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People Helping People Awards

This member-driven annual awards program brings BECU’s principle of people helping people to life. Every year, it provides us the opportunity to recognize and honor members and nonprofit organizations that devote their time to helping others.

Meet the 2021 People Helping People Award Winners

Join us in celebrating the winners of this year's People Helping People Awards. In addition to the featured award winners listed below, each of the remaining 14 finalists received a $15,000 Community Benefit Award.

Missed the event? You can still watch a recording of the livestream.

Member Volunteer of the Year Award Recipient - $50,000

QLaw Foundation 

The QLaw Foundation of Washington promotes the dignity and respect of LGBTQ+ Washingtonians within the legal system through advocacy, education, and legal assistance. QLaw Foundation envisions a world in which no LGBTQ+ person will face additional barriers to authentic living, access to justice, or equality before the law because of their queer identity.

People's Choice Award Recipient - $50,000

Bonney Lake Food Bank

The Bonney Lake Food Bank's mission is to provide equitable access to nutritious food, with dignity, to those in the community facing food insecurity. They use innovative approaches to solving complex problems by removing barriers to food access and addressing health equity disparities associated with food insecurity.

Employees' Choice Award Recipient - $30,000

Project Girl Mentoring

The Mission of Project Girl Mentoring Program is to foster the advancement of young women of color to make positive life choices and to maximize their authentic potential. They envision a community in which every young woman is empowered to make informed decisions, establish healthy relationships and be self-sufficient. Through mentorship, they nurture her goals, aspirations, and ambitions, encouraging her to flourish into her full potential.

Past PHPA Recipients' Choice Award Recipient - $30,000

Camp Agape Northwest

Camp Agape Northwest is a cost-free week-long camp for kids with cancer and their families, located near Gig Harbor, Washington. Camp Agape Northwest gives Children with cancer a chance to feel normal, siblings a chance to feel special, and parents a time to be together.

Each of the following organizations are Community Benefit Award Recipients - $15,000

Bright Futures

Bright Futures is a program at Ingraham High School with the goal of providing resources that allow the IHS Counseling team to more comprehensively support students who are experiencing poverty or housing insecurity. Bright Futures works to normalize the high school experience for all students by funding basic needs such as food, clothing, toiletries and shoes; academic needs such as study workbooks and computers; and experiential needs such as club activity fees and uniforms.

Cancer Lifeline

Cancer Lifeline offers diverse experiential support groups and classes, informational presentations, and exercise programs tailored to the unique challenges of people who have (or have had) cancer. In addition, as the survivorship rates for cancer have improved over time, Cancer Lifeline has focused on the new realities of many who are living with cancer for extended periods of time.

Centro Cultural Mexicano

Centro Cultural Mexicano strives to inspire inclusive participation by the community in all aspects of education, culture, and society by providing opportunities to create a positive future. Their vision is to build a vibrant community of empowered individuals through art and culture.

Chinook Enterprises

We believe everyone needs a place to connect and contribute…to feel valued and appreciated… and for most of us, that means a job. Chinook Enterprises is a nonprofit designed to operate as a business, but with a social mission: Supporting full participation in community life for people with disabilities or other barriers.

The Common Acre

The Common Acre restores relationships between people and the land through ecology, agriculture, and art. They work with communities and public agencies to revive land through collaborative restoration. By nurturing a network of urban farms and restoring native plant and pollinator habitat, community members grow their own produce, gain access to training, and activate shared green space; work that, by its nature, strengthens bonds to each other and to the land.

Environmental Coalition of South Seattle

ECOSS educates and empowers businesses and diverse communities to implement environmentally sustainable practices. ECOSS recognizes that racial, social and economic equity are prerequisites for environmental justice. They deliver strategies and results in stormwater compliance, pollution prevention, electrical vehicles, solar energy and recycling.

Hispanic Business Professional Association

HBPA's mission is to promote and serve Hispanic/Latino cultural, business, professional, educational interests, and social justice in the Inland Northwest. HBPA's vision is to connect members to the community to build professional and personal relationships. HBPA seeks to offer professional development opportunities, provide access to resources, develop cultural education and increase community involvement.

Lahai Health

Lahai Health is a clinic providing health care to underserved individuals and families in King and Snohomish Counties. Their services include integrated and comprehensive medical, dental, and mental health counseling. While they meet immediate healthcare needs of each person, their long-term goal is to care for the whole individual, meeting the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of each patient.


Building Resilience. Supporting Families. Transforming Together. LINC NW partners with the community to help families become stronger. The Center provides onsite and mobile support for Children, Youth, and Families through Parent Skill training, literacy supports, substance use prevention, and mentoring. LINC NW is working to build a framework for onsite mental health and family counseling services.

Pike Market Child Care and Preschool

The vision of Pike Market Child Care and Preschool is to provide an environment where students, families and educators/staff feel validated, valued and visible in our learning community. PMCCP works to ensure the dignity, worth, and uniqueness of each child, staff person, and family member is respected. They are intentional in providing an environment that is safe, inviting, challenging and full of wonder for children to develop socially, emotionally, and physically.

Port Jobs

Port Jobs supports a vibrant and equitable port-related economy, connecting community members to jobs with key airport employers, training opportunities, and career advancement within the airport sectors. They work as an equity-focused partner with community members and employers to build diverse, equitable and inclusive aviation career pathways to living wage jobs, fostering an environment where all jobseekers and workers are welcome and supported.

Sawhorse Revolution

Sawhorse Revolution's mission is to foster confident, community-oriented youth through the power of carpentry and craft. Sawhorse Revolution strives to see, acknowledge and identify the intersections of individual, cultural, and institutional racism and social injustice. They are inspired to create equitable change within a framework of “feet-on-the-ground” education, empowerment, and leadership, in and for our community.

Scarlet Road

Through holistic care, Scarlet Road offers the hope of freedom to those who have been sexually exploited. Scarlet Road opens the doors to healing, on the front lines, where exploitation is commonly seen and experienced. Following their relational approach that marks successes and points of growth, they see women and children overcome abuse, gain life skills and opportunity while building a foundation that offers stable ground for a successful future.

What's Next Washington

What's Next Washington is an organization of formerly incarcerated individuals and allies working to improve the ability of people with conviction histories to reintegrate into society and achieve long-term economic stability. What's Next Washington believes every person has a right to a life of dignity and the right to full participation in society, that those closest to a problem are closest to the solution, and collaboration with stakeholders leads to innovation.

The 2022 calendar for this program is currently in development. Please check back in spring 2022 for updated key program dates.

The BECU People Helping People Awards are granted in the following amounts:

Member Volunteer of the Year Award: (1) $50,000
Selected by a panel of judges, the award is granted to a nonprofit organization on behalf of an outstanding member volunteer.

People's Choice Award: (1) $50,000
Selected by popular vote from the community, the award is granted to one nonprofit organization.

Employees' Choice Award: (1) $30,000
Selected by popular vote from BECU employees, the award is granted to one nonprofit organization.

Past PHPA Recipients' Choice (1) $30,000
Selected by popular vote from past PHPA recipient nonprofits, the award is granted to one nonprofit organization.

Community Benefit Award: (14) $15,000 or more
Selected by a panel of judges, the awards are granted to fourteen nonprofit finalists that have been nominated by members.

BCDP Nonprofit Capacity Award:
As part of the Black Community Development Project, BECU is awarding up to $150,000 in grant funding to small, Black-led nonprofits that are trying to build capacity to deepen their work in the community.

In addition to the above listed award amounts, all PHPA recipients will receive a glide path grant of $2,500 for the two years following their initial award (glide path funding does not apply to BCDP grant recipients).

Black Community Development Project Official Rules

You may nominate any nonprofit organization you support with your time, talents or money. Nonprofits must also meet the following requirements:

  • Active 501(c)(3) tax exempt status with the IRS
  • Must have a direct impact in one of the following areas:
    • Washington state
    • County of Charleston, South Carolina
    • Oregon Counties: Benton, Clackamas, Columbia, Deschutes, Lane, Linn, Marion, Multnomah, Polk, Washington, Yamhill
    • Idaho Counties: Benewah, Bonner, Boundary, Clearwater, Idaho, Kootenai, Latah, Lewis, Nez Perce, Shoshone
  • Nonprofit work must be focused in any one of the following seven giving areas:
    • Advancing education (Pre-K through college): Access to education, mentoring, educational materials and programming, classroom, school and PTSA funding for educational programs/materials/experiences
    • Arts and culture: Equitable access to art experiences, underrepresented art and cultural organizations, cultural programs
    • Creating economic opportunity: Living-wage jobs, small and startup businesses, job quality for low-wage workers
    • Preserving health and promoting wellness: Access to healthcare, illness prevention/cure, mental health, patient support, disabilities, veteran advocacy
    • Preserving or restoring the environment: Conservation, stewardship, sustainability
    • Providing for basic human needs: Affordable housing, homelessness, senior advocacy, infant and child advocacy, food/diaper/clothing banks
    • Strengthening local communities: Neighborhoods, public safety, search and rescue, outdoor spaces, rotary/chamber

If you need help starting your application, take a look at some winning nominations from previous years. You may also find answers to frequently asked questions in our FAQ section.

People Helping People Community

The nonprofits that have previously received People Helping People Awards are an impressive group. Together, they create a community that works together in new and exciting ways. It's amazing what good comes out of a community of committed philanthropists! We encourage you to check out each organization and consider how you may be able to support them in their work.

View our list of all our past recipients


Contact BECU Social Impact Team: