Throughout our 71 years of service, we’ve helped our Members and communities weather many difficult times, including fires, mass evacuations, floods, earthquakes, and the Great Recession. But we’ve never experienced anything quite like 2020. Despite all of last year’s challenges, we never lost sight of our mission and our purpose—to passionately serve the best interests of our Members, team members, and communities. Our mission is what allows us to help you and your family, friends, and neighbors with your financial needs every day, no matter what happens.
Through all the extraordinary changes 2020 brought to our everyday lives, RCU stepped up in many ways to keep our Members and communities moving forward. We deferred loan and credit card payments, waived late fees, and offered other financial assistance to those who needed it. We created resource centers on our website to help our communities navigate the financial impacts of the pandemic, government relief programs, unemployment, fraud prevention, and more. We added new features to our online and mobile services to allow you to do all your banking safely from home.
More than 1,700 people benefited from our virtual financial education sessions, and our online wellness center content received 400,000 views. Because we’re committed to overall well-being beyond financial services, we also provided free webinars on stress management, financial wellness, helping kids cope, and other topics to give our Members and communities tools to help navigate these unprecedented times.
To help our neighborhood businesses, we secured SBA funding for more than 2,100 Paycheck Protection Program loans, preserving more than 9,000 local jobs. As a result, we helped more small businesses and originated more loans than any other community bank or credit union in the North Bay. Our branches remained open, and our 700 employees adapted to new ways of serving you, adjusting their daily routines to include face coverings, increased cleaning efforts, and social distancing to follow local, state, and national safety guidelines. Meanwhile, 90% of our back-office staff quickly adjusted to working remotely within two weeks of the initial shelter-in-place notice last March. Helping our employees succeed is vital to their ability to provide you great service, and we continue to support our staff with resources, training, and virtual activities to promote their well-being.
Because many of our local nonprofits were unable to fundraise in their usual ways this year, we provided more than $1.6 million in grants and sponsorships to support more than 100 community organizations. And when our region was again impacted by fires last summer and fall, we immediately opened our Community Fund and collected over $407,000. Funds were distributed directly to fire survivors—beginning with those who lost their homes in Sonoma, Marin, Napa, and Lake counties—and through local nonprofit organizations, with no overhead costs.
None of it has been easy, but living our mission is what keeps us focused and gives us hope for the coming year. You can be assured that your credit union is strong, safe, and here to serve with passion, care, and confidence—whatever comes our way.