Meet The Hospital Visionaries Caring For Our Community: Island Savings
November 21, 2020 marks the day the Victoria Hospitals Foundation expected to celebrate our 30th annual Visions fundraising gala. When COVID-19 changed everything, what didn’t change was our corporate sponsors’ commitment to our local hospitals. There won’t be a gala this year, not until its safe to do so and our caregivers can be there alongside us. But that hasn’t changed the commitment of generous organizations and individuals to better our hospitals a truly critical time. We’re deeply grateful for the continued support of our Hospital Visionaries.
We invite you to learn more about our Hospital Visionary – Island Savings, and what inspires them to support our hospitals.
Why is giving back important to Island Savings?
KENDALL GROSS, President Island Savings: As a member-owned financial cooperative, helping our communities thrive is part of who we are. Our members take pride in knowing that by doing business with us and investing with us, they are also helping to strengthen local businesses and community organizations. The Victoria Hospitals Foundation (VHF) is a pillar in the Victoria area, and we share a common interest in helping make our communities a better place to live, work, and play.
Why is it important to you to support our local hospitals?
KG: In one way or another, our lives are all touched by the important work that hospitals do. Over the last several months during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been reminded of their importance, and our thanks go out to the frontline teams working hard each and every day to help keep us safe. Our local hospitals have led—and will continue to lead—the way in transforming healthcare for our community.
How do Island Savings employees give back?
KG: Through Lead Well, our social vision, we encourage our employees to volunteer with local organizations in the social sector to help build resilient communities. Our employees spent 5,963 hours helping those in need and building our local communities in 2019, with 2,590 of those hours given during work hours. For example, we launched The Full Cupboard in the summer of 2016, an innovative community partnership aimed at tackling hunger in our community. In 2019 alone, the program generated $77,550 and 2,730 lbs of food, equivalent to 232,650 meals for British Columbians.
What has inspired you to support Visions?
KG: We’ve supported the VHF annual fundraising gala since 2008. Organizations like VHF rely upon these events to continue to provide vital support for our community. The absence of these events and corresponding sponsorships has created a large gap in funding for many of these organizations. We are proud to say that throughout this pandemic, Island Savings has not only fulfilled our sponsorship commitments for events that may have been cancelled or postponed, but we also looked at ways to support local non-profits even further. One way was our community response fund, launched to provide $150,000 to organizations on Vancouver Island and the Southern Gulf Islands. After all, it is during the hard times that our community partners need us the most.
About Island Savings:
Island Savings is a premier provider of banking and investment services for residents and businesses throughout Vancouver Island and the Southern Gulf Islands. As a division of First West Credit Union, BC’s third-largest credit union with 46 branches throughout the province, Island Savings brings innovative products, an extensive branch network, and local decision-making to the banking experience.