Maps Helps Members Restock Groceries After Ice Storm

Published March 1, 2021

Valentine’s weekend a severe ice storm hit our Mid-Willamette Valley region leaving a wake of destruction in its path. Overnight inch-thick ice blanketed our community, with residents kept awake by the thunderous sounds of trees falling and the red flares of live power lines breaking. Homes, cars, electrical and cellular systems were severely damaged, roads were slick and made unpassable, and power went off for thousands throughout the community. It was an event like many of us had never experienced before. 

With three-quarters of our 70,000 Maps’ members living in Marion and Polk counties, we knew that a significant percentage of our membership was impacted. Coming on the heels of the wildfires and the ongoing pandemic, the event and its destruction hit our community especially hard. With many of our staff personally experiencing the impacts of the storm, we knew firsthand that the extended power outages had resulted in many families losing their entire perishable food supply.

Maps and its charitable giving arm, the Maps Community Foundation, quickly decided to reach out and offer support to our members. Six days after the storm, we launched a grocery card ice storm relief program that was promoted via online banking and social media. Members were invited to apply on-line for a grocery gift card to help them restock their food supply when power returned. In less than 24 hours, over 800 households applied for support. 

After careful review, the decision was made not to turn away any member in need. To ease the distribution of funds, Maps pivoted from giving grocery gift cards to depositing $50 directly into member accounts. This past week, 813 Maps members each received $50, with a total of just over $40,000 in funding distributed to help with restocking refrigerators and freezers.

“Seeing the devastation and ensuing prolonged power outages caused by the ice storm, we recognized that many of our members would need assistance.  The efforts of the Maps Community Foundation to serve our members at this time of need is exactly why our Foundation exists,” said Mark Zook, CEO of Maps Credit Union.   
Members have shared hundreds of messages of gratitude. “We are humbled, energized and impressed by this kind of offer,” said one member. Another said, “Thank you guys for such a kind and thoughtful gesture in these trying times.” 

There are so many uplifting stories of how people supported one another during the ice storm. People opened their homes up for friends to shower, do laundry, and sleep. Hot meals and water were delivered to those without power. Neighbors helped each other to clear trees and debris. Food and drink were given to power crews, many from out-of-state, who worked round the clock to fix the unprecedented damage. 
We are honored to be part of this special and resilient Mid-Willamette Valley community. Maps truly cares and we were happy to help in a small way during this challenging time.

Maps Community Foundation 
The Maps Community Foundation was established in 2010 as the charitable giving arm for Maps Credit Union. The mission of the Foundation is to “enrich the lives of members and our community by investing in education, economic empowerment, and community vibrancy.” Programs include student scholarships, teacher and community grants, financial education, school donations, community volunteer awards, and nonprofit event sponsorship. Free Community Checking Account members play a key role in making our community give-back work possible. With each debit card transaction, a penny is given by Maps Credit Union to the Foundation—providing over $100,000 in 2020.  Maps Credit Union adds to this amount generously each year and over the past year has funded additional crisis-response programs related to the pandemic, wildfires, and now the ice storm. Look for our scholarship winners this spring and keep your eye out for other exciting and impactful initiatives in 2021. As always, we welcome your questions and input.