We are proud to support the Okanagan Fruit Tree Project Society with a $10,000 Valley First, a division of First West Credit Union Community Endowment for their Okanagan Gleaning expansion into the community of Oliver. Thanks for having us, we had a blast picking apples! Demand for fresh fruit and vegetables grows with each season and partner organizations work to support their food insecure clients with nutritious food. This program offers a fun, inclusive, healthy, educational and flexible community building experience while the diversity of volunteers continues to astound. The Society finds a way for all to be involved if they want to be and we absolutely love that!
The Victoria Women's Transition House Society in Victoria hosts a women’s drop-in support group for women. Running weekly in partnership with the YMCA-YWCA of Vancouver Island, this trauma-informed group counseling program provides immediate, facilitated group counselling access for women recovering from the trauma of violence and domestic abuse. Thanks to a $10,000 Island Savings a division of First West Credit Union community endowment grant, women can access the group when they need for as long as they need. Thank you Victoria Women’s Transition House for providing and supporting women and children in our community.
Thank you Unity Christian School for hosting First West Foundation & Envision Financial, a division of First West Credit Union staff and board members for the MADD Canada School Assembly Program to teach youth in grades 7-12 new skills and information including the consequences of impaired driving, alternatives to driving impaired and to plan ahead and call 911 if they see a suspected impaired driver. The Over the Edge presentation was realistic, raw and impactful. Powerful! Thanks to a $5,000 grant from the Envision Financial, a division of First West Credit Union Community Endowment, five presentations will take place in local schools throughout the Envision Financial region. Canada wide, approximately 1,000,000 students will see the presentation at 2,200 schools, including approximately 100,000 youth in BC at 100 middle and high schools.
An exciting new initiative, bringing together almost 20 services for youth and their families under one friendly roof, Foundry Penticton (Youth Navigator and Peer Support Services) launched in summer 2019.
The youth resource centre will have a team of doctors, therapists, mental health and substance use counsellors, social workers and peer listeners coordinating their services at no cost for youth aged 12 to 24 years old.
The Foundation team, board members and branch staff were fortunate to have a site visit and learn more about their services and how they will impact the local community. Thanks in part to a $25,000 combined grant from the Valley First, a division of First West Credit Union Community Endowment, housed with First West Foundation and First West Credit Union Community Investment, Foundry Penticton is poised to do even greater things in the local community. We can’t wait to see the good that comes from this tremendous new initiative.
We are tremendously proud of our partnership with the YMCA of Okanagan and their Young Parent’s program. A recipient of Valley First, a division of First West Credit Union, Community Endowment funding for three years in a row, this year’s $13,500 grant is providing support, food and incidentals for up to 25 at-risk young parents who are returning to Kelowna Secondary School with children as young as six weeks old. Facing housing, mental health, life management and educational concerns, these young teen parents have often experienced drug and alcohol issues, sexual exploitation and/or abuse. The Young Parent’s program provides free food, counselling, parenting training, employment preparation, certifications, and childcare for their children who also receive developmental and nutritional support. The goal of the program is to provide comprehensive childcare while supporting the young parents in their education and future goals. Thank you for the wonderful site visit; it is inspiring to hear about young lives supported and transformed.
Another day, another great Island visit with our friends at The Men’s Centre in Nanaimo. Through a $5,837 grant through the Island Savings a division of First West Credit Union Community Endowment, The Men’s Centre is offering their Dad’s Soup program to lower income Fathers in the community. Fathers are learning girls raised with engaged, nurturing fathers develop a greater sense of competency and boys are far less likely to be aggressive and/or exhibit anti-social behaviours. Dad’s Soup is a series of six workshops designed to help fathers learn how to prepare a delicious, healthy meal for their family. The Centre also supports Dads with food preparation, counselling and housing and job interview skills. Learning about and sharing the bond of fatherhood also involves a food component and the participants receive a crockpot upon completion as well as the food prepared during the sessions.
A big thank you to Pacific Centre Family Services for sharing their time with us and highlighting the importance of taking care of our seniors in the community. With a $10,000 Island Savings a division of First West Credit Union Community Endowment grant, PCFSA continues to provide a Seniors Transportation Support Service. More than just a ride, this service provides Island seniors with low-cost transportation to medical appointments, grocery shopping and social outings. Your outreach program highlights seniors and prioritizes their independence, allowing them to remain active and vibrant in their community. We are so proud to support your work.
the Valley First, a division of First West Credit Union Community Endowment to help expand the project from Central Okanagan right down to Oliver! We joined a fun group of volunteers & managed to clean a tree from the very top to bottom! Those apple bags get heavy! Kudos to our new friends for all they do to increase food security in our region.