By Barbara Fabian
I have strong values when it comes to caring for my community. My family, friends, neighbours, colleagues and all others who pass through my life mean a great deal to me—their health and wellbeing is important. I work for Island Savings, a division of First West Credit Union—an organization that shares my same belief in fostering community. In my role as assistant branch manager, I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to connect everyday with our members, who are active participants in the neighbourhoods we serve.
It’s because of my values that I’ve been so involved with charitable giving. I’ve been donating money through the First West Foundation’s Employee Giving Campaign since Island Savings merged with First West in 2015, however I’ve been giving to the United Way for over a decade. I even managed the Island Savings’ United Way campaign for a number of years. Starting off with just $2 per pay, this has since grown into $20 pay. I love that these dollars I donate go right back into my community.
I’m also a 12-year volunteer for Junior Achievement, an organization that’s dedicated to educating young people about business, and the volunteering I do here is hugely fulfilling. I have two grown daughters now, but when I began getting involved with this non-profit they were in middle school, and I could see how the presentations they did were of great benefit to my girls.
When it comes to both charitable giving and volunteering, it’s true when they say the person doing the giving gets just as much out of the process as the people who are supposed to be benefitting. Sometimes, I feel people can forget that you can do so much with so little, so don’t ever feel bad if you’re not able to contribute much. As you become more financially comfortable, then you can afford to increase your generosity painlessly to help even more people.