BVCU is big on community support

Bulkley Valley Credit Union has given back a cumulative total of more than $250,000.

(L-R) BVCU’s Lakes District branch manager Sandy Dore and BVCU staff members Chelsey Graham and Carren Wilson offer up a slice of pie during pie day celebrations. (R) BVCU staff present a $17

(L-R) BVCU’s Lakes District branch manager Sandy Dore and BVCU staff members Chelsey Graham and Carren Wilson offer up a slice of pie during pie day celebrations. (R) BVCU staff present a $17

Over the past few years Bulkley Valley Credit Union (BVCU) has given back a cumulative total of more than $250,000 each year to the communities of the Lakes District, Houston, Smithers and Hazelton.

The BVCU first opened its doors in May 1941 and since then has operated with a focus on giving back to each of the four communities. According to BVCU Lakes District branch manager Sandy Dore, 2011 saw an additional $17,500 to each community for a total of $70,000 in honour of their 70 anniversary. Dore said, “The Bulkley Valley Credit Union establishes annual budgets for community support and economic development.”

The budget for community support is three per cent of the earnings before taxes, dividends and patronage for each of the four communities. “This provides funding for requests received from various groups or associations in the community.”

A committee comprised of two branch staff, a BVCU director and community members of the branch review all the applications the BVCU receives.

“An annual budget is also set for economic development for the service area from Hazelton to Burns Lake and each branch has a committee comprised of a branch manager, a BVCU director and two members of the branch/community to review applications for funding requests related to economic development.”

Dore said the Lakes District branch is pleased to note that $25,000 toward economic development came to the Burns Lake area in 2010 and to date in 2011 a total of $13,400 has been allocated to the local area.

Not only does the BVCU show its appreciation to customers through funding community based initiatives, but every year in October the BVCU recognizes its customers through pie day.

Dore said pie day came about as an appreciation day for BVCU members more than 13 years ago.

“Three years ago BVCU decided to incorporate pie day as recognition and celebration of International Credit Union Day on Oct. 20, and tying it in with member appreciation day.”

International Credit Union Day is designed to create awareness and celebrate the ways credit unions improve the lives of their members around the world.

More than 49,000 credit unions worldwide serve nearly 184 million people in 97 countries. Over 4.6 million Canadians rely on credit unions, almost 1.5 million of them are in British Columbia.

This year’s theme, “Credit Unions build a better world,” celebrates the important economic and social contributions credit unions make to their communities worldwide.

Dore said, “Although, we do this as member appreciation, we invite anyone in the community to drop in to the branch to help us celebrate and enjoy a piece of pie and coffee.”

Each of the four branches asks different community organizations such as grad class, 4H Club, minor hockey, figure skating club  to prepare pies.

The group is then paid by the BVCU for the pies as a fundraiser. “Our branch usually has more than 20 pies made,” she said.