Valley First representatives, local MP Dan Albas and representatives of Foundry Kelowna celebrate the awarding of the credit unions first $50,000 Simple Generosity community grant to the new youth mental health centre.—Image credit: contributed

Credit Union finds money for Foundry Kelowna

New integrated mental health care centre for youth in Kelowna gets $50,000 grant from Valley First.

Valley First has found a recipient for the first of three $50,000 Simple Generosity community grants.

The credit union has announced that the money will go to Foundry Kelowna, a new integrated youth mental health care centre in the city.

“Valley First cares deeply about reinvesting in our communities—it’s not just what we do, but a part of who we are,” said Susan Ewanick, president of Valley First.

“New to the Central Okanagan, Foundry Kelowna will make a significant, positive impact to the way youth mental health is addressed. We are honoured to be part of a cause that will contribute to building a culture of wellness in our community.”

Foundry Kelowna is part of the B.C. Integrated Youth Services Initiative, a provincial movement to provide patient-centered care for young people ages 12 to24 and their families.

With a focus on early intervention and cooperation between clinical and social support programs, Foundry Kelowna will bring 25 organizations and service agencies under one roof to offer solution-based programs, transforming the way youth mental health is addressed in the community, said Valley First.

Foundry Kelowna’s application for the $50,000 grant was one of 29 projects submitted by community non-profits, which were shortlisted during a four-week public voting period facilitated by Volinspire, a community engagement platform bringing together volunteers and community organizations.

With more than 2,100 votes cast, the 10 most-voted submissions were assessed by a committee that included Ewanick, other Valley First employees, and Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola MP Dan Albas.

The grant is one of three $50,000 grants being given out by Valley West’s parent company, First West’s through its Simple Generosity initiative.

In addition, the 12-month program by the credit union will work with individuals or teams of volunteers to make donations of $1,500, courtesy of First West, to the non-profit of their choosing.

In total Valley First, along with Enderby & District Financial, also a division of First West Credit Union, will donate more than $83,000 to local communities in 2017, to spread what it calls “simple generosity.”