$105,000 available for Southern Interior charities

The First West Foundation is inviting charities in the Okanagan, Similkameen to apply for funding from their endowment fund.

The First West Foundation is inviting charities in the Okanagan, Similkameen and Thompson regions to apply for funding from the Valley First Community Endowment fund.

Grant funding is available for charities with programming that enhances the resourcefulness and resiliency of people, particularly in the area of food security. This year, there is $105,000 in funding available through the endowment, marking a 40 per cent increase over last year. The deadline for submitting expressions of interest is July 17.

The Valley First Community Endowment funding is designed to complement Valley First’s Feed the Valley signature cause, which helps raise funds, food and awareness for local food banks,” said Seline Kutan, executive director of the First West Foundation.

The endowment grants allow Valley First to expand its reach beyond food banks to a greater number of charities and programming that helps enhance food security throughout the region.”

The First West Foundation is a registered charity and the philanthropic arm of First West Credit Union. It stewards $13 million in endowment funds with annual earnings and donations of more than $3 million.

The foundation uses income generated from its endowments to help improve the quality of life for British Columbians in communities served by First West Credit Union and its regional divisions, including Valley First.

The foundation distributes its earnings in the form of grants to charities throughout communities served by the credit union.

Housed within the First West Foundation, the Valley First Community Endowment fund has provided $211,000 in grants to 46 community organizations since it first began distributing grants in 2011.

Past recipients include the United Way, the South Okanagan Women in Need Society, the Peachland Wellness Centre and the Penticton & District Community Resource Society, to name a few. Programs supported included community kitchens, school-based breakfast and lunch programs and food education programming for children, youth and seniors.

By working in partnership with local organizations, the Foundation seeks to actively contribute to meaningful projects that make a positive and lasting impact upon community life.

For more information about the fund, visit their website at firstwestfoundation.ca.