Category Archives: Community

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

Holiday Lights in Portland

December 1st marks National Christmas Lights Day, and all around the city they are going up , which can only mean one thing – the holidays are upon us! It is time to layer on those jackets and scarves, and celebrate with your loved ones. Portland and beyond has several classic light displays that are great for continuing, or starting, family traditions. So to celebrate this fun and festive day, we wanted to share our list of family ( and budget friendly ) places to see beautiful lights.

Fantasy Trail at Wenzel Family Farm

Take a Christmas walk through a lighted, wooded “Fantasy Trail”, decorated with thousands of lights for Christmas enchantment. The trail includes a 40 ft castle with Christmas scenes, a maze, crooked house, suspension bridge and more. You can also warm up by the nightly bonfires, with a warm cup of hot chocolate.

The Grotto’s Christmas Festival of Lights

with sights, sounds and sensations for the holiday season, The Grotto’s Christmas Festival of Lights is the largest Christmas choral festival in the world. Five indoor concerts are schedule each evening. The fun doesn’t end there ; the Grotto’s plaza area also includes outdoor caroling, puppet shoes and a live petting zoo.

Peacock Lane

Each house on this quaint SE block has been decorating their Tudor style homes for decades. Adorned with beautiful lights, nativity scenes and more, this Portland tradition always brings in a crowd.

Winter Wonderland at Portland International Raceway

There are glimmers and glows around every corner as you journey through the Winter Wonderland. With over 250 color light pieces, and many fully animated scenes this will not disappoint. Even better? It is all done from the comfort ( and warmth! ) from your own vehicle.

Miracle of a Million Lights

Head to the decorated 2.5 acres of a million plus twinkling lights! As you tour the house, you will set your eyes on over 20 uniquely decorated trees, with elaborate decorations. Enjoy some of their homemade apple cider, cookies, live music, and Santa! There is something fun and festive around every corner, and you will not be disappointed.

Christmas Ship Parade

Over the course of 15, a fleet of Christmas Ships will set sail on the Willamette River and Columbia River. Bundle up, grab your thermos and pick your spot to watch the beautiful boats float by!


Questions? Connect with us at 503-275-0300 Option 4 or visit our branch at the corner of 1st and Taylor in Downtown Portland!

Make the Season Bright – Great Toy Drive

Benefiting local kids

This is an exciting holiday season here at USAgencies — we are back once again partnering with KGW for the Great Toy Drive. For more than 35 years, KGW has been collecting toys for families in Oregon and SW Washington with the help of over 130 local nonprofit organizations and hundreds of dedicated volunteers.

USAgencies is proud to be one of the drop-off locations. We invite our members, friends and family to stop by and donate a toy to local families in need.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Buy a new, unwrapped toy.
  2. Drop your toy at USAgencies (95 SW Taylor Street, Portland, OR) by Dec. 13th.
  3. USAgencies will match each donation we collect, toy for toy (up to $500)!

Don’t live nearby? No problem! Give us a call to donate cash towards a toy. We’ll pick one up on your behalf (and match it!).

Thank you for helping to make the holiday season special for local families.

Questions: info@usacu.org | (503) 275-0300