OCU has the cash if not-for-profits can show the need

The OCU has a history of surprising local non-profits. In May 2016, it showed up with $10,000 for the Osoyoos Child Care Centre.

The giving continues at the Osoyoos Credit Union.

Last week, the credit union hosted an information session to introduce its partnership with Volinspire, an online resource that helps non-profits and registered charities build their presence in the community.

It was there that Greg Sol, OCU’s general manager, broke the news on an even bigger project.

“In October, we are looking to give away $50,000 to non-profit organizations — organizations that are bettering our community.”

The credit union is asking those organizations to submit a Corporate Giving Grant Application — the form is available at the OCU’s Main Street location — and share in the community building it has continued since first opening 71 years ago.

“We’re part of the community and our community is part of us,” said Mr. Sol. “We, as a credit union, have decided we wanted to give back to our community in a tangible way.

“The community is what makes us successful. Together we prosper.”

The deadline to submit grant applications is October 31.

“They need to have it into us by end of October,” Mr. Sol said of applicants. “We’ve got a committee who will be reviewing all those applications and distributing $50,000 to our community.”

As to how that distribution will be determined, well, that’s a work in process.

“We won’t necessarily be able to give money to everybody,” he said. “Or maybe we will, it depends on who applies.”

The credit union hopes to use the money to provide for additional growth in the community — and perhaps even leverage additional funding.

“Often times, you can get government money when there are other people interested in chipping in, too,” he explained, citing the Osoyoos Airport Society as one example.

The bottomline, he explained, is how the credit union can “best impact this community in a good way to thank it for how it supports us.”

“We want to give people the opportunity to come to us and say here’s the project we’re looking to do and here’s how you can impact our project.”

The program is intended to continue into 2018 and beyond, although with a different format.

“Going forward, it’s going to be twice a year,” Mr. Sol explained. “It’ll be at the end of June and end of October; we’re going to be taking applications and looking at them twice a year.”

Mr. Sol said the the credit union’s board and management team has the backing of its patrons, who already receive annual rebates.

“From what I’ve heard, they see this as a real positive,” he said. “People talk about causes. Our cause is our community: we’re here to support our community. We’re sharing our resources as a community.

“Giving $5,000 to an organization can be stunning — how that can transform a community and a service within our community.”



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