At Innovation, we are committed to Responsible Banking™. A key part of Responsible Banking™ is giving back to the communities we serve. We’re always looking for different ways to give back, whether through donations, by volunteering, or creating various programs and initiatives. Since 2007, Innovation has donated over over $7.60 million to our communities. Our staff also donate their time to support organizations that matter. In 2019, Innovation staff volunteered over 12,899 hours for local charities. We’re also deeply invested in supporting the causes that matter to Innovation members. In a community survey earlier this year (2021), Innovation members voted to support mental health. So, we made a $5,000 donation to the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Saskatchewan Division to be used for the H.O.P.E. Learning Centre. Last month, we called upon our members again to nominate deserving charities as part of a community impact campaign. We’re thrilled by the number of nominations you submitted and even more excited to announce the deserving recipients.
Innovation Community Impact Campaign
The Innovation Community Impact Campaign aimed to support local registered charitable organizations within Saskatoon and Regina by giving away eight $2,500 donations. That means, a total of $20,000 to the winning nominated charities. We asked people (both Innovation members and non-members) to nominate local registered charitable organizations within Saskatoon and Regina and tell us why they deserve to win the $2,500 donation or about their work in the community. The idea was for people to nominate a local charity that they felt was contributing to efforts towards building and supporting the community. By doing this, we would also be helping in some small way to their community-building and community-support efforts. At the heart of it all was our desire to give back. We’re a designated Caring Company by Imagine Canada and consistently surpass the Imagine Canada 1% benchmark, funneling at least 2% of our pre-tax profits back into the communities we serve. With that view, our Community Impact Campaign would also help to meet our Responsible Banking™ targets of 2-4%.
We received many nominations and were thrilled by the response. While we would love to donate to every single charity, we did have to select only eight organizations. To keep the process fair and transparent, we chose the winners through a random draw from all eligible entries. Without further ado, here are the winning charitable organizations and the heart-warming nomination stories that were sent in about them.
Innovation Credit Union Community Impact Campaign Recipients
In no particular order, here are the eight registered charitable organizations that received a $2,500 donation through our Community Impact Campaign. If you’d like to know more about the charities and the work they do, please visit the organization’s website.
- Regina Work Preparation Centre Inc.
Nomination Story: “Regina work prep has so many wonderful programs geared at helping individuals get the skills they need to find meaningful employment.”
- Regina Food for Learning Association Inc.
Nomination Story: “This amazing group of volunteers of all ages have been working preparing, distributing, and sharing food in Regina schools for decades. They operate on a minimal budget and with donations from the community. They have over decades provided children and families with hundreds of thousands of snacks, breakfasts, and lunches. They also with assistance from public health provided children with nutritious cooking classes. In addition, they support and provide meals and baby food to young moms to help them complete their education. The difference they have made on so many young lives to help them stay in school and eliminate daily hunger is immeasurable. When a child says my mom or dad is here helping make lunches for all the kids, that child has a sense of belonging and they know there is nothing to be embarrassed about when they have no food and there are always others to share and help.”
- Regina Early Learning Centre Inc.
Nomination Story: “The Regina Early Learning Centre is a child development centre that provides a continuum of support to parents and caregivers of children - prenatal to age five. They partner with parents, who are the child's first teacher, and offer a wealth or resources and support to enable them to be the best parents they can be.”
- Regina & District Food Bank Inc.
Nomination Story: “The reliance on Regina Food Bank has increased significantly during the pandemic, and 40% of their clients are children. The Regina Food Bank is currently in a drive to raise 1 Million Meals for Regina’s most vulnerable. Each $1 secures 3 meals, so a $2,500 donation would secure 7,500 meals locally!”
- Saskatoon Student Child Care Services Inc.
Nomination Story: “SSCCS provides early learning and childcare programming and support programs to teen and young parents as they complete their high school education. Many parents lack the support they need to be successful. SSCCS becomes like a family to these students and children. In addition, SSCCS collaborates in the educational programming for early childhood educators in Saskatoon.”
- Meewasin Valley Authority (Saskatoon)
Nomination Story: “Meewasin is upgrading 4 trail sections to improve accessibility, safety and overall experience for Saskatoon residents. These upgrades include new boardwalks, seating areas, lighting and doubling the width of the trail. The Meewasin trail received over 1.87 million visits last year and 89% of city residents recognize the Meewasin Valley as Saskatoon’s most important attribute.”
- SCAT Street Cat Rescue Program Inc. (Saskatoon)
Nomination Story: “SCAT is celebrating 25 years of helping street cats and kittens in Saskatoon and surrounding communities, but the need for help continues to grow. SCAT is reliant on fundraising to continue its life-saving efforts. Last year, SCAT took in record numbers of cats, all of which have been given a chance at a better life. Each cat receives medical care including vaccinations, parasite treatments, testing, and spay/neuter surgery, and much more if needed. SCAT has saved so many feline lives and could do so much with the much-needed extra funds.”
- Saskatoon Search and Rescue Inc.
Nomination Story: “SSAR members take time away from work or are on call 24/7. They have some equipment and talented/technical people, including medical people that volunteer to go out and look for lost and missing people, no questions asked. They are a group needed in any city/town. They are trained by the Fire Dept., Police Dept., SaskTel, SHAW, and many other organizations. The members give of their time and talents freely with no remuneration and have to buy all their own equipment. SSAR can use all the money they can get to save lives. Storage for their equipment has been donated by the Saskatoon Fire Dept. There is much more equipment needed. Just think, one day it may be a relative/friend or even you that needs rescuing. Please pick SSAR in Saskatoon for one of your gifts.”
The Community Impact Campaign was a great success in Saskatoon and Regina. We’ll continue to monitor its potential as a future option for other communities we serve.