Envision Financial continues to Lead Well in 2018

The First West Foundation is pleased to announce the 2018 recipients of the Envision Financial Community Endowment Grants with $367,006.50 headed to 33 different organizations. This year grants in the Envision region are primarily for projects and programming aimed at those who are affected by a wide range of socio-economic factors. Additionally, recognizing the opportunity to strengthen the important work being done in the social services sector, grants have also been provided to support organizational development initiatives such as leadership training and workshops to help improve the skills and capacity of staff, volunteers and organizations.

Below is an overview of the 33 charities and the projects that are being funded:

Organization Name

Project Description


Grant Amount

Abbotsford Community Services Food Bank



Leadership training to provide a two day training event for staff. This is to plan for the Food Bank’s long-term strategy, including both the evolution of its programming and the eventual leadership transition of its director. Facilitating this development would be the work of an external consultant. This includes one day with the core leadership team, and another with the entire staff.



Alouette Addiction Services



Alouette Addiction Services has tripled in size, revenue and service delivery over the past five yearsStrategic Planning and Board Governance training will enable the Society to orient and position the Board for success, set our strategic goals and priorities for the next five years, and establish a clearly defined action plan for the coming 12-months.  Anticipated outcomes are: enhanced organizational effectiveness, improved ability to respond pro-actively to community needs and trends, and best use of our organization’s time, energy and resources to realize a positive benefit for our community as a whole. 

Maple Ridge


Ann Davis Transition Society



Indigenous Awareness and Cultural Training to our team of 50 staff and board to meet Act #92 of the Truth and Reconciliation Act: recommendations for training includes education on Aboriginal history, the legacy of residential schools, treaties and Indigenous rights, Indigenous law, Aboriginal-Crown relations, conflict resolution, human rights, and anti-racism.  With 26 Sto:lo Communities the high prevalence of trauma and abuse our First Nations clients experience, the nature of our work, dealing with the effects of trauma and abuse it is imperative that we have staff that are sensitive and educated on how best to work with our local indigenous population.



Burns Bog Conservation Society & Burns Bog Conservation Foundation



Governance workshop for a half-day program on governance for our two societies and the creation of a Director’s Manual. All directors and employees of the Society and the Foundation will attend the session facilitated by accomplished lawyer Anders Ourom.



Delta Community Living Society



Staff training event will support the personal and professional development of 150 full-time, part-time, casual and exempt staff. During the two-day training event 100 staff will participate; some core residential services will remain operational with appropriate staffing, and other programs will be closed for the two-day event.  The event will include keynote speakers and hands-on sessions covering topics identified by front-line staff, people we support and management. Planned topics include presentations by self-advocates, nutrition, ergonomics, employment for people with diverse abilities, and team building.



Delta Hospital and Community Health Foundation



Strategic planning session to develop a new 3-year strategic plan for Delta Hospital and Community Health Foundation.  A new strategic plan for the Foundation will build on the important community consultation and stakeholder engagement work conducted in 2016 – generously funded by First West Foundation.  A new strategic plan that aligns with our expanded charitable purposes (an outcome of the 2016 project) will guide the Foundation moving forward as we continue to raise funds for quality and innovative healthcare services at Delta Hospital.



Langley Meals on Wheels



Board and staff development to assist in the development of the structure and procedures that will translate our skills, resources and passion into an effective partnership with six board members and staff to productively, support and advance our nonprofit. By September’s AGM we will be able to share our progress with our members, volunteers, community partners, clients and their family members. Our vision and objective is that no one goes hungry in Langley, if someone needs meals we want to be there for them.  We need support and guidance to establish and execute a plan to help us achieve our objectives.



MSA Society for Community Living



Governance training and strategic planning implementation for the Board of Directors at a two day training session. The intent is to reduce Board risk, develop an understanding of governance versus operations, get clarity on Board roles and responsibilities and create awareness of the legal obligations for a Board of Directors, develop the skills to build intentional partnerships, implement the strategic plan and support the organization to expand and meet the needs of the community starting at the Board level. 

Eastern Fraser Valley


Mission Hospice Society



Volunteer training for additional bereavement volunteers to help our staff manage the increase in traumatic deaths and opioid crisis incidents. We are changing our 30 hour training to now include our Bereavement training. We are moving our training manuals to be online so we can condense the level one training and add in level 2 training. We rely on volunteers to assist us with our Palliative and Bereavement support services and now we need them even more with so many traumatic cases.



Mission Literacy in Motion Association Volunteer Recruitment & Retention funding to hold two volunteer tutor sessions and two volunteer retention gatherings per year. The objective of the Volunteer Recruitment and Retention program is to provide training for people who have agreed to donate their time to tutor low literacy learners. The training includes strategies for tutoring in a one-to-one scenario; and leading a small group of learners. Once we have recruited volunteers we also need to retain them. The funding for this aspect of our project will enable us to provide support through social and professional gatherings, continual education and information, and assistance with transportation. Our volunteer drive and recruitment program includes raising awareness through community outreach, networking, advertising in our local paper and magazines, and various social media platforms. Mission $2,000
Peace Arch Hospice Society Volunteer Recruitment – Training – Vests Funding for volunteer recruitment and training as well as vests for our Hospice Visitation Team.   Each year we have two Level 1 trainings, one Level 2 and one Level 3 training.  We expect to teach approximately 32 volunteers each year and all must have a minimum of Level 1 - some will go on to take Level 2 and Level 3 depending where they chose to volunteer.  Hospice beds are doubling in our community from 7 beds to 15 in 2019 and we expect this to increase our volunteer requirements by at least 20%. White Rock $10,000
Ridge Meadows Hospice Society Healing Touch training program supporting people life-limiting illness, their caregivers and those who are grieving the death of a loved one.  Eight new volunteers will complete extensive training from Healing Beyond Borders, a Healing Touch International accredited certification program. The training consists of two levels with each including approximately 18 hours of instruction, 10 hours of mentorship and numerous practice hours per Fraser Health guideline requirements. Ridge Meadows $6,123.61
SOS Children’s Village BC SOS Children’s Village BC Infrastructure Support SOS Children’s Village BC enhanced the service delivery in the past years.  We increased our staff members to 18-full-time and 12- part-time employees.  The office infrastructure is not adequate for the staff to work efficiently. The direct service delivery to clients is most valued, time spent with our children and youth has the highest priority.  At the same time we need to document our work, collect data and write reports. Suitable office furniture and new computers with the latest software will give us the efficiency to allocate our time in the best possible way. Surrey $9,903.84
Tamitik Status of Women Support Services programming renovation project will replace existing carpet with new linoleum. We recently were forced to move this program; linoleum will improve our ability to keep a safe and hygienic environment for our clients, volunteers and staff as we are sorting through foods that are sometimes rotting, linoleum flooring is easier to clean. Kitimat $7,792
Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Fraser Valley In School Mentoring program supports children aged 7 to 14 years and engage all ages of mentors from secondary school to seniors in Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Agassiz, Hope, Mission and Maple Ridge. Children referred to the program are often facing adversity such as mental health, domestic violence, poverty and family structure changes; mentors develop organic friendships that boost self-esteem, encourage positive coping strategies and decrease risk.  549 children will participate in the 2018-2019 in school mentorship program. Abbotsford $20,000
Abbotsford Community Services – Foundry Walk-in counselling program for youth 12-24 years old in the Fraser Valley.  This service provides a drop-in counselling session that utilizes a strength based approach.  The youth and counsellor collaboratively address the topic the youth identifies as most pressing in their life.  The immediacy of the service and commitment free nature removes common barriers that often keep youth from accessing support services.  Through a low-barrier, easily accessible intervention it can prevent escalation of the situation and the youth can develop resiliency, coping strategies and be empowered to be leaders in their own health journey.  Foundry supports over 1,000 youth annually with approximately 300 accessing walk-in counseling services. Abbotsford $15,000
Chilliwack Bowls of Hope Vegetable program Chilliwack Bowls of Hope provides a hot healthy lunch every day to more than 800 students in Chilliwack.  Funding will enable the purchase of fresh local organic vegetables.  Unfortunately, many children in our community are identified as attending school hungry and this number appears to be rising each year.  Feedback from schools say those children would not otherwise be able to concentrate, comply and sustain the day.  Chilliwack $12,000
Chilliwack Community Services Connections Youth Homelessness Initiative is a partnership with the Government of Canada – Homelessness Partnership Strategy who has provided $50,000 towards a 38 week program dedicated to helping 12 homeless youth in Chilliwack.  Support staff will assist youth to obtain housing and get connected with supports that will enable them to have permanent housing, income supports, reconnection with education or work and social, health and trauma based services.  Support will also be provided for housing set up costs, transportation costs and food to secure and maintain housing and get linkages to other supports for long-term housing and health.  Chilliwack $19,775
Sardis Doorway for Mothers & Children Society Mother’s Coordinator Outreach worker expansion will provide an increase in direct service from one day per week to three days per week running August 15-June 20, 2019.  The original pilot program began September 2017, has proven to be invaluable to the women who have received support.  The Outreach Worker has also helped to plan and deliver workshops and add another layer of support to the Doorway program.  The program currently serves 38 families which includes 75 children; a waitlist of 27 will be addressed through the expansion. Chilliwack $7,000
Kateslem Youth Society Lunch Program and Healthy Snack program serves 120 youth in Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam providing pre-made lunches and healthy snacks to children who can grab and go thus removing the stigma of food insecurity. The program is held daily basis throughout the school year. Kateslem works with children who have mental health issues, autism, learning difficulties, cultural barriers and children that chose to isolate themselves. Coquitlam $5,000
ACCESS Youth Outreach Services Society Youth Engagement Worker program (YEW) supports comprehensive one to one youth interactions with 80+ youth aged 12-23 in the Tri-Cities area who experience mental health issues, substance misuse, exploitation, alimentation, isolation, and in need of linkages to community supports and life skills. The YEW program involves one FTE and one PT FTE worker that enhances participants’ self-esteem, sense of belonging, community connection, self-confidence, self-worth, life skills, and knowledge they are cared for. The workers will provide ongoing one to one in-depth support. In addition, an after-school program will be offered. Coquitlam $20,000
Nutrition, Students, Teachers, Exercising with Parents (NSTEP) Eat Walk Live in Delta will reach 600 elementary school children during this 10 month intervention program beginning in September 2018.  The program is designed to help students, parents and teachers learn valuable health education that will last a lifetime. Many people find it difficult to make healthy choices, resulting in unnecessary problems that often lead to chronic disease.  NSTEP is a perfect fit to use the school environment to build healthy happy school communities, not just for today, but for future generations. Delta $5,000
Boys and Girls Clubs of South Coast BC The Academic Enhancement Program is offered by five Clubs: Surrey, Langley, and three in Delta (North Delta, Ladner, and Tsawwassen), which together serve over 1,250 kids annually. Each Club provides a range of programs in a safe, supportive setting (i.e., homework clubs, study rooms, one-to-one tutoring in specific subjects, and access to computers). The programs focus individual attention on those children who need it the most. Staff work in conjunction with local schools to target kids who are struggling academically and could particularly benefit from one-to-one support. This attention can be especially critical for kids who don’t have that support at home, and for those who don’t have English as a first language. Delta $20,000
Fraser Region Community Justice Initiatives The Restorative Action Program is generating school cultures which respond to conflict and harm in restorative ways.  It works to make youth aware of their responsibility for harm, to be accountable for their actions, and to arrive at solutions that are acceptable to all involved. By training conflict resolution specialists within the school systems, and by fostering a restorative atmosphere, Langley schools are becoming healthier and more productive places.  Fraser Region CJI has entered into a strategic partnership with the Langley School District. Langley $15,000
Langley Senior Resources Society The Outreach Program provides essential services to seniors and their families in time of need including information and referrals, connecting seniors with the right resources for their unique situation, and if necessary, advocating on their behalf. Outreach workers also deliver the Better at Home Program, which provides light housekeeping, transportation, grocery shopping and friendly visiting services in order to assist seniors in maintaining their independence. Funding enables an increase in service for an additional 250 clients (currently serving 350 with a waitlist of more than 100 seniors). Langley $20,000
BC Association of Family Resource Programs In the spirit of Reconciliation, funding will enable the design and delivery of Indigenous Cultural Humility Training to family support practitioners working in the communities of Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Coquitlam, Delta, Hope, Langley, Maple Ridge, Mission, Surrey, Kitimat.  Over the Fall and Winter 2018, we will deliver a four-hour online webinar to a co-hort of 24 learners. We expect to deliver this four times and impact 384 practitioners and 3,750 unique adults and 7,500 unique children.   Langley $16,000
Union Gospel Mission The Mission Outreach program serves families and individuals struggling with the effects of poverty and addiction in Mission. The program provides a variety of services to holistically improve the lives of those in need, focusing on empowering those we serve to make connections with resources in the community that increase their ability to make healthy choices that support their physical, mental, and emotional health. Our aim is to be a touchstone for healthier individuals and families, helping break the cycle of poverty and addiction in the city of Mission. The program directly serves 469 persons and interacts with more than 791. Mission $11,000
Board of Education: Surrey School District No. 36 Triumph over Trauma refugee support program supports children who have experienced adverse childhood experiences (ACES) on their journey to Canada such as war, verbal/physical abuse. More than 700 refugee students attend Surrey schools.  Expressive arts therapy allows students a creative outlet to begin to process their inner worlds and triumph over their trauma as they integrate into their new educational and cultural environments. Surrey $20,000
Surrey Hospital & Outpatient Centre Foundation The “So You Are Out of the Hospital...” Post CAPSU Step-Down and Step-Out Program is being specifically designed by Parents in Residence working in collaboration with Fraser Health clinicians to address challenges that many families have been facing post discharge from the hospital.  This will be a first of its kind in BC.  This three-week support program for parents will be held in Abbotsford, Surrey and the Tri-Cities. Each session will deal with a distinct aspect of “next steps” which will help build resilience within the families who are undergoing mental health journeys with their children.  This program will also add capacity to the menu of community services available to help families dealing with acute mental illness in one or more of their children.  The Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Stabilization Unit (CAPSU) serves young people from across the Fraser Health region, aged six to 17, who need a five- to seven-day stay in hospital for stabilization.  Surrey $18,475
Arts Umbrella Association Act Your Art Out is an after-school program, offering weekly free visual and performing arts classes to up to 90 vulnerable and at-risk children, aged 6-12, in three locations identified as vulnerable neighbourhoods by the Surrey School District. Workshops and theatrical pieces safely explore and unpack difficult issues the students are exposed to, including diversity, racism, poverty, and gang-related violence. Classes provide a safe space, build positive relationships with supportive peers and adult mentors, and foster enhanced self-esteem, physical and emotional health and wellbeing, teamwork, and opportunities for personal success through each student finding their own creative voice.  Surrey $10,000
NightShift Street Ministries Society The meal service trailer is used as a serving platform to provide over 100 meals a night, 365 days a year, to people facing homelessness, mental and physical illness, addiction, drug and alcohol issues in Surrey, Whalley and in 2018,  Langley. We support the most vulnerable with hot meals, warm clothing, conversation, basic nursing and counseling to provide a holistic approach to alleviate poverty and homelessness and to offer hope and a sense of purpose for all people.  Funding provides for the replacement of the existing broken 10 year old unit. Surrey $11,337.05
Surrey Crime Prevention Society

Civic Pride is a partnership with Surrey and Delta Schools engaging grade 7 students from feeder schools to high schools with former students who have been involved with recent violence and gang activity in Surrey and Delta.

Delivered over 8 months, the program works with high risk students and new Canadians who participate in a number of interactive activities using technology to develop an understanding of the importance of giving back and being engaged in their community.

Surrey $15,000


Umoja Operation Compassion Society


Umoja Mental Wellness Initiative is a newly proposed program to ensure a trauma-informed service delivery model is available for newcomer immigrants and refugees in Surrey’s communities of Guildford, Whalley and Newton/Fleetwood.  Umoja’s clients have faced and are still dealing with, many different trauma specific mental health issues and depression barriers which puts refugee children, youth and parents at a higher risk for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Refugee families are already facing multiple barriers when settling in a new country such as language, employment, housing, financial stress, isolation.  The majority of families that Umoja services come with varying experiences of trauma from such things as being displaced, living in refugee camps, experiencing war/conflict, losing friends/family members and settling in a new country. The Mental Wellness Initiative ensures staff are equipped to facilitate trauma informed programming that recognizes and addresses mental wellness. Additionally, through counsellor facilitated sessions, families will have the opportunity to receive support to understand, recognize and reduce the effects of trauma and stigma associated with mental health within the newcomer community. Surrey $15,000