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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...
348 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
Okanagan Gymnastics Centre Society
Enactus Okanagan College
Boys and Girls Club of Kamloops
Canadian Mental Health Association - SOS
Helen's Acres Community Farm
CANSave Enactus Okanagan College
What people are saying about us
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 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 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
We are so excited about celebrating International Credit Union Day today!
We are the companion charity of First West Credit Union and its brands: 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. We couldn't be more passionate about our strong partnership in community - we are beaming with pride!
So today, we stand just a little taller, shout just a little louder as we wish our credit union friends and colleagues across Canada and around the world a very happy International Credit Union Day.
#community #cooperative #icuday #cooperativebanking #creditunion #credituniondifference #dogood #dogoodfeelgood #bettertogether
We were smiling through our tears as we cleaned onions for our friends at Penticton's Soupateria. Jackey Zellweger and I volunteered to help serve the Thanksgiving meal as part of Valley First, a division of First West Credit Union and First West Foundation's annual Make a Difference Days campaign.
Team members joined in on Thursday to help prep today's meal. Five turkeys, mashed potatoes, peas, carrots, stuffing, gravy and of course, pumpkin pie.
We send our heartfelt thanks to all volunteers who serve in our community!
When was the last time you enjoyed an ice cream float?
Jackey Zellweger and I celebrated BC Day by dishing some up for the seniors here in Penticton. It was lovely seeing smiling faces enjoy an old fashioned treat. Valley First, a division of First West Credit Union
We were thrilled to catch-up with Third Space Charity in-person yesterday for a fun cheque presentation and visit.
Congratulations, again to Third Space Charity as we presented a $10,000 Valley First, a division of First West Credit Union Community Endowment grant from the First West Foundation.
This capacity grant will help Third Space Charity continue to provide valuable learning experiences designed to equip the next generation of mental health care professionals with the tools and resources they’ll need to help others, while maintaining their own mental health and resilience.
Thanks for taking the time to chat with us and share your experiences as a mental health provider.
Another day, another look at one of the original BESTi organizations – the final on in our series, allow us to introduce you to Lake Country Art Gallery.
BESTi—the Building Excellence & Sustainability Together Intensive program is a partnership between Central Okanagan Foundation , City of Kelowna, the Non-profit Lifecycles Institute, Vantage Point and Valley First, a division of First West Credit Union.
Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, Lake Country Art Gallery presents artwork, artists, and exhibitions to engage, challenge and enrich the community. Along with its curated showcases and exhibitions, Lake Country Art Gallery also has a growing selection of community engagement programs, including educational workshops for all ages and abilities, weekly classes for special needs clients, gallery tours, art day field trips for local schools, summer camps, annual community night picnic, artisan markets, and more.
A participant in the 2021-2022 BESTi program, their consultant Kylie Hutchinson shares some insight, “Non-profit capacity building is not the kind of thing you can do off the side of your desk. The BESTi program successfully created the time and space for organizations to do some very critical reflection and action planning.” Working with Lake Country Art Gallery, “they really appreciated the opportunity to take many deep dives into all areas of their operations. As their consultant, I personally appreciated the luxury of being able to work with them consistently for a whole year.”
To learn more about Lake Country Art Gallery or to donate, visit http://lakecountryartgallery.ca

Photo credit: courtesy of Lake Country Art Gallery
We’re midway through our series highlighting BESTi participants and today we celebrate BESTi partner, Kelowna Gospel Mission. Serving the community since 1978, Kelowna’s Gospel Mission provides supports and services to those in need with resources like its soup kitchen, emergency shelter, and drop-in centre. With operations which include a thrift store, Kelowna’s Gospel Mission leads its community from homelessness into wholeness.
BESTi—the Building Excellence & Sustainability Together Intensive program is a partnership between Central Okanagan Foundation, City of Kelowna, the Non-profit Lifecycles Institute, Vantage Point and Valley First, a division of First West Credit Union.
”BESTi helped us to do a deep dive into our organization’s current position on the Non-Profit lifecycle, allowing us to make informed decisions on where to invest in order to see our capacity grow. There were also many unintentional benefits that we received due to the time spent with our consultant, who is a genius.” – shared Carmen Rempel, Kelowna Gospel Mission.
A member of the BESTi program, their consultant, Kerry Rempel shared her experience ““As a consultant, we rarely get an opportunity to work with a nonprofit client for an extended period of time. The structure of the BESTI program allowed for a deeper relationship to be built that extended beyond the “deliverables” of a contract. Because neither group was focused on billable hours or a specific item needing to be delivered, we had the opportunity to really dig into the root causes to issues facing the organization and to have frank discussions about where they were strong and where they wanted to make change. I would highly recommend this process to both consultants and organizations.”
To learn more about Kelowna’s Gospel Mission or to donate, visit http://kelownagospelmission.ca

Photo credit: courtesy of BESTi partner, Kelowna Gospel Mission
Celebrating our second BESTi partner, Kelowna’s Cool Arts Society - a team dedicated to providing fine art opportunities to adults with diverse abilities. Founded in 2003 by Sara McDonald to address the lack of accessibility for artists in the diverse ability community - today, artists and their work have been featured and celebrated across BC!
BESTi—the Building Excellence & Sustainability Together Intensive program is a partnership between Central Okanagan Foundation, City of Kelowna, the Non-profit Lifecycles Institute, Vantage Point and Valley First, a division of First West Credit Union.
"The BESTi program has been transformative for Cool Arts because we reflected on the organization’s current structure, set priorities within our capabilities, and at the same time build capacity. With the BESTi support and guidance of our amazing consultant, Weldon Leblanc, we feel empowered, energized, and unstoppable, which ultimately supports our raison d'être—the Artists of Cool Arts!”
Building a community practice for local knowledge leaders and consultants was designed into the BESTi program—leading Cool Arts Society on their capacity journey was Weldon Leblanc.
“I loved the comprehensive approach of the BESTi program. It reinforced to me that consultants need to meet organizations where they are and focus on the capacity challenges holding organizations back. My group thrived on the peer-to-peer learning environment. They learned that they didn't have to do it all right now.
Once they recognized their organization lifecycle, they breathed a sigh of relief—that it was ok not to be perfect and 'do it all' right now. This allowed them to focus on building the organization for the future with a focus on addressing their capacity challenges. As a consultant, I found the BESTi program to be the perfect living laboratory for not-for-profit organizations - and an opportunity for consultants to hone their skills.”
To learn more about Cool Arts Society or to donate, visit http://coolarts.ca
Follow along as we continue to highlight our BESTi participants over the next few weeks.
Photo credit: courtesy of BESTi partner, Cool Arts Society
How do you know you have a winning program? When participating organizations dedicate 12 months of leadership knowledge to collaborating, learning, and growing, that’s how!
BESTi—the Building Excellence & Sustainability Together Intensive program is a partnership between Central Okanagan Foundation, City of Kelowna, the Non-profit Lifecycles Institute, Vantage Point and Valley First, a division of First West Credit Union.
Meet our first BESTi participant, Childhood Connections–Okanagan Family & Childcare Society. Serving Kelowna since 1977, Childhood Connections provides services & resources to help children across the region grow and thrive in safe, secure and healthy environments.
Executive Director Melissa Hunt says of their experience with the BESTi program, "Working with our consultant has supported us on seeing where we are as an organization, where we have come from and helped us to review next steps on our organizational life cycle journey. It has been an amazing process and really got us to thinking differently and dig in deep to what our purpose and mission is as an organization."
BESTi consultant Lesley Dyck shares, “Participating in the BESTi program with Vantage Point was such a great opportunity to learn about the ‘Nonprofit Lifecycle Model’ and apply it in practice simultaneously. Being in a cohort situation allowed me to learn from other skilled and experienced consultants and provide my volunteer time to support the learning of a dynamic community based nonprofit organization. This program supported me to think deeply about the ‘Lifecycle Model’ and to see it applied in action to a diversity of nonprofit organizations … an absolutely unparalleled learning opportunity! I have such appreciation for the team and support from Vantage Point … thank you!”
To learn more about Childhood Connections or to donate, visit https://childhoodconnections.ca
Photo credit: photo courtesy of BESTi partner, Childhood Connections
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.
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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