BECU’s 10th annual People Helping People Awards program grants $525,000 to member-nominated nonprofits
SEATTLE, WA (December 13, 2023) — After receiving nearly 900 nominations, last night BECU honored nonprofit organizations and BECU members at its annual People Helping People Awards. For the first time in three years, the celebration was held in-person and recognized the positive impact of more than 30 nonprofits in BECU’s service areas.
“As a cooperative, BECU is committed to increasing the financial well-being of our members and giving back to the communities where they live, work and play,” said Beverly Anderson, BECU’s president and chief executive officer. “These member and employee-nominated organizations go above and beyond to create meaningful change in our communities and provide equitable solutions to essential issues such as education, hunger, accessibility and inclusivity.”
BECU’s 2023 People Helping People Award recipients include:
- Member Volunteer of the Year ($50,000): Nancy Harris was selected as Member Volunteer of the Year for her service, guidance and leadership at OneWorld Now. This organization’s mission is to develop the next generation of global leaders and envision a world where all young people have access to transformative international education.
- People’s Choice Award ($40,000): Emma’s Exceptional Equipment Exchange was selected by popular vote from the community. The organization bridges the gap between what insurances cover and what individuals with disabilities need to comfortably and safely enjoy basic daily living.
- Employees’ Choice Award ($30,000): Cares of Washington won by popular vote from BECU employees. The nonprofit supports people with disabilities and low incomes to realize their purpose, potential, and strength, and connects clients to employment and basic needs resources.
- Past Recipients’ Choice Award ($30,000): PFLAG Skagit was selected by popular vote among past People Helping People Award recipients. The organization aims to support, advocate for and educate about the LGBTQIA+ community by providing an opportunity for dialogue about sexual orientation and gender identity.
- Community Benefit Awards ($15,000): 350 Seattle, The Bridge Music Project, Empower Youth Network, For the People, Generation Alive, Jubilee Reach, New Start Community Garden, Northeast Youth Center, Pongo Poetry Project, Real Change, Seattle Universal Math Museum, Stanwood Camano Food Bank Services, Unemployment Law Project, Whatcom Center for Early Learning
- Black Community Development Project: For its fourth year, BECU is awarding seven Black-led, member-nominated nonprofits with Nonprofit Capacity Building Grants. The following recipients will each receive $21,427, for a total of nearly $150,000:
Previous program recipients are encouraged to apply for People Helping People Collaboration Grants, which recognize a joint opportunity for two or more organizations to collaborate on a project.
The following five collaborations each received $15,000 in Collaboration Grants this year:
- Advocates for Immigrants in Detention Northwest (AIDNW) and Tacoma Refugee Choir will partner on projects that help immigrants in the community through collaborative events and service opportunities.
- Bridge Disability Ministries and Northwest Access Fund will work to provide accessible financial assistance and technology, fostering greater independence and quality of life for people with disabilities.
- RECLAIM (formerly University Beyond Bars) and Yoga Behind Bars will collaborate to ease the transition from incarceration to community life by empowering individuals to engage in healing and personal growth through embodiment practices.
- Urban Artworks and Mini Mart City Park will extend their Georgetown Mural Apprentice Program, engaging youth participants who face barriers seeking art, education, and employment opportunities.
- White Center Food Bank and The Silent Task Force will collaborate on the BIPOC Food Distribution Project, which focuses on increased access to healthy food within underserved and vulnerable communities.
In addition, all 2022 and 2023 award recipients will receive a glidepath grant of $2,500 for the two years following their initial award (note that glidepath funding does not apply to Black Community Development Project or Collaboration Grant recipients). Since the program launched in 2013, BECU has donated more than $4.1 million to over 145 local nonprofits.
With more than 1.4 million members and $28.8 billion in assets, BECU is the largest not-for-profit credit union in Washington and one of the top four financial cooperatives in the country. As a member-owned credit union, BECU is focused on helping increase the financial well-being of its members and communities through great rates, few fees, community partnerships and financial education. The credit union currently operates 60 financial centers, including two in South Carolina. For more information, visit www.becu.org.