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Oshawa Community Cares

 

As our name implies, Oshawa Community is all about…you guessed it, our community! This philosophy of paying it forward is such an integral part of who we are because our Credit Union literally would not exist had it not been for our founding members 80 years ago who felt the same way.

In 1939, our Credit Union was founded by 19 members with $16 on deposit. These founding members were residents of Oshawa who wanted to help members of the community get the financial services they needed to make it through arguably the most trying of financial times in world history. 1939 marked the end of the Great Depression and the beginning of the second-world-war. Funds were scarce and banks weren’t willing to take risks.

“In those times, if you didn’t have any assets, you couldn’t get a loan. This is one of the reasons credit unions started,” explains Carl Carey who grew up in this era and served on the Credit Union’s Board of Directors for 21 years. While Oshawa Community welcomes all Ontario residents to become members, we take pride in helping local businesses get the financial tools they need to be successful at a price that won’t break the bank. We also love supporting local charities through volunteer work and donations on behalf of the Credit Union as well as our employees’ personal contributions.

 

 


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2023 Year in Review

Salvation Army Angel Tree Giving Program

The remarkable success of the Angel Tree Giving Program is attributed to the extraordinary generosity of our members and our community. The call to brighten up Christmas for underprivileged children was met with an overwhelming response, with gifts being left under our Christmas tree. This collection of gifts was picked up from our branch by the Salvation Army and were allocated to families in need.
 

Eastdale CVI Winter Coat Drive

Heartfelt appreciation to all those who donated pre-used winter coats during the drive and ensured it was a success. The overwhelming generosity from our community is truly appreciated by underprivileged children during these chilly winters.

Sondra and Samantha dropped off the jackets to Eastdale CVI, who will redirect the warm clothing to high school students and families in need as they see fit.

National Day of Truth and Reconciliation

To commemorate the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation, Sondra, Samantha and Sarah tied orange ribbons as a sign of respect to Indigenous children and families, and to support healing in Indigenous Communities across Canada. In branch, staff wore orange T-Shirts to honour those who survived the Residential School System and remember those who did not.

Additionally, a donation was also made out to the Indigenous Youth Program at the Durham Community Health Centre to strengthen cultural reconnection between Indigenous children and their land.

Lastly, visit our Truth and Reconciliation page, an informative webpage we launched as an Indigenous resource guide on our website providing recognition to Indigenous artists, music, educational resources, and more.

Durham Outlook for the Needy Food Drive

In celebration of Thanksgiving, we sponsored a Free Meal Day for Durham Outlook for the Needy, serving over 190 meals with the help of your generous non-perishable food donations. Your contributions made a significant impact, ensuring that the weekend was filled with nourishing meals and care. 

We also extend heartfelt appreciation for your generous donations of non-perishable food items and monetary contributions. A sincere thank you to all who donated and made this possible.
 

Durham Deaf Services Car Wash for a Cause

Patricia and Samantha delivered donations to Durham Deaf Services in support of their car wash, aiming to help provide DDS programs and services for the Deaf, Deafened, and hard-of-hearing individuals in our community. These programs encompass children's events, learning resources, community socials, and more! We are grateful to contribute to such a meaningful cause.
Bethesda House Clothing Drive 

We are thrilled to share the incredible success of the clothing drive we hosted during the month of May in support of the Bethesda House. We received an overwhelming response from our community and we thank you for your generous donations.

All of the clothing was brought to Second Chance Clothing in Bowmanville, where 100% of the proceeds will support Bethesda House's shelter and outreach program.

Your donations have made a tangible difference in the lives of individuals and families within our community.


IG Wealth Managment's Walk for Alzheimer’s


Sarah and Patricia participated in IG Wealth's Walk for Alzheimer's at Cullen Central Park in Whitby. They joined over 300 walkers for the 2 km walk, making their way around the park and enjoying the great scenery. Everyone was unified under the shared purpose of raising money for such an important cause.

At the end of the walk, the IG Wealth team proudy announced that the total amount raised was an amazing $127,640.00! Sarah and Patricia were thrilled to have been a part of such a successful and inspiring event. It was a great day for both of them, supporting their community while helping to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer's research.

Simcoe Hall Settlement House Backpack Program

Oshawa Community along with our members helped contribute to Simcoe Hall Settlement Houses' Backpack Program. Everything from backpacks, lunch bags, water bottles and school supplies were collected and given to those in the local community.

These donations supported over 1500 underprivileged children, from JK to Grade 12 transition back to school.

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2021 Holiday Season 

This holiday season, Oshawa Community will be supporting a variety of charities and are asking for your support!

For more than 15 years Oshawa Community has supported the annual Salvation Army Toy Drive. Help make a child’s Christmas a little brighter by bringing in a new, unwrapped gift to the branch between December 1st – 20th.

In honour of Sharon Clark’s memory, Oshawa Community and staff will be supporting the Durham Children’s Aid Society by making an annual donation at Christmas time in her name. Also, our members, who have been selling their homemade goods; Lady Marmalade’s preserves (jams, pickles, beats, relishes, jellies and “the best” antipasto spread imaginable – great for holiday parties) as well as Clancey and Gale’s Maple Products, produced locally in Pontypool, have generously agreed to continue donating 10% of profits to The Durham Children’s Aid Society.

To help those affected by the flooding in southern BC,  Central 1, Canada’s largest payments processor for credit unions, has teamed up with the Canadian Red Cross to create a donation portal for credit unions.  This donation portal will allow credit unions and their members to make donations directly to the Canadian Red Cross to fund emergency relief for those impacted by the natural disasters in BC through Oshawa Community’s website.

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Donating Blood

It really is in us to give. Some people shy away from giving to charities because they’re skeptical whether the funds are used responsibly. Over 4.5 million patients need a blood transfusion each year. When you give blood, it doesn’t cost you anything except an hour of your time. Furthermore, there’s no question that your donation will help someone who desperately needs it. Bonus: to help stabilize your blood sugar and fluid levels you always get free snacks!  

Every few months, Administration Manager and Compliance Officer, Linda Treen graciously organizes a team outing for employees to donate blood.  On October 19th, 2021, Oshawa Community employees Amy Munro, Patricia Albrecht, Linda Treen and CEO John Remillard, donated blood at the Canadian Blood Services Centre in Oshawa.

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National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

September 30th marked Canada’s first National Day of Truth & Reconciliation.  To commemorate this day, we took the opportunity to educate ourselves and our members about what happened to the Indigenous Canadians in the past, how we are taking steps to make amends and to learn about the Indigenous culture. 

Longtime member and Indigenous Knowledge Keeper, Rick Bourque works for several local organizations including UOIT and Ontario Shores.  We were pleased to have Rick lead the staff in a smudging followed by a Sun Dance on this day. 

Oshawa Community also held a draw for members to win 1 of 5 award-winning books relating to the tragic events that took place at the Residential Schools, as well as short stories written by revered Indigenous authors.  Oshawa Community also made a $1000 donation to Niijkiwendidaa Anishnaabekwag Services Circle (NASC) in Peterborough.  NASC is a non-profit organization that provides services for Indigenous women and their families who have experienced violence or are at risk of experiencing violence.

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Brady

Co op student Brady  

You might have met Brady during his co-op placement at Oshawa Community in the fall of 2021.  Brady is in his senior year at O’Neill CVI and is excited to learn more about finance and managing investments during his time at Oshawa Community.

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Sharon's Kids   

 

 We love supporting local businesses and charities but there is no greater feeling then reinvesting our earnings into those of our own members.  Long-time member Sharon Clark has been volunteering with the Durham Children’s Aid Society (DCAS) for over fifty years. She has helped with many projects including preparing sacks of Christmas goodies including gifts, food and warm winter clothing for families with young children who really need the help. 

“There are no words to describe the feeling you get when you show up at someone’s home with a sack…the looks on the children’s faces and the tears of joy in their eyes...it’s just indescribable.  You just know that you’ve really made a difference,” explains Sharon. 

Experiences like these are what inspired Sharon to create her own charity “Sharon’s Kids” in support of the DCAS.  This wonderful charity raises money for children to go to summer camp and for school bursaries. During the holiday season, Sharon sets up a cozy Christmas boutique full of adorable hats, scarves and gloves, festive jewelry and shabby-chic home decor.  Members look forward to this every year and even bring their friends along!  “I just love it. It’s great for stocking stuffers and people who are hard to buy for because there’s so many neat things,” explains non-member, Sylvia Weeks whose daughter encouraged her to check it out.  

Unfortunately, we lost Sharon to a courageous battle with cancer in early 2020.

“It was a devastating loss,” remembers Linda Treen, Administration Manager of Oshawa Community, and longtime friend of Sharon’s.  “She was an absolutely wonderful woman and her presence will be deeply missed in the branch by all of the staff.”

In honour of Sharon’s memory, Oshawa Community will continue to support the Durham Children’s Aid Society by making annual donations at Christmastime in her name.  Also, our members who have been selling their homemade preserves and maple syrup products at the branch will continue to donate %10% of their profits to the DCAS.

“The best way that we can honour Sharon is to continue to perpetuate the work that she was so passionate about,” says Amy Munro, Member Services Representative. “Sharon would be so touched to know that we are picking up where she left off.”

 

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Lavender's Maple Syrup

Another long-time member, Clancey Lavender sells his incredible, home-made, maple syrup products in our branch and also contributes a portion of his sales to “Sharon’s Kids”.  There are several sizes to choose from ranging from $4 to $23 dollars. Clancey is even sweeter than his syrup and hosts an annual breakfast for our staff to thank us for allowing him to sell his syrup in our branch.  If he’s gonna make us a waffle and sausage breakfast drenched with his heavenly maple syrup, the pleasure is all ours.

 
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