Award-winning team: From left, Open Doors for Multicultural Families’ Evelyn Guerra, co-president of the board; Cilia Jurdy, assistant; Ros Damm, co-president of the board; and Ginger Kwan, executive director. COURTESY, Kelly Robins Photo

Award-winning team: From left, Open Doors for Multicultural Families’ Evelyn Guerra, co-president of the board; Cilia Jurdy, assistant; Ros Damm, co-president of the board; and Ginger Kwan, executive director. COURTESY, Kelly Robins Photo

Kent-based Open Doors for Multicultural Families receives $50,000 through BECU’s People Helping People Awards

Nonprofits honored for making a difference in the community

  • Thursday, December 14, 2017 12:10pm
  • Business

For the Reporter

BECU recently announced the winners of its 2017 People Helping People Awards, recognizing BECU members and the nonprofits they support with their time, talents and donations.

Kent-based Open Doors for Multicultural Families (ODMF or Open Doors) received BECU’s Member Volunteer of the Year award and was granted $50,000 for its efforts providing support for diverse families with family members who have intellectual or developmental disabilities.

“The remarkable work these organizations accomplish in our communities is as inspiring as it is impactful,” said Tom Berquist, senior vice president of marketing and cooperative affairs for BECU. “These awards support and celebrate the causes our members are most passionate about. For BECU, People Helping People is more than just a phrase; it’s part of our mission, part of our culture and how we show up for our members.”

This year, more than 230 BECU members nominated their favorite, local nonprofits serving the Puget Sound region and beyond. The winning organizations are tackling a broad range of important issues including homelessness, health care, education, poverty and hunger.

By being recognized as one of BECU’s People Helping People recipients, Open Doors joins a group of 17 other nonprofit organizations that support causes BECU members are passionate about. At the ceremony, organizations received awards ranging from $15,000 to $50,000 in five categories: Member Volunteer of the Year, People’s Choice, Employee’s Choice, Past People Helping People Recipient’s Choice and Community Benefit.

People Helping People Award recipients include:

Member Volunteer of the Year Award ($50,000): Open Doors for Multicultural Families supports diverse families with members who have developmental or intellectual disabilities by providing information and programming that is both in their own language and culturally relevant.

People’s Choice Award ($30,000): First Washington was selected by popular vote amongst members on This organization is engaging today’s tech-native youth by providing them with a personal network and inspiring them to become the STEM leaders of tomorrow through education, hard work, mentorship and healthy competition.

Employee’s Choice Award ($30,000): Friends of the Children – Seattle was selected by popular vote amongst BECU employees. The nonprofit is focused on breaking the cycle of generational poverty, providing caring, professional and salaried mentors to work with kids beginning in kindergarten through their completion of high school.

Past Recipient’s Choice Award ($30,000): Outdoors for All Foundation is selected by popular vote amongst past People Helping People award recipients. This non-profit enriches the lives of children and adults with disabilities through adaptive and therapeutic outdoor recreation.

Community Benefit Awards ($15,000): Bike Works; EvergreenHealth Foundation; Homestead Community Land Trust; Kal Academy; Literacy Source; Master Gardener Foundation of Spokane County; Raven Rock Ranch; Rotary First Harvest; Scarlet Road; St. Stephen Housing Association; The Goodtimes Project; Turning Point Seattle; Urban ArtWorks; and Yoga Behind Bars.

In addition to the funds given to this year’s award winners, BECU is also granting $3,000 to all past People Helping People Award recipients for a total of $153,000 in further giving. Funding for the People Helping People Awards tripled this year due to BECU’s “Make a Purchase. Make a Difference” campaign. This two-month initiative encouraged BECU members to embrace the people helping people philosophy by helping to raise funds by simply using their BECU Debit Mastercard. For every purchase made with the card, BECU donated one cent toward the People Helping People Awards.

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