Community rallies together to provide $92,275 to local charities through Island Savings’ #CommentsOfKindness

DUNCAN, B.C. – Island Savings, a division of First West Credit Union, and its philanthropic partner, First West Foundation are donating $92,275 to 261 local charities throughout Vancouver Island and the Southern Gulf Islands, as part of the Simple Generosity #CommentsOfKindness program.

The program encouraged the public to show their appreciation for local charities by nominating them through Island Savings’ Instagram and Facebook channels. For each comment mentioning a registered charity operating in Island Savings’ trade areas, the First West Foundation made a $25 donation to the charity, up to $2,500. Island Savings’ social media followers helped 13 different registered charities reach that maximum donation.

Of all charities supported, the top 10 were considered for a $25,000 donation. The Simple Generosity committee—comprised of a cross-section of employees and board members— used a defined set of criteria to select Cowichan Women Against Violence Society as the $25,000 recipient.

“This support from Island Savings will do so much to help Cowichan Valley communities continue to thrive; we’re incredibly grateful,” says Jan Bate, Cowichan Women Against Violence Executive Director. “This gift will help to reduce the waitlist for our children’s counselling program so that children will get the help they need when they need it. A huge and heartfelt thanks!”

“What struck me was Cowichan Women Against Violence Society’s vision of a community of safety and equality where everybody is seen, heard and understood, which really aligned with the comments we received from our members and followers throughout this program,” says Kendall Gross, President of Island Savings.  “It’s so great to hear the immediate impact this donation will have, and thank you for all that you do towards helping our communities thrive.”

The #CommentsOfKindness program ran in communities in B.C. served by First West Credit Union and its divisions, Island Savings, Envision Financial, Valley First and Enderby & District Financial. In total, close to 11,000 “thank-you” comments were received, resulting in $319,675 being distributed to 624 registered charities.

Company Information

About Island Savings

Island Savings is a premier provider of banking and investment services for residents and businesses throughout Vancouver Island and the Southern Gulf Islands. As a division of First West Credit Union, B.C.’s third-largest credit union with 46 branches throughout the province, Island Savings brings innovative products, an extensive branch network and local decision making to the banking experience. For more information on Island Savings, visit

About First West Foundation

The First West Foundation cares about the well-being of the communities served by First West Credit Union and its regional divisions, Envision Financial, Valley First, Island Savings and Enderby & District Financial. The Foundation, with assets over $18 million, uses income generated from its endowments to help create resourceful and resilient communities. Since its inception in 1996, the First West Foundation has donated over $7 million in grants to local community groups and projects. The Foundation grows its endowments through charitable gifts and bequests. For more information, visit

Media Contacts

Josh Juhlke

Communications Manager
c: 604.309.6066