MAKING A DIFFERENCE: Penticton businesses lend a hand

Make A Difference Days and TD Tree Days get people out donating their time to Penticton charities.

Valley First employees Mark Parker and Kim Fletcher apply a primer coat of paint to the outside walls of the Little Triumphs daycare centre in Penticton earlier this week. The work was part of the company's annual Make A Difference program where staff members spend a day helping out with chores at nonprofit organizations throughout the Okanagan

Valley First employees Mark Parker and Kim Fletcher apply a primer coat of paint to the outside walls of the Little Triumphs daycare centre in Penticton earlier this week. The work was part of the company's annual Make A Difference program where staff members spend a day helping out with chores at nonprofit organizations throughout the Okanagan

Employees of the local Valley First branch joined their co-workers in other parts of the Southern Interior to lend a helping hand to non-profit agencies in their communities for several days this week.

As part of the company’s second annual Make a Difference Days, the Penticton staffers took on tasks with the Raise a Reader and Better at Home programs, the Okanagan Boys and Girls Club, Critteraid and some primer and paint work at the Little Triumphs Daycare centre.

Mark Parker and Kim Fletcher were among those who traded their computers for brushes and rollers at Little Triumphs.

“It really makes it worthwhile when you see the kids and they like the centre a lot more because it looks nice just for what you did for a couple of hours,” said Parker. “It feels great, I have a little girl who’s four too. I think it’s very important for people to get out into the community and help and you take this story back and it motivates others to get and help and want to get out and do stuff.”

Also helping out with the painting work were members of the Penticton Vees hockey club of the B.C. Hockey League.

Volunteers were also out in full force Sunday at the fifth annual TD Tree Days to help plant several hundred plants and shrubs along the banks of Ellis Creek where it meets the Okanagan River Channel.

According to organizers, about 80 people of all ages, including many parents and their children, planted the indigenous species.