A number of Osoyoos-based not-for-profits will get early Christmas gifts tomorrow, courtesy of the Osoyoos Credit Union.
OCU will announce Friday morning recipients for its first Community Giving Grants, a program that will deliver $50,000 into the community.
“We had 15 applications and eight successful recipients,” said OCU manager Greg Sol.
“We tried to keep a balance between economic development, culture and sport. And we kept an eye on age brackets as well, providing funds to services that benefit seniors, adults and children.”
The eight not-for-profits will share the full $50,000.
“We don’t see this as giving away $50,000,” said Mr. Sol. “We see this as an investment in the community — it’s amazing what $50,000 can do in a community of our size, especially with the amazing volunteers we have here.”
The application review process involved a team of five — Mr. Sol and another OCU employee, an OCU director and two members at large from the community.
“We had good dialogue between the five of us,” Mr. Sol said. “We were all on the same page in a lot of ways. It wasn’t an onerous project.
“Understanding how we could benefit and impact our community really helped.”
OCU plans to continue the grant program into 2018, asking for grant applications in March and October. Mr. Sol expects some of the unsuccessful applicants will apply again in the New year.
“We were looking to see the grant funding deployed quickly,” he said, explaining some of the applications were for events down the road. “It was important for us to be able to quickly see results for what the grants could do.”
The Community Giving Grant program is in line with the credit union’s mission, which has at its root maintaining a community focus while providing competitive products and professional personal service.
“I’ve heard nothing but positive comments and I think that goes to the values of the credit union and why people deal with us,” said Mr. Sol. “They like that we’re local, we understand our local community and we give back to our local community.
“That’s important to our members; they see the benefit of that.”
OCU, founded in 1946, is member-owned and governed. The first annual meeting consisted of eighteen people; to date the credit union has remained an independent cooperative financial institution with approximately 5,000 members.