Celebrating Volunteers During National Volunteer Week
Let’s all cheer for our volunteers! This week, from April 19-25, we’re celebrating National Volunteer Week, and we encourage you to do the same. Volunteers selflessly give their time, kindness and dedication to others to make a difference. We cheer them on by recognizing and encouraging them throughout the year, but especially during this occasion - #NVW2020.
From coast-to-coast, there are almost 13 million Canadian volunteers giving their time, knowledge and generosity. Their tremendous efforts help make our country a vibrant and safe place to call home. These altruistic leaders are at the core of promoting goodness, improving our quality of life and making a difference in our communities. For all this and more, we say thank you.
How our volunteer efforts help communities thrive
Lending a hand to those in need is embedded in our culture as a cooperative. Through our social vision, Lead Well, we encourage employees at Valley First to volunteer with local organizations in the social sector to help our communities thrive. We also believe in giving to charitable causes that depend on volunteers to help fulfill their mission.
Last year, staff at Valley First and Enderby & District Financial, divisions of First West Credit Union, volunteered more than 3,300 hours of their time. Across First West Credit Union, this totalled more than 9,000 hours, the equivalent investment of more than $224,000. Additionally, our employees volunteered 9,332 personal hours to causes that matter to them. That’s over 18,300 hours in one year!
Looking back even further, over the last 10 years, our employees have volunteered a massive 98,605 hours, both working and non-working hours, the equivalent to about 13,152 days of volunteering.
Making a difference at home
Volunteering allows us to give back to the community and make a difference in the lives of people in the communities we operate in. Some of the great community partners Valley First and Enderby & District Financial have supported through our Lead Well programs include:
- BC Cancer Foundation
- Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central & Southern Interior of BC
- Boys and Girls Club of Kamloops
- Canadian Mental Health Association
- CANsave Enactus Okanagan College
- Central Okanagan Community Food Bank
- CritterAid Animal Sanctuary
- Enactus Okanagan College
- Festivals Kelowna
- First West Foundation
- Helen's Acres Community Farm
- KCR Community Resources
- Meals on Wheels
- The Penticton Salvation Army Food Bank
You can find stories of our community involvement with each of these organizations, including photos, details and outcomes on our Do Some Good page.
How we celebrate and recognize volunteers
#SimpleGenerosity is our way of celebrating outstanding volunteers. Launched in 2017 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 stayed committed to continue to spread Simple Generosity in our communities in 2019 and 2020. This year, the Simple Generosity program will grant $40,000 in $1,000 awards to outstanding volunteers across all regions of First West, including Valley First’s communities in the Thompson, Okanagan and Similkameen valleys: Armstrong, Kamloops, Kelowna, Keremeos, Lumby, Oliver, Osoyoos, Penticton, Princeton, Vernon and West Kelowna, as well as Enderby & District Financial.
Nominate a volunteer for a Simple Generosity Volunteer Award
The Simple Generosity Volunteer Award is granted to outstanding volunteers. It's easy to get involved.
Nominate an inspiring volunteer and they could be eligible to make a $1,000 donation, courtesy of First West Credit Union, to the non-profit or charity of their choice.
When completing your nomination form, tell us what makes your nominee great:
- What organization do they volunteer for?
- How long have they been volunteering?
- How do they spread #SimpleGenerosity in their community?
- What makes them an extraordinary volunteer?
We’ll announce this month’s winner on April 30.