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'The Providence Helping Hands Fund offers hardworking caregivers in our community financial assistance when they need it most,' said Providence FCU President/CEO Shirley Cate.

Providence Federal Credit Union (Providence FCU) on Jan. 18 announced a $50,000 contribution to the Providence Helping Hands Fund in support of the fund's mission to provide for Providence caregivers facing significant financial hardship.

The announcement follows the credit union's pledge last fall to match dollar-for-dollar individual donations up to $50,000 made to the fund to ensure its long-term sustainability.

PHOTO COURTESY: PROVIDENCE - Providence Federal Credit Union and Helping Hands Fund supporters gather for the check presentation."The Providence Helping Hands Fund offers hardworking caregivers in our community financial assistance when they need it most," said Providence FCU President/CEO Shirley Cate. "When we learned that the fund was itself in need of contributions due to increased demand within the Providence family the last few years, we set a goal to match up to $50,000 to encourage giving. The fact that we met our goal is special because it represents so much more than a check. It represents the entire Providence community coming together to support one another."

Each year, the Providence Helping Hands Fund provides confidential support (financial and other resources) to eligible Providence caregivers who are struggling and need temporary help paying rent or utilities, escaping domestic abuse, covering medical bills, providing food for their families, or meeting other basic needs. In 2016 alone, the fund provided roughly $200,000 in financial assistance to 220 caregivers. Unforeseen illness and housing were among the most pressing needs last year.

According to Tam Everard, Development Coordinator for Providence Portland Medical Foundation, which administers locally the Helping Hands Fund and the health system's other charitable initiatives, the demand for assistance has never been greater.

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