Over 44-thousand Metro Vancouver youth to benefit from grant investments

Coast Capital Savings’ unique Young Leaders Community Council announces 2014 grant recipients

Keeners Car Wash 1

"Andrew Bryson, General Manager of Keeners Car Wash (left), gives Kevin Keystone, Chair of the Metro Vancouver Young Leaders Community Council (right), the reigns to finish washing his car."

Keeners Car Wash 2

"Andrew Bryson, General Manager of Keeners Car Wash (right) and Kevin Keystone, Chair of the Metro Vancouver Young Leaders Community Council (left), share a laugh and a handshake after a successful day of working together."

Vancouver, B.C. – December 12, 2014 – Coast Capital Savings’ Metro Vancouver Young Leaders Community Council (YLCC) has awarded over $550,000 in grants to 53 Metro Vancouver youth-focused not-for-profit organizations. These community-oriented investments support programs that help nearly 45,000 youth in the region.

Among this year’s recipients is Family Services of Greater Vancouver, who received funding in support of Keeners Car Wash, a car washing service that sends all net profits to support Vancouver’s homeless youth.

“The impact of this grant will be significant, allowing us to hire more youth, contribute to the saving of over a million liters of drinkable water and, ultimately, grow our enterprise that much closer to being self-sustainable through our revenues,” says Andrew Bryson, general manager of Keeners Car Wash. “It’s an affirmation by Coast Capital’s Young Leaders Community Council of our commitment to building brighter tomorrows for Vancouver’s youth through innovative and environmentally sound business practices.”

The grants, up to $30,000 each, are awarded through a unique “for youth, by youth” process led by the Metro Vancouver YLCC, one of three regional Coast Capital youth councils. The councils were created as part of Coast Capital’s community promise to build a richer future for youth. Each YLCC is made up of eight young volunteer leaders from the community and Coast Capital savings, all 30 years old or younger. The teams are mentored throughout their duration on the councils, enabling them to develop critical leadership skills. In turn, they help to manage the community giving program, and base granting decisions on specific criteria aligned with Coast’s four areas of youth focus: education, family and social connections, financial well-being, and health.

Kevin Keystone, chair of the Metro Vancouver YLCC, says that each year the funding decisions prove challenging. “With the many strong applications our council had to review, the decisions we made were not easy ones,” says Keystone. “We are inspired by the 2014 recipients and the difference they're making in the lives of young people in our communities. Each recipient is an organization committed to meeting the needs of youth, both now and into the future.”

The local community investment program and the YLCCs were developed with the support and approval of the Coast Capital Board of Directors, who are passionate advocates for the credit union’s youth-focused philosophy.

 “As a Board, we are very excited by the YLCCs and the important work they are doing, which brings pride to our organization and our community.  I want to acknowledge each of the councils in helping Coast Capital realize its community promise of helping build a richer future for youth. These young people truly bring our community promise to life,” says Coast Capital Board Member Faye Wightman.

In 2014, Coast Capital awarded $1.5 million through over 120 grants – an investment that will help over 168,000 local youth.  Of the $1.5 million, Young Leader Community Councils directed: $370,000 to support programs that enhance financial well-being; $309,000 to programs that support youth with their education, $616,000 to programs that help build life and social skills and reduce bullying, and $206,000 to programs that support youth in improving their mental health.

The Metro Vancouver Young Leaders Community Council is one of three regional YLCCs; there are also councils in the Fraser Valley and on Vancouver Island. Each council is made up of four young leaders from the community and four young leaders from Coast Capital Savings, all 30 years old or younger.  In addition to helping to determine the funding priorities of Coast Capital’s $1.5 million community granting program, the councils give young people the opportunity to hone their leadership skills and gain valuable community volunteer experience.

Coast Capital Savings annually invests seven per cent of pre-tax profits in charitable programs and local initiatives to help strengthen the communities that it serves. This amounted to $5.7 million in 2014, for a total of nearly $56 million since 2000.

About Coast Capital Savings 
Coast Capital Savings is Canada’s second largest credit union, owned by its 512,000 members. It has 50 branches in the Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley, and Vancouver Island regions of British Columbia, and has exciting plans to grow. Product innovations include Canada's first free chequing account from a full-service financial institution. Coast Capital offers one of Canada's 10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures™ and was named one of 2014’s BC Top Employers. It is a member of Canada's Best Managed Companies Platinum Club and an Imagine Canada Caring Company. To learn more: www.coastcapitalsavings.com.

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For more information, please contact: 
Erin McKinley                            
Senior Media Relations Advisor
604.517.7657
erin.mckinley@coastcapitalsavings.com

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