Interior Savings have announced they have recently given a $150,000 financial boost to non-profit organizations across the Thompson, Okanagan, and Nicola regions. The Credit Union launched its Community Relief Fund last month to help local non-profit organizations in managing the extraordinary expenses they are facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The project began as a $100,000 commitment paired with an invitation to credit union members to top it up by investing in a Community Impact Term Deposit. For every dollar invested, the Credit Union promised to add another two per cent to the fund, up to $50,000. With overwhelming support from its members, the Fund quickly grew to $150,000.
“We’re not surprised that our members embraced the opportunity to lend a hand in our communities”, said Kathy Conway, CEO of Interior Savings. “It’s a critical time for our local non-profits. Our members’ support allows more money to be invested in our communities to help address the substantial pressure non-profits are facing as they modify their operations to serve those in need.”
According to Conway, “In the nearly one-hundred funding applications we received, two predominant themes emerged: a spike in requests for food assistance and a large gap in access to technology.”
Across the board, non-profits have had to increase their spending on protective equipment and sanitation supplies. In addition, many have responded to as much as a 50 per cent increase in requests for food assistance by spending more on food, packaging, and delivery to people’s homes. While others have had to purchase laptops, tablets and zoom subscriptions to continue safely supporting those who are struggling with or recovering from health challenges, trauma, abuse or family conflict. In many cases, non-profits have launched technology lending programs to ensure everyone in their community has a way to stay connected to their support networks.
In total, 45 non-profit organizations from Clearwater to Osoyoos received grants ranging in size from $1500 to $7000.
In the Barriere area, grants were awarded to the Barriere and District Foodbank Society and the Yellowhead Community Services Society to help with increased food, packaging and delivery costs; to the Barriere and District Seniors Society to cover unexpected PPE (personal protective equipment) costs and to purchase tablets to help local seniors stay connected; and to the Barriere Heritage Society to purchase PPE to help them safely reopen.
A list of all recipients can be found on the Interior Savings’ Local Matters blog.