Altura Credit Union launches Emergency Loan Program for wildfire victims

Altura employees also create care packages for Holy Fire evacuees and firefighters

RIVERSIDE, CA (August 20, 2018) — Altura Credit has launched an Emergency Loan Program for people impacted by recent wildfires, in particular the Holy Fire still burning in the Cleveland National Forest straddling Riverside and Orange counties. Additionally, on Aug. 10, Altura employees delivered 150 care packages to Corona and Lake Elsinore donation centers for Holy Fire evacuees and firefighters.

The Holy Fire, which is currently 91% contained, started on Aug. 6, 2018. It has consumed nearly 23,000 acres, and displaced more than 20,000 people. At one time, 1,200 firefighters were battling the blaze. A local resident has been charged with arson in this fire. This is the second major fire to hit the Inland Empire in as many weeks.

Loan Program

“It is heartbreaking to watch the damage and destruction wildfires have caused throughout California this summer, especially when it hits so close to home,” said Jennifer Binkley, president and CEO of Altura Credit Union, which is headquartered in Riverside. “Two of our employees were evacuated and we know that at least 3,400 of our Members live in the areas impacted by the Holy Fire. This emergency loan program is a way for us, as a financial institution, to help our neighbors get through a difficult time.”

Altura is offering two loan options – one for its Members and one for non-Members. Both feature 90 days with no payment, no pre-payment penalty and no loan processing fee. Member loans are offered at 0% interest and the rate for non-members is 5.99%. People can visit an Altura branch or call 1-888-883-7228 for more information and to apply.

Care Packages for Evacuees and Firefighters

“As evacuations from the Holy Fire spread last week, we wanted to get involved to help our employees, our Members and our community,” said Binkley. “We reached out to our contacts with the city of Corona, the city of Lake Elsinore, the Lake Elsinore Storm Stadium and through social media to find out how we could help. The answer was care packages for residents and firefighters.”

Altura provided the funds and six staffers hit the stores to gather supplies: Chief Operating Officer Chris Andrus, Sales and Business Development Vice President Tina Covington, Marketing Vice President Kara Adams, Human Resources Vice President July Bjornstad, Employee Development Manager Michelle Gardner and Facilities and Security Manager Tanya Price.

The packages include items such as hygiene products, snacks, bottled water, towels, t-shirts, socks, first aid kits, blankets, activity books, playing cards and pet food.

Altura employees were helped filling the bags by four employees from the Credit Union National Association, a national industry trade association, who were at Altura for a meeting and wanted to help. Altura delivered the care packages to the Lake Elsinore Storm Stadium donation drop-off and the Corona City Yard, which handled distribution directly to evacuees and firefighters. Altura also made a donation to the Animal Friends of the Valleys, a shelter in Wildomar that is housing animals displaced or lost as a result of the fire.

“When something like the Holy Fire happens, it can be overwhelming not just for those directly impacted, but those watching from the sidelines as well. We wanted to do more than watch, and I’m so grateful and proud that my Altura colleagues were so quick to get involved. Even seemingly small actions can have a big impact on those caught up in a disaster,” Binkley added.

Anyone can help local wildfire victims by making a donation to The Red Cross at or by texting REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation for disaster relief.

Elaine McKenzie, a Marketing Business Analyst with Altura Credit Union, carries care packages donated by Altura and assembled by employees, to the donation drop off in Lake Elsinore for evacuees of the Holy Fire that broke out on Aug. 6 in the Cleveland National Forest straddling Orange and Riverside counties, where Altura is headquartered.

Employees of Altura Credit Union, with help from CUNA employees on site for a meeting, assemble care packages for evacuees of and firefighters battling the Holy Fire, which broke out Aug. 6 in the Cleveland National Forest straddling Orange and Riverside counties, where Altura is headquartered.

Altura Credit Union staffers Tanya Price, Facilities and Security manager, left, and Julie Bjornstand, vice president, Human Resources, fill bags with items for people evacuated by the Holy Fire burning in Riverside County, where Altura is headquartered.

Altura Credit Union employee volunteers load vehicles with the donated care packages for victims of and firefighters battling the Holy Fire burning in Riverside County where Altura is headquartered.

About Altura Credit Union

Altura is a credit union headquartered in Riverside County. The Inland Empire is not just a profit sector or region, it is our home. Altura’s Board members are local leaders who volunteer their time and are deeply committed to the community. Our senior management strive to make decisions that will better our community and our members for the long-term. Even in challenging economic times, our capital and assets continue to grow. For more information, visit


Sharon Simpson
(240) 620-4095

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