All posts by USAgencies

School is Just Around the Corner – Plan for a Stress-Free First Day

Summertime with the kids is a time to overindulge in potato salad and hot dogs, pool parties, road trips, and staying up late to watch movies. Who was thinking about textbooks, assignments, and spelling tests? Nobody!

Then, bam! All of a sudden, it’s back to school!

With the first day right around the corner, now is a good time to start thinking about how to establish some healthy routines that will stay rooted throughout the school year.

Here are a few tips to make the first day stress-free:

  • Start talking about the return to school with your children—are they nervous, excited, anxious? Are there things you can do to relive their fears, such as visit the school, or walk or bike the safest route to school together? Plan a play date with a friend they haven’t seen since the last school year to help them reconnect.
  • Professionals advise to spend some really quality family time together in the weeks leading up the big day: play games, read together, exercise, and engage in fun family activities.
  • Start establishing earlier bedtimes well before the first day—that alarm clock buzzing early is mighty shocking to the system after a relaxing summer.
  • Get organized! Shop for school supplies way in advance and let the kids help pick out their binders and folders.
  • Get the first-day outfit ready. Shopping with your children and letting them choose a few fun items will help them feel confident.
  • Be a role model and help your kids understand all of the things to look forward to—meeting new friends, starting new activities and sports, all of the interesting things they will learn, and explore.
  • Start new eating habits and choose some healthy options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner before the school year starts.
  • If you have a childcare professional or after school care, talk to them about how your child is feeling, anything they should be aware of, and engage them in your healthier back to school routines and eating habits.
  • Pack the backpacks and lay out clothes the night before to ensure for a stress-free morning.
  • Plan a celebratory dinner the night after the first day. Eat together and talk about all of the things that happened—perhaps the kids can choose their favorite meal for the family to enjoy.
  • Stay calm, plan your own time well, and honor your needs and downtime.

Deep breaths! You got this


Connect with us to help get your child ready for their first savings or checking account to start the school year off with healthy financial habits. Call us at 503-275-0300 Option 4, or stop into our branch on the corner of 1st and Taylor to get started today! Everyone deserves a better banking experience. Get it here.

Social Security Number Scams – On the Rise

Have you received a call or voicemail from someone warning that your Social Security number or benefits are suspended due to suspicious activity? Scammers are hoping you’ll be scared into believing their claims. They usually ask you to confirm your Social Security number and pay money to “reactivate” your number, protect it, or restore your benefits.

Social Security scams now outnumber other types of scams, including Internal Revenue Service (IRS) scams, which were formerly the most common. Pretending to be a representative of the government is a common way for fraudsters to trick people into giving up their money or personal information. Knowing how to tell the difference between a scammer and a genuine call from the federal government is important.

Here are the facts:

  • The government will not threaten to take away benefits or ask for money or personal information to protect your Social Security card or benefits.
  • Scammers can fake your caller ID, so don’t be fooled if the call seems to be from the Social Security Administration’s (SSA’s) real phone number or the SSA Inspector General’s Fraud Hotline number. You can always call the Social Security Administration directly at (800) 772-1213 to find out if they are really trying to reach you.
  • If someone calls you asking for your Social Security number, bank account number, or credit card information, hang up.

Spread the word about Social Security scams and report them

We worked with the Social Security Administration and the Federal Trade Commission to create a new fraud prevention placemat to help you avoid Social Security scams. You can order free copies  of the placemat to use at a meal site, or to share with friends and family. The placemat is in English on one side and Spanish on the other side.

Talk about it! You may have heard of IRS scams or other types of scams targeting government benefits, but Social Security scams haven’t been as common until recently. Share the message with others to make them aware of this type of scam.

Report Social Security scams to the Federal Trade Commission at FTC.gov/complaint and to the SSA Office of Inspector General Fraud Hotline at (800) 269-0271 or oig.ssa.gov/report.

Brought to you by our friends at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau


Questions about your accounts? Connect with us online or via telephone at 503-275-0300 Option 4. We are here to help!

Farmers Markets in the Portland Area

In Oregon, farmers markets are booming and a huge attraction for locals to visit to get everything from fresh produce, locally made crafts, food and more. According to the Oregon Farmers’ Market Association, there are more than 160 markets throughout the state. In the Portland and surrounding areas  berries, cherries, tomatoes and squash are among the bounty of fresh finds. To celebrate our local farmers and vendors, we put together a list of some of the local markets all over the Portland area for National Farmers Market Week.

Beaverton Farmers Market

Open Saturdays throughout the year with their Summer, Fall, and Winter Markets,  this Farmers Market is located just across the street from the Beaverton Library in the heart of downtown Beaverton. This market has everything from nursery growers, farmers and ranchers bringing you conventional and organic products. There are also artisan food producers to bring you jams, cheeses, pastries, chocolates and more. The market also offers live music, a playground, and places for families to picnic. This is the perfect place for families to spend their Saturdays together.

Portland Farmers Market at Portland State University

This Farmers Market is open year round, rain or shine and is located in Downtown Portland in the South Park Blocks between SW College and Montgomery Streets. With over 100 vendors selling freshly harvested and carefully prepared food, chef demonstrations, market music and more this market is bustling destination for family and friends to gather, shop, eat and play.

Hillsdale Farmers Market

This Hillsdale Market is a year round market that hosts over 50 local farmers and food artisans from Oregon and SW Washington. Located in the Rieke Elementary School parking lot,  you are greeted with a wide range of seasonal vegetables, fruits, meats, honey, baked good and so much more! Some of the vendors are very well known throughout Portland such as BakeShop, Olympia Provisions and Tastebud!

Hollywood Farmers Market

Located on NE Hancock between 44th and 45th Aves, this market celebrates the bounty of Oregon and Washingon agriculture through the operations of their community based Farmers Market and other ventures that support small farmers and healthy urban neighborhoods. This market is also home to the Neighborhood Gleaners – a volunteer run program through the Hollywood Senior Center. They collect food that would otherwise go to waste from the Hollywood Farmers Market and redistribute it to low-income seniors in the community.

Portland Farmers Market at Shemanski Park

This market is a popular lunch and shopping destination for downtown residents, office workers and local chefs. It is open on Wednesdays from May through October, and is located in the South Park Blocks. Since it stretches over lunchtime, it has an abundance of fresh food options that are perfect for enjoying on a park bench on a sunny day.

Montavilla Farmers Market

The mission of this market is to provide a vibrant marketplace where the diverse community of Montavilla can access high quality, local, healthy food. Open every Sunday from May through October, and select dates during the winter, the Montavilla Farmers Market is located on the 7700 block of Stark Street. They started as a grassroots collection of neighbors who were inspired by visions of a fresh, local food market in a shared community space. With nearly 60 vendors, including the likes of Liepold Farms, Lil’ Starts, and Deck Family Farm there is something for everyone!

Milwaukie Farmers Market

Over 80 different vendors come together each week to provide local meats, cheeses, plants and so much more at the Milwaukie Farmers Market. Located on Main St and Harrison, hopping on the MAX Orange Line makes this accessing this market easier than ever. Whether you are looking for a delicious local break, or just a snack and some live music this is the place to be!


Looking for a Farmers Market near you? Check out the Oregon Farmers Market Association for more info!

 

Cooperative Spirit of Credit Unions

It is ( hopefully ) no secret that credit unions all operate under the same founding principle, “People Helping People”. By sticking to our roots, and sticking together, we strive to help all members and our communities with power in numbers. By keeping a noncompetitive nature and a cooperative spirit, credit unions are able to leverage their unified philosophy. This allows us to come together for all occasions – including serious and educational, and often celebratory and fun.

In honor today being the International Day of Friendship, we wanted to highlight some of the ways credit unions in your community have demonstrated our cooperative spirit, and come together as friends for greater good.

CO-OP Network

The CO-OP Network is resource for credit union members to complete their regular transactions at a branch, or via an ATM at participating credit unions when they are unable to get to their local branch. The CO-OP network covers all 50 states and 10 additional countries with ATM’s. With over 30,000 fee-free ATMs and 1,800 participating branches nationwide, this is an ATM network that is larger than almost any bank.

Shared Branching is the second largest branch network in the country, with more than 5,600 credit union branches and self-serve Shared Branch machines, also in all 50 states. This allows us to serve our members in diverse geographical locations – even when they move or travel! Credit unions have come together to be there for their members, no matter where they are.

Education

On a daily, weekly, monthly and annual basis credit unions are consistently working together to learn and grow from and with one another. There are workshops, conferences, and training’s galore that encourage credit union professionals on all levels to come together to advance their knowledge and skills so that we can better serve our members, and better work together. We focus on everything from compliance, giving back to our community, advocacy and more.

Many of these opportunities come from local chapters and young professional groups in the area. For example, Young Credit Union Professionals of Oregon and Southwest Washington recently held an Advocacy BBQ where state legislators came out to chat and educate attendees about policy-making. What’s a better way to learn, than to hear it straight from the professionals themselves!

Education doesn’t stop at the credit union level, either.

We often band together to bring education to our communities, specifically our youth. This past spring, USAgencies hosted a Bite of Reality workshop for local high school students at Cleveland High School. This workshop allows students to practice budgeting as an adult with realistic circumstances, develop good judgement regarding spending, and more. This event wouldn’t have been possible without the 15 volunteers representing SIX different local credit unions!

Advocacy

Speaking of advocacy, another example right here in Oregon is each year we come together to advocate to lawmakers and politicians on the “credit union difference”. One of the ways this is demonstrated is in February of each year, Oregon credit unions visit the Oregon capitol for a designated Credit Union Day at the Capitol. Passionate credit union advocates spend the day dispersing across the capitol building in Salem to share the credit union difference of their impacts and services with their legislators. In 2019, the main message of the day was how the cooperative structure of credit unions delivered $1.9 Billion in economic value to Oregon in 2018, which helped drive immeasurable impact in our communities.

Giving Back

Credit Unions love giving back to their community. We often volunteer at local food banks, participate in clean up projects in our neighborhoods, partner with nonprofits and more. But perhaps the most notable way we give back together is via CU4Kids. .

CU4Kids is a nonprofit collaboration among credit unions, chapters and business partners from across the country, engaged in fundraising to support 170 Children’s Miracle Network hospitals.  For more than 30 years, credit unions have come together to raise over $18 MILLION dollars to support OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital via the CU4Kids program. Just recently on June 22nd, over 100 local credit union professionals came together in Portland and raised $11,000 for Doernbecher at a fundraiser that was called Hops for Hope that was co-hosted by YCUP and the Cascadia Chapter of Credit Unions!

By coming together, we can move mountains and make a significant impact in the lives of our members, and our communities. With that, the credit union difference is alive and thriving.


Want to learn more about the credit union difference? Connect with us – we would love to hear from you!

 

 

What’s Happening at the Square

For over 30 years, Pioneer Courthouse Square has been a place for us to gather in Portland, and come together as a community. Each year, there are over 300 events made possible via generous sponsors throughout Portland, to help support the Squares mission, which is to activate and enrich the environment of the City of Portland’s central public park and gathering space for the benefit of Portland’s community members and visitors.

Since we still several summer days ahead of us, we wanted to put together a list of some fun, family and budget friendly events planned in the square.

Scooperfest –  07/20 -07/21  11 – 8 An ALL you can eat ice cream event! Ice cream will be on hand from dozens of the regions best creameries. Even better, children under 2 eat FREE! Let’s also not forget about the 30′ waterside!

Noon Tunes Summer Concert Series –  Each Tuesday through the end of August, from 12- 1 there are FREE concerts in the square! Enjoy the sun, relax and listen to some local musical talent!

Meditation Mondays  –  Each Monday through the end of August, from 12:30 – 1:00 pm, join Pause Meditation for a FREE 30 minute meditation session in the square. You are encouraged to bring your own yoga mat or pillow.

Flicks on the Bricks – Throughout July and August, the Square transforms itself into Portland’s LARGEST outdoor move theater! Admission is FREE!

Wellness Wednesdays – Every Wednesday there is a different free activity centered around wellness. From free painting sessions, to a fun zumba class there is something for everyone.

2019 Chinese Festival – 08/03 11:00 – 9:00 – Celebrate Chinese American culture and enjoy nonstop entertainment, delicious food, authentic arts and crafts and so much more!

2019 Pan African Festival 08/10 12:00 – 8:30  – This festival celebrates the presence, resilience, strength and influence of Pan Africans in Oregon. The day will be full of live music, dance, education, career awareness and more for people to get involved and take action to help solve problems in their community.

So grab your family and friends, and head down to the square to enjoy the rest of your summer! Don’t forget to stop in and say hi to your credit union on the way – we are just 5 blocks East of the square on the corner of 1st and Taylor.


Want to win free tickets to Scooperfest? ENTER OUR CONTEST TO WIN! Check out the all the details on our Facebook Post.

Questions? Connect with us 24/7 at 503-275-0300. We look forward to hearing from you!