Desert Valleys offers loans, grants, donations to survivors

Rebecca Neipp

News Review Staff Writer

Desert Valleys offers loans, grants, donations to survivorsBy REBECCA NEIPP

News Review Staff Writer

Among the local businesses leading the charge toward recovery is Desert Valleys Federal Credit Union — which has raised more than $40,000 toward donations, wrote 80 low-interest loans to members, and as of this week announced a new grant program to assist residents who survived critical damages during the recent earthquakes.

Desert Valleys CEO announced that he had procured $1 million in loans for anyone looking for immediate cash to cover incidental losses during the earthquake. These discretionary loans could be used for anything from food to rent to transportation, with first payments due in October.

Desert Valleys initiated a nationwide credit union fundraising effort. At press time, that campaign had raised $41,030. “We estimate that this will grow to exceed $50,000 by the end of the week,” said Bruen.

The credit union will be awarding grants ranging from $500 to $1,500 from these funds. Guidelines will be posted July 25, and applications will be accepted starting July 29. To ensure transparency, representatives from Navy Federal Credit Union, AltaOne Federal Credit Union and Desert Valleys will form an oversight committee.

This week, Ridgecrest Police Chief Jed McLaughlin solicited Desert Valleys’ employee foundation to assume the role of collecting community donations for the rebuilding process.

“We have set a goal of raising $100,000 to allow for up to 20 homes to receive repair dollars of up to $5,000,” said Bruen. City officials note that more than 70 homes have been deemed beyond repair, but the focus of the grants will be to help restore homes that can still be saved.

“The process will involve two committees working in conjunction to ensure funds are distributed to the community based on need and directly to the rebuilding process,” he said.

All donations will be handled through the foundation, a 501c3 with tax-deductible status.

“If you wish to contribute to this effort, please feel free to contact us at 760-446-3500.

The credit union has already purchased numerous truckloads worth of essential supplies that have been delivered to Trona residents.

Bruen noted that Desert Valleys focus was influenced partly by need, and partly because of the credit union’s historical ties to that community.

“We were established in 1946 as Searles Lake Community Federal Credit Union,” he said during his Monday interview. “We served that community faithfully, we still do today.”

He thanked the community for its outpouring of support during their efforts to raise support.

Story First Published: 2019-07-11