Nanaimo is an ever-growing community of roughly 85,000 people located on the east coast of Vancouver Island. We are fortunate enough to have two offices, one north-central and the other in the south end of town. The name of Western Financial has quite the reputation due to the excellent service we provide at both locations, as well as the amazing impact we have on our community through donations and volunteer work.
Our Nanaimo (NN1) office has been an active part in the community dating back to 2009, with a generous donation to the Nanaimo Hospice Society in 2011. The Western Communities Foundation Matching Grant program made it possible for us to donate a total of $5,700 to the Hospice Society. This phenomenal program been operating in the community for over 30 years, offering free programs, support, and resources in support of families coping with terminal illnesses, end-of-life caregiving, and untimely deaths. Our donations have helped many families and individuals in Nanaimo access the support they deserve, dissolve feelings of loneliness, and provide excellent care to those in need.
In 2012, we were also able to donate $1,000 to the RM Society in direct support of the “Rainbows” Grief Support Program. This was made possible through a Western Communities Foundation Matching Grant. This program gives aid to children and their families who have experienced a major loss due to death or divorce. It has been an integral part of Nanaimo for 26 years, teaching children that they are not alone and are not to blame for changes in their families. Kids and parents learn coping skills in an open and caring environment.
Another Matching Grant in 2013 enabled us to contribute to the Cancer Car Program. Run by the Freemasons, the Cancer Car Program singles out the growing need for assistance with transportation to radiation therapy facilities for those battling cancer. The program relies on the services of over 200 volunteers, who give freely of their time to dispatch, drive and maintain these vehicles. All direct expenses are paid by the Masonic Community Charities Fund, and all volunteers donate their time. We were overjoyed to see our $1000 go to paying expenses for such an important program for the community filling such a desperate need.
In more recent events, 2014 saw us making another donation of $2,550 through the Western Communities Foundation to Loaves and Fishes. This program is well known in Nanaimo for the truly amazing work it does in the community. Specializing in delivery of bi-weekly hampers for those who qualify, the program’s mission is to make sure no one goes hungry. The program also maintains self-serve food banks where supporters can donate funds or food directly. This program has expanded in the last few years resulting in 3 new food bank locations. We are very proud to say we have a few employees who volunteer their time at the various locations collecting, packaging and dispensing food for this much-needed community venture.
The Agency Matching Grant in 2014 went to The Nanaimo 7-10 Club with our donation of $1,000. The Nanaimo 7-10 Club’s motto is “to feed the hungry and increase access to food for those in need.” The program graciously provides free meals (hot breakfasts, homemade soups, and brown bag lunches) for anyone who is in need and symbolize the cornerstone of human compassion and humanitarianism. The volunteers meet well before 7:00am when breakfast is served, and work long after the last lunch has been bagged. This club not only offers nutritious food for all, but also provides a strong social connection to those who would normally be battling isolation. This was a wonderful cause to take part in.
The 2015 Infrastructure Grant provided our city with a $5,000 donation to the Samaritan House – also part of the Island Crisis Care Society. This donation became part of the funds used to build a larger shelter for women fleeing abusive relationships and other life-threatening or harmful circumstances. Our hearts were touched knowing we could have a hand in providing a haven allowing women a chance to get back on their feet for more successful futures!
The Western Communities Foundation Goal Achievers program gave us the opportunity to assist in local SPCA with a $2,935 contribution toward the development of a new facility in 2015. Not only does the SPCA provide temporary homes, shelter, adoption programs, care and protection for animals, they also facilitate other programs such as the “Snip” program where they spay and neuter animals for families with low incomes.
One of our most recent donations was $1,000 made possible through a Matching Grant to the Nanaimo Unique Kids Organization (NUKO). The organization works closely with youth who have neuro- developmental disabilities such as Autism, FASD, ADHD, OCD, and Down Syndrome. This provincial non-profit organization offers mentoring, academics, computer skills, swimming, and arts and crafts, among many other programs. Our donation was used for recreation activities to accommodate the ever-growing roster of students.
These are just a few examples of the community work we engage in over on the Island. From booths at exhibitions, Rotary, and volunteering at Christmas soup kitchens, to food banks and many other programs, Western has a growing reputation as a company that gives more than lip service to community involvement. We truly can tell people; ‘We care because we live here!’ and we look forward to remaining an active agent for community growth (we already have some more ideas on the go!). We are so proud to be a part of something bigger, for all of us!