What’s in Store: Credit unions acting as angels

Credit unions in Langley are stepping up to help on many different fronts this holiday season.

There’s Envision Financial, that is just wrapping up its latest efforts with their Full Cupboard initiative. Vancity had their Angel tree program.

Then, there’s Aldergrove Credit Union, as well as other local businesses, that have stepped up to help the Langley Source Food Bank amid their misfortune.

I’ve been very impressed with the efforts of all these local businesses and business leaders, who have stepped up to help our local non-denominational food bank, Source, after some thefts and a run of bad luck.

While reporter Matthew Claxton has been covering off this story and keeping us apprised, I just want to express my thanks and appreciation.

The flood of support has been impressive, including a $5,000 from the team at the Aldergrove Credit Union – a group that always step up – month-after-month – to help so many.

And, speaking of financial institutions giving back, Willoughby’s newest – G&F Financial – just made a million dollar donation to help mark its 75th anniversary.

G&F, which has a branch in the new Willoughby Town Centre, will be giving back through its foundation to support local initiatives and non-profits.

In the meantime, another credit union with Langley ties, Westminster Savings, this month donated $10,000 to Athletics for Kids (a4k) through its foundation.

Have to love efforts, like this and the Canadian Tire’s JumpStart, that help get kids playing amateur sports.

In this case, the funding will help support the Athletics for Kids (a4k) sports granting program, which provides financial assistance to families at a disadvantage so that children can participate in organized sports activities.

“We are honoured to have been chosen by Westminster Savings Foundation to receive this grant,” said Sandy Hancock, executive director of Athletics 4 Kids.

“It is wonderful to combine forces with corporate citizens whose community priorities align with our goals and mission to get kids active and keep them active for the long-term,” Hancock said.

Grant applications continue to arrive at increased levels every day, and it is community partners like Westminster Savings that will allow the to assist even more needy families moving into 2016, she explained.

“We cannot thank Westminster Savings enough for all the support they have provided over the past year.”

Westminster Savings CEO Gavin Toy said the institution is committed to supporting projects that provide access to active living opportunities, and we can all benefit from that – at any age.

Athletics for Kids (a4k) has been putting B.C. children and youth into sports programs since 2002, and through the years has ensured thousands of kids from low-income families have had a chance to get in the game.

As a privately funded charitable organization, a4k works hard to fundraise through multiple events, partnerships and campaigns, so that no child gets turned away. This year, a4k will provide almost 900 youth sports grants to 5-18 year olds around B.C., playing in more than 40 different sports; up to $600 per year is provided to each qualified child and a4k will fund more than one sporting pursuit in a 12 month period, as long as they are not concurrent.

• Add to the datebook

When you’re overstuffed on turkey and all the Christmas fixings and looking to get out and socialize with people who are not your family, you might be interested in a get together at Earls.

The Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce is hosting its monthly U40 Monthly Mingle on Wednesday, Jan. 6. This is an event meant to help motivate young and emerging professionals to come together to network, share ideas, and become leaders in Langley.

The mingling events are hosted at different businesses each month. This time, it just so happens, it’s being held at Earls Kitchen + Bar, at 64th Avenue and 200th Street. The bonus, attendees can enjoy free appetizers and a chance to network, plus – rumour has it – there might be some door prizes.

Pre-registration is required by calling the chamber at 604-371-3770.

Also on the books for January, Metro Vancouver chair Greg Moore will be the guest speaker at the chamber’s monthly dinner meeting. He’ll be talking about regional planning and the economy.

That meeting is set for Tuesday, Jan. 19, starting with networking at 5 p.m. at the Cascades Casino.

Also on their list of January events, the chamber has its Lunch & Learn on Jan. 20, and its Open Late for Business session on Jan. 28. For more information: langleychamber.com.

And while it’s not being hosted in Langley, Langley’s chamber is helping coordinate a regional networking session at the Hard Rock Casino in Coquitlam next month.

This session, called New Year – New Connections – is an evening of networking with an estimated 400 members from 12 different chambers coming together. Info is available by emailing info@langleychamber.com.



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