union honored for helping fire survivors

Local credit union raised more than $1 million

Rogue Credit Union received a Community Impact Award for its work to help the survivors of the 2020 Almeda and South Obenchain fires in Jackson County.

Rogue Credit Union was recognized by the Northwest Credit Union Association, which represents more than 170 credit unions in Oregon, Washington and Idaho. The award honors credit unions that demonstrate social responsibility and an impact on their communities.

Immediately after the Almeda and South Obenchain fires ripped through Southern Oregon, destroying and damaging 2,800 homes and businesses and displacing thousands of residents, Rogue Credit Union established a wildfire donation fund through the Rogue Credit Union Foundation.

The community was invited to donate, and Rogue Credit Union matched $100,000 in donations. Due to the overwhelming generosity and trust of the community, more than $1 million was raised, Rogue Credit Union officials said.

Those funds were then turned into grants, which were distributed to 24 local organizations helping fire survivors and rebuilding communities.

“We’re proud to be part of such an incredible community that is truly committed to showing up and taking care of each other,” said Rogue Credit Union Chief Executive Office Gene Pelham. “This award does not belong to Rogue, but to the community that came together to lift one another up.”

The donations helped fund a broad range of aid efforts by community groups, including teaching students to build wooden bed frames, replacing student laptops destroyed in the fires, providing child care for families, buying tools for self-employed people and businesses that lost their equipment to the fires, feeding displaced families and providing physical, mental and dental care with a mobile health care RV.

Rogue Credit Union continues to help survivors of the Almeda and South Obenchain wildfires and encourages those impacted by the fires to reach out to the Jackson County Community Long Term Recovery Group for a Needs Assessment. The group’s mission is to help people whose homes were destroyed or damaged in the fires recover and rebuild their lives.

People who need housing, mental health services, home furnishings, insurance claims assistance or other services can get help. To schedule a needs assessment, visit jccltrg.org/get-help or email recover@jccltrg.org.