The Ashcroft HUB Society is benefiting from a grant from Interior Savings to help them purchase protective equipment. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden) The Ashcroft HUB Society is benefiting from a grant from Interior Savings to help them purchase protective equipment. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)

Interior Savings helps local organizations with pandemic costs

E. Fry Society, Equality Project, and Ashcroft HUB all benefit from funding

With support from its members, Interior Savings has given a $150,000 financial boost to non-profit organizations across the Thompson, Okanagan, and Nicola regions, and three organizations in Ashcroft and Cache Creek have received assistance.

In total, forty-five non-profit organizations from Clearwater to Osoyoos received grants ranging in size from $1,500 to $7,000. In the Ashcroft area, grants were awarded to the South Cariboo Elizabeth Fry Society to respond to an increased need for food assistance; to The Equality Project to cover unexpected technology and PPE expenses; and to the Ashcroft HUB Society to purchase PPE to help them safely reopen their facility.

The Credit Union launched its Community Relief Fund in May to help local non-profit organizations manage the extraordinary expenses they are facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It 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 2 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,” says 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 100 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. 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.

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