Category Archives: Community

How to Celebrate Mother’s Day While in Quarantine

Everything looks different now with the coronavirus pandemic raging, and Mother’s Day is no exception. You can’t take the family out for pizza or treat mom to a meal at her favorite restaurant, but you can still celebrate. Here are some ways you can make this day special for mom, no matter how far apart you may be.

Take a virtual trip together

Airbnb is now offering virtual experiences from around the world. Take a trip with mom and learn all about a new city, as well as its culture, from the comfort of your home. If your mom is an art aficionado, you can also check out virtual tours of famous museums like the Guggenheim in NYC and Musée d’Orsay in Paris. FaceTime with mom while you tour to make it a trip you take together.

Make a craft together

The nationwide lockdown has sparked a trend in old-fashioned crafting, like quilting, pottery and jewelry-making. Order matching craft kits from sites like Etsy and spend some quality virtual time with Mom working on your masterpieces together while chatting on the phone or video conferencing on Zoom.

Dine out at home

Dining inside restaurants is still not allowed in most states, but you can always order it. Pick up mom’s favorite dinner for the family. If you’re celebrating with your mom remotely, have her favorite meal delivered for both of you to enjoy in your own homes. Deck out your table in its finest and make it a joint experience by setting up a video conference while you eat.

Enjoy a custom photo album together

Sort through your old pictures and create a custom photo album on a site like Shutterfly. Make one copy for you and one for mom. Flip through the albums together while chatting on the phone or FaceTiming to relive some of the year’s best moments.

Send a spa kit

Let mom enjoy some pampering at home this year with a DIY spa kit. You can order a premade kit online, or create your own basket of specialty soaps, bath bombs, scented candles, a loofah, body brush, moisturizer, bath salts, massage tools, facial mask, scented oils, shampoo and conditioner. Throw in her favorite magazine and a CD with soothing music for the ultimate in relaxation.

Watch a movie together

Is there a movie you and your mom both adore? Watch it together on Mother’s Day, quarantine-style. Start the movie at the same time in your own homes, and keep up a steady stream of text messages about the movie instead of the live chit-chat you’d enjoy if you were really watching together. Make it extra-special by sending mom a homemade “ticket” to your movie, including the title and the official start time, and throw in some of mom’s favorite snacks, too.

Mother’s Day may be different from what you’re used to this year, but you can still make it an extra-special day for mom. She deserves the best!


How are you celebrating Mother’s Day at home this year?

7 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day at Home

April 22 marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, while many of us are staying home due to the coronavirus outbreak, there are still things we can do to celebrate the environment while we’re at home. Here are a few ideas to get started:

Plant a garden. Earth Day, April 22, 2020, is the perfect time to plant that garden you’ve always wanted. Garden centers and home improvement stores are still open around the country, with many offering curbside pickup. Add a burst of color to your property with a row of flowers, try your hand at planting a vegetable garden, or plant a tree!

Learn about recycling. Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day by learning about local recycling rules and refreshing your knowledge about what happens to the things we recycle. Share this information with your children as they are learning from home.

Use the My Disney Experience app to explore the world of nature from home. Check out the “Wilderness Explorers at Home” feature on the app for a virtual tour of nature’s wonders.

Learn about the plants in your neighborhood. Bring your daily walk around the neighborhood up a notch on Earth Day by looking out for plants in your area. You can use the Native Plant Finder website to find out which plants are native to your zip code. See how many of these plants you can find on your walk!

Watch a documentary about our planet. Celebrate Earth Day by watching a fascinating documentary about the Earth. Netflix is now running “Our Planet,” an incredible docuseries hosted by David Attenborough that features beautiful footage from around the world. You can also check out Disney+ for Disneynature’s “Elephant” and “Dolphin Reef,” which conveniently offer downloadable activity packets for kids.

Watch the NASA Science Live webcast. The space agency website will host a special edition of the webcast on Earth Day, April 22, at 1 p.m. PST, featuring agency chief Jim Bridenstine.

Join the Earthfest. The American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) in New York City is airing an all-day “Earthfest” on Wednesday. The live-streamed event will feature a full day of activities and education, including a “watch party” at 6 p.m. EDT, where participants can “hop aboard” a live flight to explore our neighboring planets.


How are you planning to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day?

Financial Resources Available for Veterans

We owe the strength and security of our country to our heroic veterans. These brave men and women sacrifice the comforts of home, time with family and often their physical well-being to protect us. Unfortunately, though, many veterans are struggling to make ends meet and to support their families.

If you are a veteran, you likely already know about VA loans, which are no-money-down home loans just for veterans. But did you know there are many other ways the government and charitable organizations can help you get back on your feet?

Here’s a list of financial resources created especially for veterans. Having served our country, you deserve all this and more.

USA Cares Emergency Assistance Program

If you’re a retired service person who is struggling to cover your basic monthly bills, including rent and utilities, you may be eligible for a grant from this organization. The exact amount awarded varies with each case, but the average grant size is $650. You can apply for a grant from the USA Cares Emergency Assistance Program.

The American Legion Temporary Financial Assistance

This organization helps veterans who are also parents of young children to create a stable home life for their families. It offers cash grants to help qualifying veterans pay for expenses like housing, utilities, food and medical costs. You can read up on the eligibility requirements and apply for a grant.

Operation Family Fund

Veterans who were severely disabled while serving in Operation Enduring and Iraqi Freedom may be eligible for grants to help cover their medical bills, emergency transportation, vehicle repair and housing. Review the eligibility requirements and apply for an Operation Family Fund grant.

Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes

This organization provides financial assistance to veterans who were severely wounded while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Click here to apply for assistance.

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Aid & Attendance and Housebound Assistance

If you are a veteran receiving a VA pension, you may be eligible to increase your monthly amount through Aid & Attendance and Housebound Assistance. If you are bedridden or you need the services of an aide to help you with everyday activities, you can apply for assistance here.

Operation First Response

This organization offers financial assistance for wounded veterans and their families while they are in the midst of the VA claim process, which can stretch on for a year or more. Qualifying veterans can use the funds to cover immediate needs like housing, transportation, utilities, groceries, clothing and more. You can review the eligibility requirements and apply for assistance.

The Armed Forces Foundation

The Armed Forces Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing comfort and financial relief to members of the military community through career counseling, housing assistance, recreational therapy programs and financial support. These programs are available for service members who are on active duty as well as those who are retired. You can read up on the assistance offered by The Armed Forces Foundation and apply for aid.

Hope for the Warriors

The mission of this noble organization is to enhance the quality of life for members of the military and their families who have been affected by physical injuries or death in the line of duty. Its programs include financial assistance for immediate needs, as well as a special “Warrior’s Wish” program for families.

Operation Homefront

This wonderful organization provides financial assistance for the immediate family members of the wounded, ill, injured or deployed. Exact criteria for assistance varies by location. Visit Operation Home Front, click on “Get Assistance,” input your ZIP code and an application for assistance through your local chapter will be available for download.

Semper Fi Fund

The Semper Fi Fund (SFF) provides financial relief for any needs that may arise during the hospitalization and recovery of a service member due to an injury sustained while serving in the line of duty. Programs under the SFF include Service Member and Family Support, Specialized & Adaptive Equipment, Adaptive Housing, Adaptive Transportation, Education and Career Transition Assistance, Therapeutic Arts and Team Semper Fi.  Assistance is available for all post 9-11 Marines and sailors, as well as members of the Army, Air Force or Coast Guard who serve in support of Marine forces. Apply here.

If you or anyone you know is an active or retired service member who is struggling to make ends meet, don’t hesitate to ask for help. Use the resources listed above, and connect with us if you could use further assistance in basic money management. We’re here to help!


Have we missed any major financial resources for veterans? Let us know in the comments.

Questions about USAgencies Credit Union? Contact us at 503.275.0300 Option 4.

Letter from the CEO: Enhancements coming your way

At USAgencies we are constantly looking for ways to improve our financial cooperative in order to better live out our mission to provide solutions to improve each member’s financial life. We find ourselves in a time where people are busier than ever, so as your credit union, we have come up with some great solutions to make it as easy as possible for you to connect with us.

In February, we are excited to have rolled out an improved secure messaging system within our online and mobile banking. This updated platform allows us to securely and safely communicate with any member, no matter the need. We can safely pass information and provide prompt service to you. In addition, you can quickly locate frequently asked questions in our updated knowledge base.

The second communication enhancement is our text solution. We will soon have the capability to serve our members via text messaging. This is a great solution if you are out and about or too busy to hop on a phone call, you will be able to text us during business hours to get your banking needs taken care of, from balance transfers to finalizing an application, convenience is just a few text messages away.

The last solution I want to mention is our free Credit Score service within online and mobile banking. You now can monitor the all-important credit score, which is more critical to your finances than ever! Having a strong score not only helps you get better interest rates on loans, but also helps you get discounted insurance rates as well as get approved to rent an apartment. If you ever have questions on how to improve your score, connect with us and we would be more than happy to walk you through steps to improve your score.

Thank you for choosing USAgencies Credit Union for your financial needs, and we look forward to hearing from you!

Justin Olson, President/CEO, USACU
Justin Olson
President/CEO
USAgencies Credit Union

News and Events happening at USACU