First West Foundation, through its Envision Financial Community Endowment, is granting BC Alberta Guide Dogs $15,000 to support its Autism Service Dog Program. (BC & Alberta Guide Dogs/contributed photo)

First West Foundation, through its Envision Financial Community Endowment, is granting BC Alberta Guide Dogs $15,000 to support its Autism Service Dog Program. (BC & Alberta Guide Dogs/contributed photo)

$75K granted to Delta non-profit groups

Reach Society, Take a Hike Foundation, SHER Vancouver, BC & Alberta Guide Dogs among 45 B.C. grantees

Envision Financial is granting $75,000 to Delta-based non-profit organizations and programs.

First West Foundation, through its Envision Financial Community Endowment, is granting $667,600 this year — a total of 45 grants — to deserving charities throughout the Fraser Valley, Lower Mainland and Kitimat regions.

Here in Delta, Reach Child & Youth Development Society, Take a Hike Foundation and SHER Vancouver LGBTQ Friends Society are each being granted $20,000, while BC & Alberta Guide Dogs is set to receive $15,000.

Reach Society is being granted the money to support its counselling program, which benefits children and families throughout Delta, Surrey and Langley. Funding received from the foundation in 2020 allowed Reach to increase counselling services by 10 hours a week to meet the needs of families local.

Take a Hike, meanwhile, is receiving the money in support of its full-time (Monday to Friday) program for vulnerable youth in and around North Delta. The program includes intensive embedded clinical counselling, outdoor wilderness trips and community engagement activities from September through June for up to 20 youths between the ages of 15-18.

North Delta-based SHER Vancouver’s grant is to facilitate screenings of Emergence: Out of the Shadows, a feature-length documentary about the coming out journey of three Punjabi Sikh people from Metro Vancouver and the reaction of their parents, in Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley high schools.

READ MORE: Surrey director’s ‘Emergence’ doc film aims to educate about South Asians who grow up gay

The grant awarded to BC & Alberta Guide Dogs is to support its Autism Service Dog Program. BCAGD raises and professionally trains autism service dogs to be matched with children three to 10 years old with profound autism and their families. The dogs provide safety and freedom to children by safeguarding them against potential environmental dangers.

Other area grant recipients include Big Sisters of BC Lower Mainland ($20,000 for its Surrey/Delta Go Girls! program), Mamas for Mamas Fraser Valley ($10,000 to increase social worker hours), BabyGoRound Helping Families Society ($20,000 for its program providing baby gear to vulnerable families in the Lower Mainland/Fraser Valley), Mothers Against Drunk Drivers ($5,000 towards its School Assembly Program) and Paws for Hope ($20,000 for the Better Together Program, which supports vulnerable people to keep their much-loved pets via wrap around support including pet care, social services and public health support).

A full list of grant recipients can be found online.

Though the grants were awarded based on the programs mentioned, all funds granted this year are unrestricted, giving recipients the flexibility to assess and determine where those dollars are most needed and allowing for innovation, emergent action and support for operational expenses.

A press release notes this year’s grants mark a shift in the foundation’s approach to grant-making to “align with trust-based philanthropy principles.”

“Trust-based philanthropy is an approach to granting that seeks to shift power inequities between funders, charities and the communities they serve to create a healthier, more equitable sector for all,” First West Foundation executive director Susan Byrom said in a press release.

“By listening to the feedback of our charitable partners, we have reduced barriers in the grant application process, freeing up their valuable time and resources to help them do what they do best — help our communities thrive.”

This is the largest granting cycle in First West Foundation’s 26-year history, with a total of $1,078,983 being dispersed across First West Credit Union’s four local brands (Envision Financial, Valley First, Island Savings and Enderby & District Financial).

The first and largest of First West Foundation’s endowments, the Envision Financial Community Endowment supports community projects throughout the Lower Mainland/Fraser Valley and in Kitimat. Since 1998, the endowment has provided 474 grants totalling over $5.8 million.

SEE ALSO: Auxiliary donates $600K for priority equipment at Delta Hospital

SEE ALSO: Delta walk raises over $71,000 for Alzheimer Society



editor@northdeltareporter.com

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