Envision Financial Leads Well distributing $355,387

The First West Foundation grants $355,387 to 31 charities in the Envision Financial region in 2017

The First West Foundation is pleased to announce the 2017 recipients of the Envision Financial Community Endowment Grants. 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 or volunteers.

Below is an overview of the 31 charities and the projects that are being funded:

Organization Name

Project Name


Grant Amount

White Rock South Surrey Hospice Society

Volunteer Recruitment and Training

White Rock, South Surrey


Funding for volunteer recruitment and training.  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%.

Westcoast Family Centres Society

Work/Life Balance Training for Social Service Professionals

Coquitlam, Maple Ridge


Funding to support training for professionals serving front line clients within the communities of Maple Ridge and Tri-Cities.  While all of us do outstanding work in our respective areas of social services, it is rare to receive training that focuses on the well-being of the service provider.  Through 2 dynamic and interactive trainings, up to 60 of our collaborative partners in these two communities will look closely at their own personal wellness, linking this education and self-awareness to strengthening their individual resolve, their team dynamics and their community practice.  Ultimately, these workshops are preventative in nature, looking to minimize staff leaves, burnout, and vicarious trauma in the helping professions.

Kitimat Seniors Association*

Computer Replacement



Funding to upgrade the membership computers at the Snowflake Senior’s Centre.  The association currently has three computers; one desktop and two laptops.  The computers are used for various tasks such as public computer access, maintaining up to date membership listings and general administration, creation of monthly newsletter, applying for grants, and helping seniors file income tax returns.  The laptops are also used by our board members, most specifically our secretary and treasurer.  Our current computers are now over 10 years old.

Cerebral Palsy Association of British Columbia

Strategic Planning & Development



Funding for our Strategic Plan implementation and development process, in order to maintain our strength and relevance as an organization, and sustain and further our growth and success over the past four years.  The specific activities of this project include in-person focus groups and strategic planning to expand our presence and services into other areas in the Lower Mainland (Delta, Surrey, Langley, Abbotsford, Chilliwack and Coquitlam).

Read Right Society

Increasing Organizational Capacity and Sustainability



Funding to increase organizational infrastructure, capacity and sustainability.  We have identified learning topics to guide us on our journey to strengthen our organization, allowing us to have greater community impact.  They include: Non-profits serving low-income populations; Risk assessment and strategic planning (including internal and external factors); Board engagement; Marketing and fundraising; Volunteerism; Social Enterprise. Our board and staff will participate in the sessions over 12 months, then spend four months reviewing and strategizing with knowledge gained.

Encompass Support Services Society*

LYRC Youth Empowerment Project



Funding to assist our Langley Youth Resource Centre (HUB) in developing young leaders focused on a strong community.  Currently, we host a Youth Steering Committee which consists of 6-8 youth who act as a sounding board for the youth in the community to engage services needed by youth in the Langley Youth HUB.  When youth see the impact of their voice, it empowers them to bring forward ideas and become leaders in the community.  

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Langley

Community Based One to One Mentoring



Funding to support over 110 at risk children and youth in Langley in our one-to-one community based mentoring program. In our community based mentoring program, children aged 7-18 are matched to volunteer mentors and spend approximately 2-4 hours a week together engaging in shared interests. This preventative program promotes resiliency in children by providing opportunities to develop healthy behaviour, effective interpersonal relationships, and civic engagement.

Fraser Region Community Justice Initiatives Association

Restorative Action Program



Funding to support our Restorative Action Program for the 2017-2018 school year. This 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. 

DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society

Child and Youth Empowerment Camps

Delta, Langley, Surrey


Funding for our summer (July, August) and spring (March) camps for 2017-2018. The camp is offered at no cost to children aged 5 to 12 years who have experienced or witnessed abuse and/or have difficulty with emotional regulation, self-esteem and peer relationships. The camps will meet the needs of 175-200 children in Langley, Surrey and Delta through the therapeutic curriculum and activities. Children will gain skills in emotional regulation, and positive communication and families will build capacity in positive functioning.

Fraser Canyon Hospice Society

Camp Skylark



Funding to support our long-weekend bereavement camp for children aged 7 to 12 years of age, who have lost a loved one, commencing, September 15, 16 and 17, 2017.  In addition to traditional camp activities (such as archery, hiking, etc.) Camp Skylark is unique, in that we offer bereavement activities specialized for children in the respective developmental age groups.  Such activities include lantern making in honor of their loved one, a lantern ceremony, memory circles, sharing circles, and music therapy. 

DRS Earthwise Society

Growing Connections



Growing Connections reaches out to youth aged 13 – 24, whose families have been impacted by mental health, trauma, or substance use issues, to improve health and well-being through connecting with other people and with nature by working together on farm and garden activities. The program will benefit 30 youth and their families, and provide a safe and supportive environment that encourages physical activity, healthy eating, individualized goal setting, and shared achievements.  Activities will take place at the Earthwise Gardens at various locations in Delta and at the Earthwise Farm in Agassiz. Funding will be specific to Delta.   

Reach Child and Youth Development Society

Building for Children Together



Reach Society’s main facility in East Ladner is outdated, remote and not on a bus route. In order to develop capacity to help support the growing number of children with special needs, we have been fundraising for the $5.7 million Building for Children Together capital campaign to construct a 21,612 square foot child development center in the heart of Lander. This center will be served by public transit and is close to schools, library, community centre, Boys and Girls Club and other community agencies. $5.2 million has been raised to date. The building is currently under construction and once completed will provide us with the capacity to double the number of children with special needs and their families that we currently support.

Big Sisters of BC Lower Mainland

Go Girls! Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds Program in Coquitlam




Go Girls! offers marginalized girls the benefits of mentoring and discussion around physical activity, balanced eating habits and making healthy choices in a safe, small group environment.  Research reveals that girls’ self-esteem plummets at an earlier age compared to boys, with high rates of depression, self-harm and disordered eating. Girls’ rates of physical activity drop by 13 years of age as peer relationships and body image become more influential.

Kateslem Youth Society*

Garden Boxes and Greenhouse




Funding to enlarge our garden project. We will use the funding to expand from three garden boxes to five. We will begin to build a greenhouse so we can grow vegetables year round. The gardens are located centrally at Como Lake Middle School where Kateslem after school programs share the responsibility of managing the gardens. We begin in early September and continue until we harvest in June. These gardens help our children and youth to learn to cultivate habits of good nutrition and reasonable less expensive life style. They learn to work together and produce.

Alouette Substance Abuse Programs

Elementary School Prevention and Education Program

Maple Ridge



Funding for a prevention program focused on Grade 6 and 7 youth in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows. The program raises awareness of the risks involved in experimenting with drugs and alcohol, but does so in a unique way. We deliver interactive sessions with the students that help identify reasons youth may make risky decisions, and how to get out of unsafe situations. We build on strengths such as self-worth, resiliency, inclusiveness and community. These tools are proven to help youth manage stresses such as peer pressure and to reduce the risk of using drugs and alcohol.


CEED Centre Society*

Home Base Outreach Services

Maple Ridge



Funding for a hidden population of 17 street-entrenched youth, aged 13-18, who are experiencing trauma, mental illness and homelessness. As an extension of our pilot outreach program, we will build on the trust we have established with these timid youth to strengthen the relationship to the point where they will accept participation in other programs, such as our mental health support and mentoring programs. We will begin with hampers/street kits/first aid and encourage them to create a home base at the CEED Centre. Ultimately, we seek to connect them with long-term housing and services.


Vancity Community Foundation on behalf of Surrey Poverty Reduction Coalition

Connecting Community to Surrey Youth Leaving Care




Funding to engage the entire community in supporting young people transitioning out of government care in Surrey. This phase of the project will engage youth in / from care to guide the project, including identifying 2 -3 priority activities that will make a real difference in the lives of youth from care. The planned activities will have been prioritized at a weekend retreat involving about 25 youth in and from care, planned and facilitated by a Youth Advisory Group. We will then convene working groups to take action on priority activities. Finally, we will host a community forum to profile the issues and solutions for Surrey youth aging out of care.


Quest Outreach Society

Food Recovery & Redistribution Program



Funding will facilitate Quest’s Food Recovery and Redistribution Program which recovers quality surplus food and necessities from suppliers at all levels of the food chain and redistributes these goods to food insecure individuals in Surrey to help increase client’s physical health, quality of life, and mental well-being, while reducing food waste and increasing environmental sustainability.

The YMCA of Greater Vancouver

Youth Mindfulness Program

Surrey, Chilliwack


Funding to deliver the YMCA Youth Mindfulness program to 88 youth. The program helps youth who are struggling with mild to moderate anxiety, and as they are not yet suicidal or in crisis, they do not qualify for programs covered by the medical system.  The program will fill this gap in services and provide youth with coping skills and tools to overcome their anxiety before it becomes debilitating. It also provides a de-stigmatized environment where youth can build community, develop positive peer relationships and learn from adult mentors.

Chilliwack Community Services

Young Parents Life Skills Program



The Young Parents Program provides services to young pregnant and parenting youth, ages 13-23.  Funding to partner with our Get Stuff Done program, and offer 2 - 13 week hands on life skills program to begin in October of 2017.  This experiential learning program focuses on cooking, cleaning, household management, budgeting and financial literacy, community resources and employment-readiness.  This will provide the foundation for the youth to learn the skills to manage their households and enable them to pursue bigger employment and/or educational goals. 

Chilliwack Community Services

Young Parents Life Skills Program



The Young Parents Program provides services to young pregnant and parenting youth, ages 13-23.  Funding to partner with our Get Stuff Done program, and offer 2 - 13 week hands on life skills program to begin in October of 2017.  This experiential learning program focuses on cooking, cleaning, household management, budgeting and financial literacy, community resources and employment-readiness.  This will provide the foundation for the youth to learn the skills to manage their households and enable them to pursue bigger employment and/or educational goals. 

Chilliwack Restorative Justice and Youth Advocacy Association

Classroom Conversations



Funding to enhance our capacity to deliver 4 sets of 12 week long Classroom Conversations (circles) starting in September 2017. The circles will be facilitated in schools (grades 3-9) with around 30 students per circle.  The program consists of dialogues and activities around topics such as friendship, inclusion, equality, healthy relationships, emotional awareness and compassion.

Chilliwack Bowls of Hope

Fresh Fruit Program



We are seeking funding to allow us to be able to double our ability to provide fresh fruit to the children on our program.  Children who come to school hungry or without a nourishing lunch will be given the opportunity to have a different variety of fruit provided and sourced locally every week.  Currently we provide fresh fruit every second week, however with our awareness of the demographic needs of the children and the sustenance fresh produce will bring we would like to offer this to the schools every week.

United Way Fraser Valley – Vibrant Abbotsford

Project Phase 2: Poverty Reduction Strategy



Funding for the second phase of our three phase Poverty Reduction Strategy Project, a project taking place in and for the City of Abbotsford.  Vibrant Abbotsford will work toward achieving this goal by championing the facilitation and execution of drafting a poverty reduction strategy.  This project will include collaboration of community, regional, and national stakeholders, leading to a plan that will ultimately build solutions for root causes of poverty into Abbotsford's social and economic planning.

Abbotsford Youth Commission*

Life 2.0 Youth Program



Funding for 9 weeks of life skills programming starting in July for up to 50 youth aged 12 – 18 in Abbotsford. Participants will be youth who attend our Summer Drop-in as well as youth referred from our community partners. There will be program delivery with individual themes featuring life skills and health promotion. Themes will include: leadership, social media, employment readiness, physical health, emotional health, financial literacy nutrition, cooking etc.

Fraser Valley Child Development Society

Family Enrichment Program



Funding to facilitate an 8 week counselling group starting in October for up to 10 single mothers with complex challenges including mental health, poverty, employment and transportation and their (up to) 14 children, of which their children under three years of age are currently receiving FVCDC early intervention services. The Family Enrichment Program will focus on building protective factors which are the foundation for strengthening families, including parental resilience, social connections, reliable support when families is in crisis, child/parent connection through parenting and child development coaching, as well as building social and emotional competence for the children.

Abbotsford Hospice Society

AHS Child and Youth Camps



In 2016, we hosted a pilot camp for children who have experienced loss.  This camp was a tremendous success and we are receiving more requests from the community and realizing a greater need to increase our capacity to children and teens and host two overnight camps plus two equine-facilitated day camps

Alexandra Neighbourhood House

Creative Expressions

White Rock, South Surrey


Funding to develop Creative Expressions: a year-long, youth-driven creative arts project for youth in South Surrey/White Rock, aged 13-24, who have experienced significant challenges such as mental health and/or substance use issues, poverty, family conflict, or a lack of social supports.  These youth will have the opportunity to vision and lead structured, creative projects that promote positive alternatives to negative lifestyle choices such as alcohol, drugs, or crime.

Mission Literacy in Motion Association*

English Grammar Conversation and Culture Program



Funding to run a 36 week program for Newcomers to Canada as they arrive from different countries like Vietnam, Mongolia, Korea, Congo, Honduras, Syria, Russia, Thailand, Laos, Iran, and China. The objective of the program is to encourage participants to integrate into Canadian culture and society, gain proficiency in speaking and writing English, and support their search for employment. The program enhances self-esteem and self-confidence while individuals are looking for employment. The resettlement experience and transition into employment and Canadian society can be de-mystified when they are given the opportunity to discuss the issues newcomers encounter with a group of people who are share a similar experience.

Fraser House Society

Challenge Days



Funding to host a 2 day Challenge Day event – 1 for our Senior Secondary School and 1 for the Middle School. Challenge Day successfully addresses some common issues seen at most schools (cliques, bullying, judgements, isolation, racism, sexism, apathy, homophobia etcetera). Participation in Challenge Day creates more understanding and empathy among students and staff, creating a much healthier and happier school environment.  Challenge Day Facilitators ‘challenge’ youth to analyze and reflect on how their words and actions can affect others – and then have the students work towards creating positive change within themselves, their school and their community.

Adoptive Families Association of BC

Permanence Quest – Aging out of care



We seek to develop an interactive educational program that prepares at-risk youth 13 - 21 for aging out of care each year. This online quest teaches Permanence to this at-risk population to build capacity and self-sufficiency.   This project teaches them how to create a Circle of Permanence so they become self-sufficient, able to care for and support themselves.

* These agencies received funding in 2016