PENTICTON, B.C. – Valley First, a division of First West Credit Union, today announced a combined donation totalling $35,000 to help individuals and families impacted by the ongoing wildfire situation in B.C.
The credit union is donating $15,000 to the Central Okanagan Foundation’s 2023 Wildfire Response Fund, $10,000 to Mamas for Mamas’ fire support response program in Kelowna, $2,500 to Kelowna’s Gospel Mission as they provide supplies to evacuees, $2,500 to the Central Okanagan Food Bank in Kelowna, $2,500 to the Cawston/Keremeos Food Bank and $2,500 to the Kamloops Food Bank. The funds will support ongoing efforts to meet the urgent needs of affected community members.
“Our community partners are making a massive impact for our friends and neighbours who have been suddenly displaced by the devastating wildfires, and as a member-owned cooperative we want to empower the incredible work they’re doing right now,” says Simon Mills, Valley First’s Acting President. “My family and I have been forced to evacuate our own home because of the wildfires, so this is very real and emotional for me. It’s incredibly moving to see so many local organizations including my own step up generously to support the relief work in a time of emergency, and I say this with firsthand perspective.
“Valley First is backed by an amazing team across the province at First West Credit Union— we really are in this together with the whole community,” adds Mills. “I can’t say enough how immensely thankful I am and everyone here at Valley First is to the firefighting crews, first responders and volunteers working tirelessly to protect our homes and care for those who are impacted.”
With approximately 250,000 members across B.C., First West is leveraging its collective strength to donate to the cause and invites other credit union members, employees and members of the community from across the province who have the means to join First West and Valley First in contributing.
“Thank-you Valley First! We are overwhelmed by the generosity of our community members in the Central Okanagan, throughout Canada and all over the world (from Maine, USA to Holland),” says Cheryl Miller, Interim Executive Director at the Central Okanagan Foundation. “Every contribution, no matter the size, will play a pivotal role in helping our community recover. In the face of adversity, the Central Okanagan community has consistently demonstrated its strength and resilience.”
To donate to either of these organizations, follow the links below:
- Mamas for Mamas’ Fire Support Response Program
- Central Okanagan Foundations’s 2023 Wildfire Response Fund
- Kelowna’s Gospel Mission
- Central Okanagan Food Bank
- Cawston/Keremeos Food Bank- 250-492-4788
- Kamloops Food Bank