Vancity offers free cash, but no takers

Lower Mainland credit union wants to help local groups

Vancity credit union is offering grants of up to $10,000 for community groups and projects in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows, but so far they have had few takers.

Vancity spokesperson Lorraine Wilson says she hopes that will change.

“The funding is there, but we’re not getting people coming forward to apply [in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows],” she said.

“A lot of organizations don’t really know where to go when it comes to grants, so we’re a good place to start.”

The community credit union, which has branches in Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge, is offering funding for up to 70 per cent of a total project’s budget, including cash and in-kind contributions.

Projects chosen will “help create sustainable places to live, [invest] for positive change in the community, and focus on educating people on how to build their financial knowledge.” A maximum of $10,000 is awarded per project, with $2,500 grants available for conferences, workshops, and forums, and $1,000 grants available for funding for community festivals.

Wilson said there is no limit to the number of grants awarded locally.

Previous local recipients of Vancity grants include Family Education and Support Centre, community kitchens; Haney Farmers Market Society, and Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Community Services.

Wilson said Vancity has distributed more than $155,000 in the past 10 years throughout Maple Ridge, in addition to grants from the two local branches, which distribute close to $5,000 annually.

Since 1994, Vancity has distributed $221 million to members through dividends and to communities through grants and community investment initiatives.

Deadline is Sept 17. Go to:  www.vancity.com/grants .