Tenacious nonprofits build strong communities

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There is a new hope in 2021 as the opportunity to hold in-person events looks more and more likely. Our community has proven just how tenacious and resilient we can be through some incredibly tough times. OCCU is proud to spotlight some of the nonprofits we have worked with, are working with or will be working with in 2021 as the horizon changes and we’re able to gather together once again. 
Please join us as we support the important work of our nonprofit partners.


Springfield Alliance for Equity and Respect (SAfER): MLK Jr. Celebration – Jan. 18

SAfER is a Community Alliance of Lane County (CALC) program whose mission is to promote human rights, respond when abuses of human dignity occur and urge public institutions to address social justice concerns. One way SAfER brings diversity, equity and inclusion education to schools and community members in the Springfield area is their annual Martin Luther King, Jr. student contest, community march and celebration, of which OCCU is a proud sponsor. Students write speeches in the memory and celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy.

Learn more and get involved



SMART Reading: Oregon Reads Aloud! – Feb. 26 

SMART Reading combines early childhood reading support with adult mentorship and community engagement to positively impact literacy outcomes in Oregon. The mentors visit schools throughout Oregon to read and gift books to students who need additional support learning to read. Throughout the pandemic and after the fires that devastated the Pacific Northwest, SMART worked with schools and nonprofit partners to supply kids in impacted areas with books. This small but mighty gesture provided a familiar comfort for kids who had lost their homes. 
Last month, SMART virtually held their annual Oregon Reads Aloud event, a statewide fundraiser and celebration. They have almost reached their fundraising goal, allowing them to gift even more high-quality books to kids across Oregon. 

Watch the event and give



Salem/Keizer Coalition for Equality 

Salem/Keizer Coalition for Equality partners and advocates with Latino families, schools and communities to work towards their vision and ensure equitable educational outcomes for all youth. The coalition is one of our partners who have been able to continue their work but have not had the opportunity to host a fundraiser due to the pandemic. Instead they have sought out small sponsorships from businesses like OCCU for Chromebooks, hotspots, desks, headphones, books, art supplies, etc. to help kids and parents get online. 

Support equitable education for all


Willamalane: MEGGA Hunt – April 3

Willamalane is the Springfield area’s park and recreation district that maintains and operates five recreation facilities and 46 parks. They offer recreation opportunities for all community members in the district and create family friendly events that enrich the community. One such event is the MEGGA hunt, since 1955 they have created a large egg hunt the Saturday before Easter. This is one of the first in-person events we have seen from our nonprofit partners. And in the interest of safety, there are limited egg hunting locations that can be reserved at Dorris Ranch and take-home kits that you can sign up to enjoy.


Ophelia’s Place: Trivia Night – April 23

Ophelia’s Place is dedicated to helping girls ages 10-18 make healthy life choices through empowerment, education and support. They accomplish this by working to eliminate disparities and focusing on outreach and collaboration with the communities they serve. 
Throughout the pandemic Ophelia’s Place has continued to provide a community for young girls during a time where many are isolated, and the disparities have only heightened. Like many nonprofit events, Ophelia’s Place’s Trivia Night has taken place in-person in previous years. Since April will still be a bit early for indoor events, they’re taking it virtual. You can form a team of eight, support the empowerment and education of girls and win bragging rights and a trophy!

Empower girls and win big