Valley First employees strengthen charity support

Valley First employees have reinforced their community commitment by pledging $30,000 to local charities and organizations in 2014.

Causes that will benefit most from Valley First’s pledge include Feed the Valley and United Way. Employees have committed to regular payroll deductions totaling $30,000 over the next 12 months.

“I give because I feel that I am so blessed with my life,” said Stacey Gagno, a Valley First team member. “I know there are many people who are not so lucky. A few years ago, I was involved in a Christmas family donation for a single mom with 18-month-old twins. I asked her what she needed and she said a crib mattress. She only had one mattress and the kids had been sharing.

“I was in tears by the time I got off the phone. As a mom I’ve thankfully never had to worry about things like this.”

Along with making a difference in someone else’s life, Gagno also saw an opportunity to show her son how important helping others can be.

“I told my son that story and took him with me to shop for the items so that he might begin to understand how lucky he was and how many people don’t have the basics,” said Gagno. “I remember delivering the items we had bought and how incredibly taken aback and thankful this mother was with such a simple display of kindness. It really hit home for me and my son, how truly lucky we are and what a difference we can make.”

Seline Kutan, executive director of the First West Foundation – the charitable branch of Valley First that manages the employee giving program – said the generosity from Valley First employees is impressive.

Said Kutan: “$30,000 can go a long way. This isn’t a corporate donation; these funds come directly off employee’s paycheques each month and will make a huge difference in our communities. I know these donations will go a long way to improving the lives of those less fortunate.”


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