It goes without saying that 2020 was a year of unexpected opportunities and new paradigms for all of us. It was also a very successful year for OCCU, and we are proud to say that your credit union remains a safe and strong financial institution ready to support you.
In early 2020, OCCU adopted a new vision statement to Enrich Lives. This sentiment is what our Board of Directors and more than 440 employees work toward every day as we serve our membership. When we introduced this to our team, we never could have imagined how it would be brought to life in 2020.
As the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic began to unfold, the OCCU team rose to the occasion and worked swiftly to support the health and safety of our members and each other. We adjusted our daily routines, modified our in-person operations, enhanced our online and remote delivery channels, added necessary personal protective equipment, strengthened cleaning protocols and shifted more than 80% of our employees to remote work.
Through this year of unexpected challenges, we still welcomed more than 20,000 new members and increased assets to nearly $2.4 billion. This growth allowed us to support our nearly 187,000 members in new ways, including helping them navigate the individual challenges they faced.
We developed emergency programs to support the immediate needs of members impacted by COVID-19 and the wildfires that ravaged the state in the fall. These programs included low and no interest loans, payment deferrals, fee waivers and other solutions to meet their individual needs. And through our OCCU Foundation, we partnered with community organizations to help with social service and healthcare needs faced by many. In fact, through your generous support, along with our business partners, we raised more than $250,000 to support wildfire relief efforts throughout the state.
As a not-for-profit financial cooperative owned by our members, we believe that our greatest opportunity to serve is by delivering additional value. Alongside focusing on the immediate needs of members and strengthening our community, we continued to enhance our products and services. We were able to maintain competitive rates on loans, reduce and eliminate account fees, and introduce Ignite Savings - a reverse-tier savings account designed to pay higher dividend rates on smaller balances to encourage savings. We regularly added new features to MyOCCU Online & Mobile and expanded our Investment Services and mortgage lending programs. We began upgrading our ATM network; relocated a small branch into a larger space adding drive-up service; and added a new branch in Keizer to better meet the needs of that community. We are passionate about our commitment to bring outstanding value to you and have exciting plans for continued progress in 2021.
Another exciting milestone for OCCU is the expansion of our community charter to include the state of Washington. This means we can serve anyone who lives, works or worships in Washington. Though we do not have plans for physical locations in Washington at this time, we believe that MyOCCU Online & Mobile and upgrades and additions to our ATM network will allow us to serve not only our current Washington members, but any who are interested in joining.
The OCCU team is fortunate to work with a very engaged Board of Directors who are passionate about representing the voice of the member. Together our team is committed to going the extra mile to enrich the lives of our members and the communities we serve. Their unwavering dedication to serve and bring additional value to you is inspiring.
On behalf of the Board of Directors and the OCCU team, thank you for placing your trust in us. We understand that you have a choice when it comes to choosing a financial partner and we are honored that you have selected us.
President & CEO