Over $175,000 donated to 20 interior BC charities

A total of 20 charities and community programs in interior British Columbia are better off today than they were yesterday thanks to a historic donation from a Penticton credit union.

Valley First, a division of First West Credit Union, recently distributed $177,270 to organizations in Kelowna, West Kelowna, Vernon, Penticton, Princeton and Kamloops as part of its 2022 grants.

From after-school programs to mental health associations and even cooking classes, nonprofit groups across the region are poised to win grants ranging from $2,000 to $31,500.

Community programs featured in Armstrong, Lumby and Oliver, focusing on body positivity for girls and education about the consequences of impaired driving, were also listed as part of the historic grant cycle.

“By listening to feedback from our charitable partners, we’ve reduced barriers in the grant application process, freeing up their valuable time and resources to help them do what they do best: helping our communities thrive,” said Susan Byrom, executive director of the First West Foundation.

Programs that will receive grants include music therapy at the Kelowna Visual and Performing Arts Society ($2,000), bereavement support for friends and family of overdose victims at the South Okanagan Loss Society ($4,950 $) and support for young parents at the YMCA of Okanagan ($31,500).

The complete list of subsidized organizations in 2022 is available here.

Unlike previous years, the funds awarded were “unrestricted,” according to the credit union. The change means grantees can determine where grant funds are most needed in their own operations.


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Betty K. Park