Since our beginnings in Room 121 of Olympia High School, serving our community has been the driving force behind TwinStar Credit Union. Back in 1938, the depression was in full swing, and it was difficult for teachers to receive loans. In order to purchase items like used cars, teachers would often have to rely on loan sharks who charged high interest rates. Dewey Noblitt and several teacher friends, knowing there was a better way, decided to form a credit union. In the beginning, the credit union founders served their small membership the only way they knew how- with personal attention and commitment. Dewey would often be seen collecting deposits during lunch periods, and would store the funds in his desk drawer.
This sense of close-knit community lives on in the heart of every credit union employee and in every decision we make on behalf of our members. TwinStar now serves over 110,000 members from Tacoma to Wilsonville. There are also more than 200 organizations that receive funding from TwinStar each year; many of whom are aligned with the Combined Fund Drive. You may have also seen TwinStar’s Events Team at some of your local events. We aim to provide our support to local events that our members care about. By sponsoring these events, we believe we are strengthening ties in our community and helping small businesses thrive.
With our roots in education, TwinStar also makes supporting schools and educators a top priority. We are proud to be able to donate more than $50,000 annually to scholarship programs for graduating high school seniors and to those who are pursuing a college education. Classroom Cash is another way we contribute to classrooms near you. This program allows teachers to complete a simple application process in order to receive funds for classroom items they would normally have to purchase themselves. We’ve been able to fund everything from new software to science projects to field trips through this program.
Other than monetary contributions, we’re also dedicated to providing valuable financial knowledge to students in our area. Our Community Development Manager visits classrooms in our service area to provide financial literacy education to students from grades Kindergarten through College. Courses include savings, budgeting, check-writing, and more. We consider this an investment in our future because as our youth members grow, we want them to have the knowledge necessary to navigate the often difficult world of banking and finances.
It’s amazing how far we’ve come in the last 80 years! With all the changes that have come, members are connecting with their credit union in ways that they could never have imagined back then. Whether it’s through mobile banking, an ATM, at an event, or in the classroom, we aim to connect with our members using whatever channel they prefer. We still retain the same spirit that the teachers in Room 121 had; our commitment to members in our community never wavers. We’ve found it to be a successful strategy and welcome the opportunity to be involved with the Combined Fund Drive. The collective activities of state employees, retirees and other affiliates, along with carefully selected sponsors will help produce the most good for the most people in our communities.