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First Credit Union plans early close for volunteerism activities

Financial institution's Community Impact Day set for June 15 in Powell River and at other branches

On Thursday, June 15, First Credit Union (FCU) branches around Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast will close at 2 pm as more than 100 employees head out into their communities to volunteer at beach cleanups, community gardens, a seniors’ residence and more.

Post pandemic, Community Impact Day is back, and staff are excited, according to Tara Chernoff, VP impact and marketing. All eight FCU branches, including Powell River, will close three hours early. For those three hours employees spend time at an organized volunteer activity in their community.

“Community Impact Day started in 2015, and it was such a success we started holding it annually,” stated Chernoff, in a media release. “At this year’s event we expect there to be a total of 320 hours volunteered.”

The following events are happening:

• On Texada Island employees will be volunteering at the Texada Guiding Thrift Store, a community-based non-profit that supports the local Girl Guides.

• In Powell River employees will be choosing to help with cleaning and maintenance at Powell River SPCA, with gardening and visiting seniors at Willingdon Creek Village Residence, or with trail maintenance at the Resource Recovery Centre.

• On Bowen Island and in Union Bay employees will be participating in local beach cleanups.

• In Bowser employees will be participating in a community cleanup.

• Hornby Island employees will be celebrating Community Impact Day a day earlier, on June 14, by volunteering in their community from 12 to 3:30 pm.

• Employees in Courtenay and Cumberland will be gathering at LUSH Valley’s Tsolum Garden Project, which serves as a school garden for learners of all ages through local agriculture and food security projects.

The benefits of Community Impact Day are layered, according to Chernoff. In addition to benefiting supported organizations, employees also enjoy the chance to get out into the community, working together for a good cause; the day is about community building and fostering relationships.

“Many times, the activities give our employees the opportunity to try something new," stated Chernoff, "and everyone enjoys the chance to have a break from their regular routine."