Langley, B.C.— As part of the annual BC Children’s Hospital Foundation (BCCHF) Miracle Weekend on May 31 and June 1, First West Credit Union employees, including employees from its Envision Financial and Valley First local brands, were proud to present nearly $45,000 to the BCCHF. Since 2007, the credit union has raised almost $275,000 in support of the BCCHF. For many employees who have experienced the amazing services offered by the hospital, Miracle Weekend provides a chance to give back and help others.
“Supporting the Foundation is a really big priority for First West because the work of the hospital has made a life-changing difference for British Columbians—and for a number of us at the credit union,” says Susan Byrom, First West’s manager of community investment. “We’re proud of the way First West employees give back to the hospital each and every year.”
In addition to its fundraising efforts supporting BCCHF and Miracle Weekend, eight First West employees also volunteered as Miracle Makers to man phone lines during the Miracle Weekend, taking pledges and calling donors to thank them for supporting BCCHF. The event was especially poignant for Shannon White, one of First West’s Miracle Maker volunteers. White, a team member at Valley First’s Princeton branch, currently has a newborn grandson, Grayson, receiving care at BC Women’s Hospital & Health Centre. Grayson was born 13 weeks premature.
“The staff at BCCH and BC Women’s Hospital & Health Centre—nurses, doctors, clerks, everyone—is absolutely amazing,” she says. “They’re not only knowledgeable, but incredibly kind and willing to listen. They made us feel at ease, right at home like we were extended family. I’m so grateful to them and being part of Miracle Weekend was something I felt I needed to do to show my appreciation.”
First West has a long history of involvement with BCCHF. Since 2007, employees have raised nearly $275,000 to support research, equipment and education programs and services that ensure B.C.’s kids and families receive the best health care available. Employee fundraising in 2014 included participation in slo-pitch tournaments, BCCHF’s Jeans Day™, and First West’s corporate challenge, for which White’s grandson was the rallying point.
“Our province’s credit unions are having an impact on the lives of children and families every day,” says Raymond Li, chair of BC Children’s Hospital Foundation’s 2014 Miracle Weekend. “Their support of Miracle Weekend is helping to give patients at BC Children’s Hospital the best care possible today, and ensuring that caregivers and researchers can continue to build on that high level of care in the future. We are very grateful for their support.”
Shannon White has a few corporate donations coming in and her webpage is open for donations until the end of June. To date, Shannon’s personal fundraising efforts have gathered $5863.31
On behalf of herself, Miranda, Jeff, Caden and baby Grayson, Shannon expresses her their heart-felt gratitude, “Thank you Princeton, from the bottom of our hearts. Thank you for opening your hearts to make it possible to help children and families in need.”
Shannon says that Grayson has graduated from incubator to crib and that Miranda is able now, to pick him up and hold him as often as she can. Grayson is still having difficulties but grandma’s Little Warrior Peanut is active and smiling.
BC Children’s Hospital is recognized as a one of the premiere children’s hospitals in North America. Funds raised during Miracle Weekend are used to purchase specialized life-saving equipment, fund research in the prevention, treatment and cure of childhood illnesses like diabetes, cancer and infectious diseases and provide educational programs throughout the province.