O Bee lives by the Credit Union philosophy of “People Helping People.” When branches closed in late March due to COVID-19, and the state-wide mask mandate went into effect we knew there was work to do. With so many in our community needing help, we got the idea to make it fun to wear a mask and raise money at the same time.
“We thought, why not offer masks with our iconic Olympia, Rainier and Pabst logos in exchange for a small donation,” said Lee Wojnar, VP of Marketing. “The response was overwhelming. The masks were wildly popular. People were happy to donate. Now the masks are practically collectors’ items because they sell out so quickly,” Wojnar added. O Bee offers six mask styles in all: Olympia Gold, Olympia Pink, Rainier, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Washington, and Berenstain Bear designs. To date, O Bee has raised over $20,000 through donations for masks alone.
In June, O Bee donated $3,000 Thurston County Food Bank and $3,000 to Nourish Pierce County. Both faced shortages when a surge in demand for their services doubled as more people out of work relied on their services.
Family Support Services received a donation of $5,000. They operate Pear Blossom Place, a 24/7 family shelter in Olympia. COVID forced them to relocate families to the nearby Quality Inn Hotel to allow for more social distancing. In May, a fire broke out at the hotel and everyone was evacuated. No one was injured but the hotel was deemed a total loss and the families who were staying there lost everything. Our contribution helped them buy new clothes, home goods, and other needed items.
Recently O Bee donated $5,000 to the Little Red Schoolhouse Program which provides school supplies, backpacks and gently used clothes to students in need so they can start the school year with the supplies necessary for success. This is especially important this year.
O Bee gives credit for much of this success to the generosity of its members. Without the support and enthusiasm of the community, it would not be possible. All mask styles are back in stock at each branch. Come in and grab a few! The minimum donation is $5, however, you are encouraged to be as generous as possible with your donation. Together, we can make our community a better place for everyone.
For other fun stories, banking tips, tricks and recipes read the O Bee Blog.