Valley First

Valley First invests a record $1 million in the Okanagan community in 2016

Valley First invests a record $1 million in the Okanagan community in 2016

May 15, 2017

Penticton, B.C.—The numbers are in! In 2016, Valley First, a division of First West Credit Union, invested a record $1,023,604 of total value in local communities across Okanagan, Similkameen and Thompson valleys.

“When cooperative financial institutions like Valley First grow and succeed, our communities benefit,” shares Susan Ewanick, who has been leading Valley First since June 2016. “Investing in our communities isn’t just something we do—it’s at the core of our organizational culture.”

Valley First engaged with nearly 85 local non-profit agencies that deliver vital services and programs in communities in the Okanagan. The majority of these investments were made through sponsorships, philanthropic donations, and community partnerships.

“The cooperative movement is all about neighbour helping neighbour. That’s why we contribute our time, talents and dollars to promote our diverse regions as vibrant, thriving communities to live, work and play,” says Ewanick.

Community impact at Valley First is not only measured in dollars. In less than a year, Valley First’s employees gave more than $30,000 through our employee giving program and volunteered 2,312 hours with non-profit and charitable organizations. A portion of these volunteer hours were made possible through Valley First’s paid-time-off-for-volunteerism program.

Ewanick explains that volunteerism is part of Valley First’s Lead Well social vision. “We promote volunteerism and heavily invest in leadership because we believe the greatest need society has today is for leaders of integrity, courage and compassion who lift others up in communities and through causes.”
2016 was also a great year for Feed the Valley—Valley First’s signature cause designed to tackle hunger in the Okanagan, Similkameen and Thompson valleys.

“Thanks to the incredible efforts of our members, employees and community partners, Valley First raised $301,692 for Feed the Valley—which equates to 905,076 meals to children, families and individuals in our own backyard.”

Since its inception in 2010, Feed the Valley has raised $1,459,516 and collected 71,652 pounds of food.

Valley First 2016 Community Investment: By the Numbers

•    Total value of volunteer service during working hours: $6,238
•    Total number of volunteer hours during non-working hours: 2,312
•    Total value of employee giving: $30,115
•    Total funds raised for Feed the Valley: $301,692

About Valley First

Valley First is a premier provider of banking, investment and insurance services for residents and businesses in the Okanagan, Similkameen and Thompson valleys. As a division of First West Credit Union, B.C.'s third-largest credit union with 54 branches and 38 insurance offices throughout the province, Valley First brings innovative products, an extensive branch network and local decision making to the banking experience. For more information on Valley First, visit

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