Maps Community Foundation awards $10,000 to nonprofits

Aug 21, 2018

SALEM - The Maps Community Foundation is awarding $10,000 in Community Challenge grants to four nonprofits that have improved lives of more than 20,000 people in the Salem area.

Though their work varies from feeding the hungry, to giving foster children new shoes, all of the groups share a commitment to helping those in the mid-Willamette Valley, said Mitzi Smith, Community Development Officer of Maps Credit Union.

“Every one of these organizations makes a difference,” she said. “These grants are both an acknowledgment of the incredible work these groups do today, and an investment in what they plan to do tomorrow.”

Funding for the grants comes from credit union members who have Free Community Checking accounts. Every time these members use their debit card attached to their Free Community Checking account, Maps donates a penny to the foundation. Last year, the members raised $83,526 for the foundation in this way.

A group of Maps staff selected this year’s winning nonprofits from 18 applicants, all of whom applied for the funds by submitting a video. The groups include:

Salem Harvest, which works with growers and volunteers to harvest and distribute surplus crops.  The grant will help repair and maintain “Sunflower,” the truck used to transport food. In their video application, Salem Harvest asked: “Please help us fulfill our mission feeding hungry people by harvesting food that would otherwise go to waste.”

Salem Fire Foundation, which enhances public safety and promotes community support for the Salem Fire Department. The grant will help the foundation teach approximately 250 eighth-graders how to perform CPR and other life-saving skills. “We want Salem to be the healthiest community in the country and have the highest cardiac save rate in the nation,” the narrator said in their video application.

Heart to Soles, which buys and distributes new shoes to foster children, many of whom don’t have anything to call their own. The grant will help pay for new shoes. “Our sole mission is to give back to children who have so little,” said the nonprofit’s representatives in their video application.

St. Edwards Cottages, which ministers to those in need around St. Edward’s Episcopal Church in Silverton. The grant will go toward the church’s effort to build four small cottages to temporarily house four women who need homes. “We know we will not solve the problem of homelessness,” said the ministry’s video application, “but we believe that, four women at a time, we can give women a foothold in this world to start again or for the first time.”

2018 marks Maps’ Sixth Annual Community Challenge. Since it started, the credit union has given away $29,000 to groups confronting challenges facing the community. 

“There are many organizations committed to providing solutions,” said Smith. “Maps is thrilled to support them.”


Maps Credit Union serves more than 65,000 members in Marion, Polk, Yamhill, Linn, Benton, Clackamas, Washington, and Multnomah counties. Maps has 10 branch locations in Salem, Keizer, Monmouth, Woodburn, Silverton, and Stayton.

The Maps Community Foundation is the charitable arm of Maps Credit Union. Its mission is to bring together the credit union’s philanthropic efforts, to promote the community's economic development, and to promote lifelong learning.