Valley First

#SimpleGenerosity

Celebrating community leadership


Simple Generosity began in recognition of Canada 150 – Valley First celebrated community leadership across BC by recognizing local volunteers, non-profit organizations and charities that are making meaningful contributions in our communities.

We were so inspired by the amazing stories that we want to continue spreading Simple Generosity in our communities in 2018 and celebrate the outstanding contributions from dedicated volunteers!

 

Volunteer Awards

We’re selecting 52 volunteers and empowering them to make a $1,000 donation, courtesy of First West Credit Union, to the non-profit of their choice.

Community Legacy Grants

In 2017, we gifted a $50,000 grant to an organization focused on enhancing our communities for children and families.

 

The stories behind #SimpleGenerosity

Behind every dollar awarded there is a story of inspiration and generosity. We’re proud to share these stories – stories of your community – with you.

 

#SimpleGenerosity

Kelowna resident, Angie Lohr donated her $1,500 award to House of H.O.P.E. - a safe housing program for women needing help with addiction re-habilitation or a place to call home until a secure location can be found. Angie manages the House and provides help with harm prevention, and basic necessities for daily life on the streets. Angie speaks in schools and women’s treatment centres, sharing her life’s journey which led her from an insecure, dangerous lifestyle to a secure, pay-it-forward life that allows her to make the safety of women in the community a priority. Angie builds trust with the women through her care, support and understanding of once being in their shoes.

#SimpleGenerosity

Kelowna resident, Derek Dadd donated his $1,500 award to Canadian National Institute for the Blind – Kelowna. Derek has been a CNIB volunteer since 2006 and has had 6 different Vision Mate clients over the years. As a Vision Mate volunteer, Derek meets with clients who are blind or partially-sighted one-on-one for a couple of hours a week, assisting with activities such as grocery shopping, going for walks, and reading. In addition to this, Derek is always the first person to reply to requests for volunteers for special events such as raffle sales, community booths, and fundraising events. He consistently goes above and beyond, is kind and compassionate, and has a wonderful sense of humour. Derek truly believes in the services that CNIB provides to the community and it shows. He truly embodies giving back to community.

#SimpleGenerosity

Kelowna resident, Rick Caruck donated his $1,500 award to Elevation Outdoors – providing outdoor sports programs for underprivileged youth to help develop a passion and keep them motivated, healthy and happy in life. Rick has been volunteering with Elevation Outdoors for over 6 years as an active mentor and sharing his passion through programming for snowboarding, mountain biking and rock climbing for youth. He is a positive role model and works to build a connection with youth in the programs. Rick has helped influence over 200 young people to find an activity that they love and that will keep them active for life. His love for volunteering has helped Elevation attract new volunteers that learn of the organization through him being a vocal champion for the cause in the Kelowna community.

#SimpleGenerosity

Vernon resident, Bruno Guenette donated his $1,500 award to Food Action Society of the North Okanagan – dedicated to raising awareness and addressing issues surrounding food security in the North Okanagan. Bruno has been volunteering with Food Action since 2017 and currently sits on the board providing skills based support to the organization through his accounting background. He has worked to update and formalize financial policies and procedures, organize fundraisers and AGMs, create and manage a budget, all to strengthen the financial position of the organization and allow increased service to the community. Bruno has built a strong foundation of financial accountability that will protect the organization and help it thrive over the long-term. Members, donors and the community all benefit from Bruno’s efforts and dedication of time.

#SimpleGenerosity

Kelowna resident, Andrew Glen donated his $1,500 award to Launch Kelowna and the Central Okanagan Community Food Bank. Andrew has volunteered with Launch Kelowna for over four years as a reliable, knowledgeable and enthusiastic educator for the Matched Savings program. He plans lessons, delivers the material, engages his students, offers his time to participants outside of class as needed, and also sits on Launch's Program Committee where he helps shape the scope and nature of Launch Kelowna's three separate programs. Andrew is exceptional because of the extra time, effort and heart he puts into his teaching and therefore the people Launch serves. He is passionate about equipping people with financial literacy and therefore seeing those individuals become more confident in managing their money well.

Enderby resident, Faye Biron donated her $1,500 award to Enderby & District Community Resource Centre. Faye has been volunteering at the Twice But Nice Thrift Store for over 5 years and is currently a director for the organization. She works in the store taking care of cash, restocking the shelves, cleaning and helping customers. She takes take great pride in providing a great retail experience for all customers and having items available for purchase, with the funds going to support community groups and individuals or families who need support with medical or transportation costs. Faye truly cares for the community and is always willing to help wherever needed.

#SimpleGenerosity

Kamloops resident, Dorothy Woodward is donating her $1,500 award to Kamloops Hospice Association. Dorothy has been volunteering at the hospice for over 14 years, helping out with everything from the thrift store to sitting on the Board of Directors, cooking special meals and spending time with patients and their families. Dorothy brings a positive energy with her wherever she goes and provides a great deal of support to staff and volunteers. She is a proud representative and passionate volunteer for Kamloops Hospice.

#SimpleGenerosity

Vernon resident, Hazel Turchinetz is donating her $1,500 award to Okanagan Humane Society. Hazel has been volunteering with the Okanagan Humane Society for over 10 years, sits on the board of directors and is always fostering cats that are awaiting new homes. Hazel works tirelessly and is always willing to help any injured or abandoned pet in need. A great deal of Hazel's time is spent is caring for the cats and kittens that live in her home, collecting donated items and cleaning them for use. Hazel has taken in many feral cats that will be with her for the rest of their lives as they have been so scarred from their past, they will likely not be adoptable and Hazel is determined to show them the love and stability they deserve and otherwise never would have experienced before.

#SimpleGenerosity

Kelowna resident, Nick Pisio is donating his $1,500 award to Pathways Abilities Society. Nick has volunteer at Pathways for over 20 years and has donated thousands of hours – serving on the board, completing repairs and maintenance of the four facilities, and overseeing renovation projects to ensure the facilities are full accessible for all. Nick is always available and willing to lend a helping hand wherever he can. The time and support Nick has so kindly donated has allowed Pathways to use their funds to better support their clients and community. Pathways supports people with diverse abilities to work, live and participate in the Kelowna community.

#SimpleGenerosity

Enderby resident, Tanji Woloshyn is donating her $1,500 award to the Enderby Spray Park Initiative. Tanji has lived in Enderby her entire life and has been an avid volunteer in the community for over 10 years. Tanji participated on The Success by 6 committee, working to ensure children develop the skills they need before they begin kindergarten. She joined the Food Action Committee for Today/Tomorrow and became a part of the Harvest Hut group– connecting farmers and gardeners who have an abundance of fresh food to people in need in the community. As the program continues to grow, Harvest Hut is now working to create a bigger building to house the food and make space for a community garden. Tanji’s efforts don’t stop there, she has helped the Food Action Committee take over the operations of Feed Enderby & District Food bank, and ensuring food is readily available in the community.

#SimpleGenerosity

Penticton resident, Pam Westwood is donating her $1,500 award to Penticton Salvation Army Community Food Bank. Pam has been volunteering with the Penticton and District Hospice Society for over 12 years and was instrumental in creating and implementing the volunteer palliative massage program. After receiving training in palliative massage, Pam began the program at Moog and Friends Hospice in Penticton. Since then, she has created a team and volunteer mentoring program that allows this service to be offered to the community. Pam goes into patient’s homes and massages palliative patients and their caregivers. She very much feels that supporting the caregiver is important at this time due to the stress they are under with caring for a loved one at end of life. The impact of the massages is immeasurable as it eases pain and helps patients and their caregivers to just relax and forget what they are going through for a moment. Penticton is one of the only hospices in BC to offer this service—all thanks to Pam’s dedication and commitment.

#SimpleGenerosity

Enderby residents, Dolores Whitfield, Jean Witherly and Sheila Forster are donating their $1,500 award to Enderby & District Community Resource Centre. Dolores, Jean and Sheila are faithful volunteers for the centre and the programs, events and fundraisers they offer. Their long term dedication and commitment is amazing and they all share a vision for a healthier community. They love to see young families supported, nurtured and engaged in fun, healthy activities. From child minding, fundraisers, grant applications, community events, and donation seeking, there isn’t much that these ladies’ helping hands don’t provide support with at the centre.

#SimpleGenerosity

Kelowna resident, Keith Germaine is donating his $1,500 award to Society St Vincent de Paul– an organization that supplies emergency food and help for families with social and economic problems, disaster crisis and offers home visitations to shut-ins in the Central Okanagan area. Keith founded Bicycles For Humanity - Kelowna Chapter 12 years ago and is the main contact for all BFH activity in the Kelowna area. He organizes all of the promotional activities and fundraising – resulting in 1-2 shipments each year of adult bikes to Ghana, Africa. Over 7,000 bikes have been shipped over the past 12 years! Locally, Keith and his volunteers have collected and donated approximately 3,000 children's bikes to those in need in Kelowna. Keith has worked tirelessly on this initiative and on numerous other projects in the community. He helped start the Inn From The Cold program and is currently helping at the Ozanam Recovery House, a 19-bed transition home in Kelowna.

 

#SimpleGenerosity

Kelowna resident, Bob McCoubrey is donating his $1,500 award to the Central Okanagan Community Farm Society. Bob has played a key role in the start-up of Central Okanagan Community Farm Society – an organization committed to growing food in the valley for those in need of fresh produce. Their mantra is “Grow. Feed. Teach” and Bob donates hundreds of hours each year to ensuring the farm’s success. Last year they donated 20,000 pounds of produce to local charities and food banks. Bob encourages volunteers from all walks of life, cultures and backgrounds to participate. He has brought Syrian refugees in to benefit from the program as well as students, children, single mothers, families, seniors as well as clients from the John Howard Society of Central and South Okanagan and Karis Support Society.

#SimpleGenerosity

Kelowna resident, Dino Gini is donating his $1,500 award to Okanagan College Basketball Society. Dino played a role in creating the Kelowna College Basketball Society and has coached basketball in Kelowna for over 25 years. He created the program to provide opportunities for local players to compete at the next level without having to leave the community or province. Dino has always had a passion for basketball and he works hard to instill that passion in others and motivate youth in our community.

 

 

#SimpleGenerosity

Enderby resident, Cheryl Heidt is donating her $1,500 award to Enderby Preschool Society. For the past 21 years, Cheryl has dedicated over 15,000 volunteer hours towards the Enderby Preschool Society. She has created a place for the community to come together and offer support and resources for families in the community. Cheryl continues to work determinedly on building a new fully equipped childcare centre for the community. It's Cheryl’s can do attitude that sets her apart and exemplifies that one person can make a difference.

 

 

#SimpleGenerosity

Congratulations to Foundry Kelowna - winner of our $50,000 #SimpleGenerosity community grant! Foundry Kelowna is a new integrated youth mental health care centre established by the KGH Foundation in partnership with Canadian Mental Health Association, Kelowna. With a focus on early intervention and cooperation between clinical and social support programs, Foundry Kelowna will offer solution-based programs and patient-centered care for young people age 12-24, transforming the way youth mental health is addressed in our communities.

 

 

#SimpleGenerosity

Kamloops resident, Lee-Ann Donald is donating her $1,500 award to New Life Community Kamloops. For over 8 years, Lee-Ann has served as a board member and Secretary for New Life Community Kamloops. She is involved on multiple committees, including founding the New Life Clinic that provides free dental and medical services for homeless individuals. In addition to her numerous responsibilities with New Life and a full time position as a paralegal, she always can be found organizing a bake sale, jeans day or other fundraising initiative to generate support for New Life projects. It’s clear that Lee-Ann is passionate about helping others and her enthusiasm is contagious.

 

 

#SimpleGenerosity

Mark Dixon is donating his $1,500 award to Inn from the Cold Kelowna. For over 6 years, Mark has been a devoted leader for Inn from the Cold, serving as Chairman of the Board. It’s thanks to his hard work that the organization is able to support homeless individuals in the Okanagan Valley with overnight shelter beds and transition housing. Mark is selfless in his dedication to the organization and is a true inspiration to fellow volunteers and the community.

 

#SimpleGenerosity

Active volunteer and community leader Gwen Rikkinen is donating her $1,500 award to Penticton Soupateria. A volunteer for the past three years, Gwen actively recruits team members to serve lunches, making soup (from scratch!) with fresh sandwiches and tasty desserts, for nearly 100 hungry Soupateria patrons. Gwen also cultivates a positive community by spending time talking and telling stories with Soupateria clients and visitors.

 

#SimpleGenerosity

Enderby resident Lorraine Powell is donating her $1,500 award to MacKenzie Camp Society. A favourite among children aged 7-16, MacKenzie Camp is all about discovering new activities, making new friends and having fun outdoors. Lorraine’s been a volunteer for the past 34 years, during which she’s touched the lives of thousands of youth. She’s held every position on the board of directors (some more than once!) and has also volunteered as a cook, medic, chaplain, and den mother—all the while showing constant support to MacKenzie Camp participants. But what really sets Lorraine apart is her positive energy; to Lorraine, there are no failures, only lessons learned.

 

#SimpleGenerosity

Don Penty of Kelowna, BC is donating his $1,500 award to Kelowna’s Pathways Abilities Society. Using fruit he’s harvested from his own backyard and through the Okanagan Fruit Tree project, Don gives hours of his time each week to peel, core and can his own homemade applesauce, which he then donates to Inn from the Cold and the hot lunch program at Pathways. Traditional applesauce may be his specialty, but Don also makes a mouth-watering apricot and cherry applesauce along with homemade baked treats! As a big fan of the outdoors, cooking and healthy eating, Don’s found a way to combine his passions to serve and support his community.

 

 

#SimpleGenerosity

West Kelowna resident and volunteer Randy Hunt is donating his $1,500 award to the Central Okanagan Food Bank. For 21 years Randy has been volunteering his time at the food bank—everything from sorting and storing donations to assisting with pick-ups, deliveries, and hamper distribution. Donating nearly 30-40 hours of his time every week, the impact Randy’s made is truly immeasurable. He has a big role in operations of the food bank—it’s thanks to his hard work that the West Kelowna branch runs so efficiently. But it’s his personality and attitude that really make him shine as a volunteer; a definitive “go-to” person, Randy’s calming and positive attitude always puts clients and volunteers at ease.

 

 

 

 

Thank you for inspiring us! We appreciate the outstanding contributions by all volunteers.

 

Thank you to our partner in #SimpleGenerosity.