Island Savings grants $109,950 to local charities, adding to historic year of giving through the First West Foundation

DUNCAN, B.C. – The First West Foundation, through its Island Savings Community Endowment, is granting $109,950 this year— a total of 14 grants— to deserving charities throughout Vancouver Island and the Southern Gulf Islands.

Grants from this fund are aimed at promoting resilient and sustainable Island communities.

Here are the organizations receiving grants:

  • 1000 x 5 Children’s Book Recycling Project Society
  • Literacy Now Cowichan Society
  • Greater Victoria Eldercare Foundation
  • Stigma- Free Society
  • Take A Hike Youth at Risk Foundation
  • Ladysmith Family and Friends Society
  • Nanaimo Child Development Centre Society
  • Nanaimo Community Kitchens
  • SWOVA Community Development and Research Society
  • NEED2
  • Victoria Disability Resource Centre
  • Victoria Restorative Justice Society
  • Vancouver Island Providence Community Assoc.
  • Connection’s Place Society

2020 has proved a be a historic year of giving for the Foundation, the philanthropic arm of First West Credit Union and all its divisions— Island Savings, Envision Financial, Valley First and Enderby & District Financial. Highlights include:

  • $687,620 donated through annual endowments to local non-profits where First West Credit Union operates
  • $431,005 set aside for additional granting needs in 2020 as needed
  • $1 million for First West’s Community Response Fund, launched to support local charities through the pandemic

In total, the First West Foundation has gifted over $2.1 million to local non-profits in 2020—the highest amount in its history.

“The credit union mantra has always been about neighbour helping neighbour and this year has highlighted that even more for us,” says Susan Byrom, executive director of the First West Foundation.   “Our communities need us right now and, we couldn’t be prouder to see First West stepping up in the community to help these vital organizations continue the incredible work they do.”

Since 2016, the Island Savings Community Endowment has provided $422,762 in grant funding for 75 projects.

Click here to view details on the organizations and programming receiving grants in 2020.

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

Media Contacts

Josh Juhlke

Communications Manager
c: 604.309.6066