Community Giving Awards
From matching donations, to employee giving days, to advancing grassroots initiatives that benefit local communities, giving back to BC communities is an integral part of FortisBC’s culture.
Each year we give out four, $15,000 community giving awards to non-profit organizations that make a difference within FortisBC-served communities. It’s among the many ways we give back to the communities that our employees live and work.
This year’s award recipients are Castlegar Community Response Network (CRN), Ladysmith Kinsmen Club, Carney Hill Neighbourhood Centre Society and the Friends in Need Food Bank.
Castlegar Community Response Network
Since July 2017, the Castlegar CRN has hosted more than 15 events for Castlegar seniors each month, with activities ranging from lunch and learns, cook and shares, chair yoga, journaling and more.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Castlegar CRN pivoted to deliver homemade dishes and baked goods to seniors in their homes, delivering more than 2,000 meal packages to more than 165 seniors.
With the gradual reopening of the provincial economy, they have resumed their events in smaller numbers due to physical distancing considerations.
Ladysmith Kinsmen Club
The Ladysmith Kinsmen Club is using their award to build a 24/7 public washroom facility. The Province of BC declared public washrooms an essential service earlier in 2020.
Currently, there are only two publicly accessible washrooms in Ladysmith – a portable toilet on a main street and a staff washroom in the Chamber of Commerce, open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Saturday, for paying customers only.
The washroom will be gender-neutral, family-friendly and wheelchair-accessible. Due to COVID-19 considerations, the facility will also have hand-sanitizing stations. FortisBC’s donation will help start the construction of this important project.
Carney Hill Neighbourhood Centre Society
Carney Hill Neighbourhood Centre has supported children and families in the Veterans' Land Act neighbourhood of Prince George since 1994. Its childcare centre provides a secure, nurturing educational environment for children. The childcare centre strives to provide children with a safe environment to grow physically, emotionally, socially and intellectually.
This childcare centre is in need of an upgrade and FortisBC’s Community Giving Award will help with these upgrades such as replacing furniture pieces, toys and equipment to ensure a safe and healthy place to learn and grow.
Friends in Need Food Bank
Friends in Need Food Bank runs a perishable food recovery program in Maple Ridge in collaboration with four local stores. For 364 days a year, refrigerated trucks pick up perishable, unsold food from local grocery stores and volunteers categorize these items as either fit for human consumption, fit for animal feed or fit for compost. Often that same day, the food fit for human consumption is shared through community partners or their own trade hubs.
In their first year of operation, Friends in Need Food Bank prevented more than 506,000 kilograms of perishable food from entering landfills, reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 961,848 kilograms. The food bank is hoping to double their recovered perishable food items by the end of their second year, June 2021.
The food bank is also looking to expand their program and establish a dedicated food recovery facility to process larger amounts of perishables. By doubling their operations, they will be preventing more than a million kilograms of food from entering landfills, sharing more than 92,000 kilograms of food and reducing almost two million kilograms of carbon dioxide emissions.