First Credit Union & Insurance are pleased to announce the 2015 recipients of the annual Community Impact Funds. In Courtenay, a $2,700 award will go to the Comox Valley Family Services Association (CVFSA), Creating Calm program, and in Cumberland, an $800 award will go to the Cumberland Community School Society (CCSS), Mamacentric program. The remaining funding will be awarded in the communities of Powell River, Texada Island, and Bowen Island.
The CVFSA Creating Calm program is for children 7 – 12 years of age who have excessive worry, anxiety, apprehension, and/or distress that can interfere with daily life. This grant will allow for the inclusion of a group of 13-15 year olds and provide them with a safe space to receive information and share their feelings with peers who also experience similar feelings. Staff therapist, Rebecca Lafleur shares “resources are desperately needed for youth above the age of 12 when it comes to mental health, and specifically anxiety. Creating a safe and welcoming space for these youth will allow for a more inclusive way for them to learn coping strategies.” For more information on the Comox Valley Family Services Association please visit:
In Cumberland, the CCSS has expanded programming to address the needs of all Village residents. Working in partnership with the local school, volunteers, and community organizations the CCSS currently provides programs for mother and babies, after-school programs, a healthy lunch program, adult education as well as youth programs and services. The Mamacentric program is a weekly support and education group for mothers of newborns to toddler-aged children. “The program provides women with the opportunity to build friendships, a sense of community and the chance to learn in a safe and supportive environment,” explains CCSS Executive Director Sue Loveless. For more information on the Cumberland Community Schools Society please visit: www.cumberlandcommunityschools.com.
In February of this year, First Credit Union & Insurance invited local non-profit organizations to submit applications for the annual funding. The Community Impact Awards aligns with the purpose of First Credit Union & Insurance, which is “to strengthen the financial well-being of [their] member-clients and make meaningful community impact.” The funds serve this purpose by providing one-time financial support to non-profit organizations that contribute to the social, health, economic, or environmental well-being of their local communities. “We were overwhelmed by the response that we received when we announced the Community Impact Funds,” Tara Chernoff, manager of community impact and engagement explains. “We received over 39 applications in total, which really demonstrates the wide range of initiatives we have growing within our communities. We are honoured to be able to give $10,000 towards these projects across the four communities we serve.” The size of the Community Impact Funds is based upon the gross insurance premiums and credit union asset size in each of the branches’ locations. “As our business grows in each location, the funds will increase proportionately. As more clients and members do business with First Insurance and First Credit Union, the more money we can give back to our communities,” says Chernoff.
First Credit Union is the longest-running credit union in BC, incorporated in 1939. With five insurance branches including Westview Agencies, five credit union branches, $230 million in credit union assets, and $100 million in wealth management assets, the organization’s 140 employees serve over 38, 000 clients and members across four vibrant coastal communities.