by Emily Ostrowski
At YWCA Clark County we continually stress how important support from our community is in helping us live out our mission, serve the people of Clark County, and help them achieve greatness. Every contribution that is made by volunteers, grantors, sponsors, and community partners is felt and appreciated, which is why we love when we’re able to turn the spotlight back on those who’ve helped us throughout the years.
Michelle Thor, Vice President of Outreach and Social Responsibility for Columbia Credit Union (CCU), has been involved in furthering YWCA Clark County’s mission for many years. Thor worked for five years for YWCA Clark County in marketing and special events. During that time she worked closely with CCU to help plan and coordinate our benefit luncheons. Columbia Credit Union has been a longtime community partner, and is once again a sponsor of our upcoming 21st Annual Empower Luncheon.
Seeing the ways in which CCU lived up to their tagline “Make Life Better” impressed Thor, and when a position in their marketing department opened up, she felt confident she would continue to work somewhere that put stock in making a difference. “When the opportunity to join Columbia Credit Union’s Marketing Department came up, I knew their values aligned with mine, and that in my new role I would continue to support the mission of the YWCA and help make life better for our members and the communities we serve,” Thor said.
Indeed Columbia Credit Union has been directly involved with many of YWCA Clark County events and programs. In addition to being a sponsor of our luncheon since its inception, staff have volunteered for our Y’s Care Children’s Program, and they have hosted several drives and giving trees in their branches to support the women, children and families we serve.
When asked about why CCU chooses to participate in these events and support local non profits, Thor stressed the importance of community:
As a local, trusted, member-owned financial institution, Columbia Credit Union has always been focused on partnering with organizations that promote a healthy community. We have always felt it is important to give back to the communities where our members live and work. We feel it’s the right thing to do. YWCA Clark County provides important resources for those in need, and we are proud to support your fundraising events and great work that make life better for so many people.
This year’s luncheon theme is “Celebrating Greatness”, so in that spirit we asked Thor about a time when someone helped her discover her greatness:
My family raised me to care about others, so compassion has been ingrained in me from my youth. The YWCA helped shape my career and who I am today. When I started working at the YWCA, I had just graduated from college, and the women leaders and co-workers at the YWCA empowered me to take my education and skills and apply it to my work. Their strength and guidance reinforced my belief that I could make a difference for others. It also helped build my confidence as a strong leader. They encouraged me to push beyond my comfort zone and follow my passions. I am forever grateful to the YWCA for the foundation they provided not only for my career, but for deepening my value of giving to others.
We thank Michelle Thor for all the work she’s done both at YWCA Clark County and Columbia Credit Union to improve the lives of those in our community, and look forward to many more years of partnering with CCU.
Click here to register for our upcoming Empower Luncheon Wednesday, September 27th at the Hilton in Vancouver.