Community Giving

The First West team cares about the well-being of the communities we serve, working to make a difference by contributing time, expertise and money to help our neighbours. In 2014, First West contributed nearly $2.4 million and over 5,100 hours of volunteer support to the communities we serve. Reinforcing our commitment to act local, each region leads local community giving efforts to ensure our support and contributions meet each region’s distinct needs.

 

In March 2013, Envision Financial launched The Full Cupboard, a ten year, $1 million commitment, to raising food, funds and awareness about the issue of hunger in our communities.   Our employees, community partners and members come together throughout the year, collaborating on special events and programs that support eleven food banks throughout the Envision Financial Region.  Since inception, $228,223 and over 23,000 pounds of food have been donated to our food bank partners in the following communities:  Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Coquitlam, Delta, Hope, Kitimat, Langley, Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows, Mission and Surrey. 
 
In 2014, Envision Financial was proud to contribute more than $1.4 million in sponsorship, donations, in-kind contributions, volunteerism and employee giving to a variety of charitable organizations serving those in need in our communities.
 
Highlights of how our team in the Envision Financial region has come together over the last several years include:
 
  • Teaching kids how to build a business and become entrepreneurs through the PowerPlay Young Entrepreneurs® program.  All ten school districts where Envision Financial operates participate in this program.
  • Envision Financial employees volunteer on a regular basis with the Surrey Food Bank’s Senior Depot Distribution, Chilliwack Bowls of Hope and Chilliwack Care & Share Centre.
  • Supporting capacity building in the social sector through our partnership with the Envision Financial Douglas College Community Building program.
  • Our employees give back to what matters most to them.  In 2014, over $63,622 was donated to charitable organizations across the region.
  • We lace up our runners and join thousands of Fraser Valley residents each year at the Envision Financial Run for Water.  We also provide annual funding to the Run for Water Society to advance student’s learning about the critical issue of clean water around the world.  Since 2008, more than $260,000 has been raised by students who participate with the Envision A Better World: Learn, Create, Run program. 
 

“What we appreciate most about Envision Financial's sponsorship is that they don't stay on the sidelines. Envision has a holistic approach to their sponsorship, from the largest amount of staff involvement in the run, to the educational program they initiated, Envision a Better World. They care about making a difference at the community level, while helping a global cause. Envision isn't just a name attached to the Run, they're helping us move the Run from an event to an institution.”

— Ken Baerg, director and co-founder of Run for Water

Learn more about Envision Financial's community giving.

 

Valley First supports its communities through donations and sponsorships, but it also created Feed the Valley – a unique community partnership that tackles hunger in the Okanagan, Similkameen and Thompson valleys. Since launching in 2010, Feed the Valley has raised $915,085 and collected 62,627 pounds of food for food banks in the communities where Valley First operates.
 
According to the 2014 Hunger Count, released by Food Banks Canada, food banks will assist more than 97,300 individuals in B.C. in 2015 with children under the age of 18 representing 30.8% of food bank clients. 
 
“Feed the Valley is an outstanding example of an innovative community giving initiative that is addressing a significant need in the communities that Valley First serves. The InNOVAtion Awards judges were impressed by the clearly defined goal, the dedication of the Valley First team to making Feed the Valley a success and the measurable results achieved in such a short timeframe. Feed the Valley sets the standard for innovative community giving initiatives across Canada.”
 
— Linda Archer, Central 1’s senior vice president of marketing and human resources.
 
In 2014, Valley First was proud to contribute nearly $860,000 in sponsorship, donations, in-kind contributions, volunteerism and employee giving to a variety of charitable organizations serving those in need in our communities.


Highlights of how our team in the Valley First region has come together over the last several years include:
 
  • Teaching kids how to build a business and become entrepreneurs through the PowerPlay Young Entrepreneurs® program. 
  • Ensuring mobile x-ray services remain in our out-lying communities by providing an annual grant to the Lumby & District Health Services Society.
  • Valley First employees care about their communities; in 2014, more than $44,000 was donated to a variety of charities across the region.
  • Valley First employees give back to their communities by volunteering with our local food banks, literacy programs, and during our annual service program Make a Difference Days.
  • Sport and recreation is a vital component to a healthy community that’s why were proud to support Valley First Challenge Penticton now in its second year.

 

Learn more about Valley First's community giving.Enderby& District Financial’s community investment program focuses on three key areas: education, arts and culture, and its signature cause program, Feed the Valley. In 2014, Enderby & District Financial was proud to contribute $55,000 in sponsorship, donations, in-kind contributions, volunteerism and employee giving to a variety of charitable organizations serving those in need in our communities.

 



Highlights of how our team in the Enderby region have come together over the last few years include:

  • Participating on the Food Action Committee for Today (FACT) with Enderby and District Resources Centre-this group of community-minded individuals identifies and addresses the food insecurity needs of Enderby and District residents, working towards establishing multiple food sources all year round.
  • Enderby’s Youth Day is an annual event for youth of all ages. There’s lots of family fun with games, prizes and activities.
  • Sponsorship of the Kingfisher Interpretive Centre supporting more than 4,500 students’ access to eco-education and stewardship.
  • A.L. Fortune students are awarded $7,500 annually in education awards to further post-secondary studies.
  • Enderby & District Financial employees volunteer regularly at A.L. Fortune Secondary providing students with financial literacy training through its award winning program, Financial Fitness.

 

Learn more about Enderby & District Financial's community giving.

 

Island Savings has a long and proud history of giving through community partnerships to local community groups and organizations working to improve the quality of life for Island families and build strong communities across Vancouver Island and Salt Spring Island. Island Savings' partnerships support organizations that reflect the values of our members and staff, based on 3 principles: collaboration, development and supporting Island families.

Island Savings' goal is to act as a catalyst, finding ways to build momentum toward change and growth that is both inclusive and sustainable.

We have entered into long-term partnerships with the following community organizations:

  • Big Brothers Big Sisters, where our employees volunteer time for mentoring and major events, in addition to helping fund the In-School Mentoring program, which gives at-risk children activities that support positive relationships, resiliency, social development and success in school.
  • BC Cancer Foundation, where we have assisted in the construction of a patient and family support centre, a predictive cancer research centre, and a radiation innovation wing. We also have given significant financial contributions to the Inspire the World campaign.
  • Chemainus Theatre Festival, in which our partnership has resulted in The Island Savings Discover Theatre workshops, which has helped more than 2,250 children build self-esteem, self-expression and interpersonal skills through theatre.
  • Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence, where our partnership has helped create a grants for families who cannot afford youth athletic programs, an expert speaker series on health education and family oriented events including the Family Sport & Recreation Festival.
  • The Port Theatre Society, where our support has led to the creation of art workshops for students from alternative education programs, a work experience program for students, full-day field trips for elementary schools and special events for high school students.
  • Success by Six, which supports parents and communities in creating healthy, nurturing environments for young children to help them physically, socially and emotionally succeed in school.
  • Vancouver Island University, where we provide bursaries for students enrolled in Human Services programs that prepare them to make a positive difference for Island families
  • University of Victoria, where we provide bursaries for University of Victoria students enrolled in Human & Social Development programs and support the University of Victoria Family Centre, which offers a number of programs and services for families of students
  • Victoria Foundation, in which we help the Foundation in its vision of connecting people who care with causes that matter. Through this partnership, we have presented the Vital Signs report, a community check-up to measure the vitality of our community in issue areas such as Health and Wellness, Environment, Housing, and the Standard of Living.