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More than $175k donated to 20 charities across B.C.’s Interior

Valley First recently made a record-setting investment in the community
Vermilion Forks Elementary’s after-school program in Princeton received a $10,000 donation from Penticton-based Valley First. (Contributed)

A total of 20 charities and community programs in B.C.’s Interior are in a better place today than they were yesterday thanks to a historic donation from a Penticton-based credit union.

Valley First, a division of First West Credit Union, recently distributed $177,270 across organizations in Kelowna, West Kelowna, Vernon, Penticton, Princeton and Kamloops as part of its 2022 grant awards.

From after-school programs to mental health associations and even cooking classes, non-profit groups across the region are set to take home grants from $2,000 to $31,500.

Community programs featured in Armstrong, Lumby and Oliver, focused on body positivity for girls and education on the consequences of impaired driving, were also listed as part of the historic grant cycle.

“By listening to the feedback of our charitable partners, we have reduced barriers in the grant application process, freeing up their valuable time and resources to help them do what they do best— help our communities thrive,” said Susan Byrom, executive director of the First West Foundation.

Among the programs to receive grants include music therapy at the Kelowna Visual and Performing Arts Society ($2,000), grief support for friends and family of overdose victims at the South Okanagan Loss Society ($4,950) and support for young parents at the YMCA of Okanagan ($31,500).

The complete list of organizations receiving grants in 2022 can be found here.

Unlike previous years, funds granted were “unrestricted,” according to the credit union. The change means recipients can determine where grant dollars are most needed within their own operations.

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About the Author: Logan Lockhart

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