The First West Foundation was established in 1996 by the management and Board of Directors of First West Credit Union. Our purpose is to support initiatives that enhance the quality of life in our communities and to create capital for sustainable community support by encouraging philanthropy. Since inception, the Foundation has proudly distributed over $2.3 million in grants to charities.
How do you bring about transformative change in teens? How do you build empathy and a better awareness of the lives and challenges of those around you? And how do you do all this in just one day? The answer is a workshop called Challenge Day. Over 270 students and 80 adult volunteers in Mission recently attended one of three Challenge Day workshops, thanks in part to a $9,700 grant from the Envision Financial Community Endowment housed with the First West Foundation.
Reach Child and Youth Development Society is an organization that has been supporting children with special needs and their families for over fifty years. Over that time, they’ve seen the number of children who need their services grow significantly and they now need a new home to provide those services effectively. Thanks to a $25,000 grant from the Envision Financial Community Endowment housed with the First West Foundation, Reach is getting closer to their goal of raising $4 million.
Mental illness is a hidden issue in our communities that usually only surfaces when tragedy strikes. Most would be surprised to learn that nearly 650 children and youth in the Fraser Valley suffer from mental illness each year. Now, thanks in part to funding from the Envision Financial Community Endowment toward the Adolescent Day Treatment Program (ADT) at Surrey Memorial Hospital, some of our most vulnerable youth have the support they need toward the road to mental health and wellness.
A $7,000 grant has been awarded from the Valley First Community Endowment towards the Community Kitchens outreach program of the Junction Literacy Centre in Vernon. This program teaches individuals to shop and cook nutritiously on a budget. Participants get genuine life skills that benefit themselves and their families. The program is tailored for families, seniors and youth. Participants meet to learn how to cook new recipes, learn new skills and then take their meals home.