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Logo of Valley First, a division of First West Credit UnionValley First, a division of First West Credit Union
Valley First, a division of First West Credit Union, offers British Columbians throughout the Okanagan, Similkameen and Thompson valleys innovative products, an extensive branch...
342 employees on Do Some Good
We're committed to giving back to the community!
View the Pledge
184 Main Street
Penticton, British Columbia
V2A 8G7
Causes we care about

Top company causes

  • Food & Nutrition

  • Social Services

  • Financial Literacy

Top employee causes

  • Animal Welfare

  • Food & Nutrition

  • Health & Well-being

  • Environment

  • Sports and Recreation

  • Animal Welfare

  • Food & Nutrition

  • Health & Well-being

  • Environment

  • Sports and Recreation

Organizations our employees volunteer with
Our average annual contributions

$1M

Dollars Donated

963

Hours Logged by Employees

$19K

Monetary Equivalent of Hours

Social Mission
Our social, environmental and people practices are integral to strengthening our communities and ensuring that in years to come, our credit union, our members and employees, live, work and play in a healthy and sustainable community.
Some of the organizations we support
The Penticton Salvation Army Food Bank
PacificSport Okanagan
Helen's Acres Community Farm
Okanagan Changemakers
British Columbia Hockey League
Project Literacy Central Okanagan Society
What people are saying about us
Picture of Casey HamiltonLogo of Okanagan Fruit Tree Project Society
Casey HamiltonOkanagan Fruit Tree Project Society

Valley First is a wonderful community-minded organization with wonderful staff. We have had the pleasure of receiving their support to achieve our mission of cultivating community through local food. Their support has helped us continue to ensure that more people in the Okanagan access healthy fruits and vegetables, that less food is wasted, and that more people are connected to their local food system. Thanks to them, we were able to provide more opportunities for a meaningful and inclusive volunteer experience. How wonderful to be able to mobilize some of the most vulnerable people in our community to take part in a healthy community activity! Thank you so much for all that you do Valley First!

Picture of Jason RanchouxLogo of JA British Columbia
Jason RanchouxJA British Columbia

A number of Valley First staff have supported us this Fall with our Financial Literacy programs. All the volunteers from Valley First are awesome! Smart, committed, and well-prepared to make a difference in our local community for Okanagan-area teens. JABC is proud to have such a great support from Valley First employees, we always look forward to seeing them in the classroom!

Picture of Campaign ManagerLogo of Canada150
Campaign ManagerCanada150

It is great to see a Good Company, such as Valley First, giving back to their local community. Local acts of kindness, volunteerism and donations help to make our country the amazing place that it is today. A big thanks to Valley First for their contributions to building a stronger and more connected community.

Stories of our community involvement
The First West Foundation is pleased to be sending out 20 Valley First, a division of First West Credit Union Community Endowment grants totaling $177,270 to charities across the Okanagan.
Congratulations again to the successful recipients and a heartfelt thank you for the amazing work you continue to carry out in your communities.
Looking for the details and a little more information? Check it out here: https://bit.ly/3ynVsuJ
Launch Okanagan is excited to partner with Valley First, a division of First West Credit Union on their Matched Saving program – a year-long program that educates, mentors, and equips individuals with financial literacy to transform their lives.

Valley First has been a long-time supporter of Launch’s Matched Savings program, providing banking services and financial advice to many of the program’s participants.

“Financial literacy has always been an important need in the community, but even more so over the past couple of years as we’ve seen living costs increasing and budgets tightening,” says Sheila Ehlert, Board Director at Launch. “When like-minded local organizations come together, great things happen— and we see this first-hand with the Valley First and Launch partnership resulting in a Matched Savings’ program filling a huge need in the community.”

Ehlert also works as the Director of Retail Banking at Valley First which has given her deeper insight into the impact a program such as this has on the community.

The Matched Savings Program started over 10 years ago to not only equip lower-income individuals in our community with vital financial management skills, but also give them opportunities to reach their personal goals through incentivized savings. The result is over 100 graduates and lives impacted to date leading to empowered, confident, and financially independent graduates. Program demand has increased substantially over the last year, so corporate sponsors, like Valley First, are needed more than ever to keep launching lives in our community.

A recent graduate explains how this program impacted her life. “This program created hope for me. I have a lot more control over my finances now. I’ve never saved before, but I just saved $600 and realized that it wasn’t that hard. Even after graduating I have continued to save! This program gave me confidence and I know I can accomplish things. I have taken control back in my financial life and I’m forever grateful for that.”

To learn more, go to: www.launchokanagan.ca

In the attached photo from left to right: Dustin Read, Branch Manager Downtown Kelowna Branch; Jason Garrett, Branch Manager Rutland Branch; Jennifer Robins, Executive Director Launch Okanagan; Kylaina Dermedy, Branch Manager Guisachan Branch.
Our Foundation team is energized and happily pounding the pavement to participate in the Workout to Conquer Cancer. We're running, walking, hiking, gardening, chasing our children and playing with the dog - committed to intentional movement for at least 30 minutes every day in May. And we're not alone, many First West Credit Union staffers are doing the same, individually and on teams.
Last week we shared WHY we are participating in the Workout. This week, our small but might team of five is showing you HOW the Fab Fit Five are supporting the Workout to Conquer Cancer.
We are so proud of the two-year, $200,000 First West Credit Union partnership with the BC Cancer Foundation and we’re thrilled to be participating in the Workout to Conquer Cancer Challenge across all four regional divisions:
Enderby & District Financial, a division of First West CU, Envision Financial, a division of First West Credit Union, Island Savings a division of First West Credit Union and Valley First, a division of First West Credit Union.
Colleagues all across First West Credit Union are intentionally moving in May in support of the Workout to Conquer Cancer.
This first week we asked WHY they work out! They are making it personal with so many amazing reasons why: for those who have lost the fight, for those who are fighting, for those who have won, for our family, for our children, for our friends, for ourselves!
We are so proud of the two-year, $200,000 First West Credit Union partnership with the BC Cancer Foundation and we’re thrilled to be participating in the Workout to Conquer Cancer Challenge across all four regional divisions:
Enderby & District Financial, a division of First West CU
Envision Financial, a division of First West Credit Union
Island Savings a division of First West Credit Union
Valley First, a division of First West Credit Union
This May, join us in the #WorkoutToConquerCancer as we get moving to support BC cancer patients. Our staff will be getting their sweat on throughout the month in support of the 77,000 people facing cancer this year across the province. Plus, all donations made to the First West Credit Union team will be matched up to $10,000 to support our community partners at BC Cancer Foundation to advance cancer research and save lives! https://workouttoconquercancer.ca/participant/2...
To join the Challenge yourself, register today: https://workouttoconquercancer.ca
#WhyIWorkout #WorkoutBC Enderby & District Financial, a division of First West CU Envision Financial, a division of First West Credit Union Valley First, a division of First West Credit Union
Volunteers really are the heartbeat of a community. And we are taking this opportunity to send a boisterous shout out to all volunteers as these vital relationships create caring and compassionate communities.
As we celebrate National Volunteer Week and the theme for 2022, Volunteering is Empathy in Action, we turn our eyes to our Penticton community and #SimpleGenerosity Volunteer Award recipient Elaine Carbonneau.
Elaine has been volunteering with Penticton Soupateria for the past five years. Upon retiring from Valley First, a division of First West Credit Union a few years ago, she added the Penticton Art Gallery and Queens Park Elementary School to her growing volunteer repertoire, delightedly filling her retirement years contributing to her community.
It is easy to see why Elaine is described as an exceptional volunteer, spreading simple generosity in her community. “She is such a bright and cheerful spirit,” shares Valley First staffer and fellow Soupateria volunteer, Gwen Rikkinen. “Even after retiring from Valley First, she added even more volunteering to her schedule. She has lots of positive energy, happily volunteers at multiple venues and is ready to roll up her sleeves and get to work. She is such a pleasure to volunteer with.”
Elaine joyfully volunteers at Soupateria helping prepare meals for clients, helps at the Penticton Art Gallery in the gift shop and volunteers for the hot lunch program at Queen Park Elementary.
Nominated by Gwen Rikkinen, Elaine was selected earlier this year and excitedly made a $1,000 donation, courtesy of First West Credit Union, to Penticton Soupateria.
“Once I retired it was my vision to pick up where my mom left off,” shared Elaine when she was told she was receiving a Simple Generosity Volunteer Award. “Volunteering is deeply rooted in my soul and the Soupateria pulls at my heart strings in ways that I’ll never be able to convey.”
Thank you, Elaine for your incredible volunteer efforts. You are leading well in your community and Penticton shines brighter for your commitment to making a difference in the lives of others. You definitely bring heart!
#EmpathyInAction #NVW2022 #VolunteersBringHeart First West Foundation
Welcome to National Volunteer Week 2022! We’re spotlighting First West Credit Union staff (affectionately known as First Westers) who generously give back to their communities through volunteering.
Today we’re kicking off the week with shared service colleague Tony, working out of the Valley First, a division of First West Credit Union region. And we’re introducing you to Penticton parkrun!
Penticton parkrun is a weekly, family friendly, fun 5K community event. Run, walk, jog, volunteer or spectate; how you participate is up to you! A native of New Zealand, when Tony moved to Penticton there weren’t any parkruns anywhere in Canada. His team of four (two families) contacted parkrun global who cleared the way with some insurance challenges. One step closer, Tony and his team jumped through a few more hoops and got their Penticton event approved. Fundraising began in earnest to officially launch Penticton parkrun.
With 133 events under their belt and counting, Penticton parkrun takes place every Saturday at 8 am at the Peach. It comes as no surprise; the volunteers are the glue. A well-oiled machine, a core group of about 10 volunteers keeps the event running each week. Tony is often one of those volunteers and has worn many hats from set/takedown to event timer to processing results to finish tokens and run director.
If you ask Tony why it’s important to volunteer, he’s pretty matter of fact. “It’s just great to bring something to the community that is free and has a low cost of participation,” he says. “Grab some shoes, register online and you’re good to go!” Tony is quick to share the volunteer spotlight, celebrating a fellow volunteer has run twice but has volunteered over 110 times! Did we mention Tony has volunteered around 100 times!
The course is always the same. In the neighbourhood? Come on out and give it a try! Kudos to you, Tony for your leadership in bringing Penticton parkrun to the community. You are leading well, and the community is stronger for it!
Reflecting on an amazing year of #simplegenerosity in 2021, the Dragonfly Pond Family Society received a $2K Thriving Families grant supporting their Turkey Dinner Hamper and Christmas Celebration packages for families with children with complex care needs in the South Okanagan and Similkameen regions. The grant supported 25 Turkey Dinner Hampers.
The Society also holds Art in the Park programming at Lakawana Park during the summer months where Dragonfly Pond youth show off their skills and creativity in this very popular program.
Thank you, Dragonfly Pond Family Society for the amazing work you’re doing with children and families!
A huge shout out to #SimpleGenerosity Neighbourhood Grant recipient from Valley First, a division of First West Credit Union. Purple Pantry - Penticton Community Fridge and Pantry were able to stock the fridge with fresh produce, dairy products and meat along with additional groceries for future use. We are excited to see community initiatives come together in efforts to share Simple Generosity
"Give What You Can, Take What You Need"
The Kelowna Plasma Donor Centre is celebrating Green Shirt Day today thanks, in part, to a $500 Simple Generosity Neighbourhood Grant.
Green Shirt Day is today, April 7 and is an annual event inspired by Logan Boulet and the Logan Boulet Effect. The Logan Boulet Effect is the movement that emerged following the horrific Humboldt Broncos bus crash and was inspired by Logan’s organ and tissue donation. It started a wave of awareness of the importance of organ and tissue donation across Canada.
Green Shirt Day was created to honour and remember the victims of the fatal crash and to continue Logan’s legacy by inspiring Canadians to become organ donors.
In Kelowna, the staff and volunteers at the plasma donor centre are wearing green shirts and special treats are available for all donors. They want to be part of the conversation and everyone who comes into the Centre today will get a little more education along with their donation.
We are proud to support and highlight the Kelowna Plasma Donor Centre as you celebrate your staff, volunteers and donors while raising awareness of the important of organ and tissue donation.
We're committed to giving back to the community!
View the Pledge
184 Main Street
Penticton, British Columbia
V2A 8G7
Causes we care about

Top company causes

  • Food & Nutrition

  • Social Services

  • Financial Literacy

Top employee causes

  • Animal Welfare

  • Food & Nutrition

  • Health & Well-being

  • Environment

  • Sports and Recreation

  • Animal Welfare

  • Food & Nutrition

  • Health & Well-being

  • Environment

  • Sports and Recreation

Organizations our employees volunteer with
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