“Snow” was the first English word Jaswinder Garib learned when she moved to Canada with her family as a young girl.
Jas was just nine years old when they arrived in Vancouver from a small village in northern India in December 1970 and were picked up by her aunt and uncle. It had snowed the night before.
“I remember coming out of the airport and getting into their car – and everything was pristine white,” she recalled. “Being from India and never having seen snow — I didn’t know what it was. For me, I thought I was in the clouds.”
“Then my aunt, who was driving, kept using the word ‘Snow.’ ‘It’s fluffy and white and it’s cold.’
That was my first impression of Canada — it was like heaven.”
Eventually Jas and her family moved to Penticton and she went on to graduate from Pen High in 1980.
She got married shortly afterwards, but continued to live in Penticton raising her daughter Krystal and son Alexi while also working in various office jobs over the years.
Jas is donating $30,000 to the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation to help provide medical equipment for the Penticton Regional Hospital expansion.
Jas emphasizes her gift is part of the overall $500,000 pledge to the PRH campaign from the Indo-Canadian community in the South Okanagan. She praised the hard work of the Indo campaign organizers and hundreds of other donors involved.
“As a community, we’ve now been in the Okanagan for a long time and it’s good to see our community coming out and creating a bigger presence by putting on events,” she said.
“The good thing about the Punjabi community is we enjoy doing things collectively and helping wherever we can. When we work together we can really do great things.”
Jas noted she is contributing a very small piece of a much larger donation. The local Indo-Canadian community has now raised almost $450,000 towards its total pledge.
The new PRH tower will be ready for patients in April 2019. Work will then begin on Phase 2 of the $312-million project, including a major upgrade to the Emergency Department.