The Whitevalley Community Resource Centre has deep roots, and now it’s turning to the public so it can branch out and flourish for years to come.
A donor tree plaque was unveiled Thursday to kick off WCRC’s Legacy Fund campaign, which hopes to raise $800,000 over five years.
“It’s a new direction for our fundraising efforts,” said Paul Fisher, campaign co-chairperson.
The principle will remain in an endowment fund and the interest generated each year will help cover operational expenses.
The goal is to provide the non-profit agency with financial stability so it can continue to provide services to Lumby and Cherryville residents.
“We touch an amazing number of lives,” said Joanne Kineshanko,. campaign co-chairperson.
In 2011, WCRC, which started in 1989, received 12,000 calls and in-person visits.
Among the services offered are counselling for adults and families, addictions counselling, after-school activities, Kid’s Zone in Cherryville, summer day camps, toddler programs, cooking classes for those on a budget, seniors drop-in, health information for seniors, Good Food Box and Internet access.
“The need for social services and programs will always be there,” said Kineshanko.
Funding has become a recent challenge for WCRC because government grants are uncertain. It came close to shutting its doors a few years ago.
“If we can stabilize day-to-day operations, we can be more responsive to the community,” said Gay Jewitt, long-time executive director.
Among the first to support the campaign is Geoff Bevan, who worked at WCRC’s summer camps as a teen.
“I know the programs are very much needed in the community,” said Bevan, who donated $500 and was able to get it matched by Telus, his employer.
“The need is huge. What they provide is important.”
With the campaign underway, a team of volunteers will be approaching residents, service clubs and businesses throughout the North Okanagan.
Jewitt admits financial conditions are tight for many residents and businesses, but she is confident the campaign will be a success.
“I know of someone who will give $100 a year over five years,” she said.
“The community is on board and people know the good work that we do.”
For more information to the campaign or to donate, call 250-547-8866 or go to www.whitevalley.ca.