Utility arborists work in a section of burned out forest near 150 Mile House, where fire crews have made good progress keeping fires away from residential areas. (Angie Mindus photo)

Peninsula Co-op steps up to help wildfire victims

Tim Collins/News staff

Peninsula Co-op, a Vancouver based business with roots on the Saanich Peninsula has once again stepped up to aid the community by donating to the BC Wildfire Appeal.

The Wildfire Appeal fund is an initiative of the Canadian Red Cross in support of the Government of B.C. in providing relief in areas affected by wildfire. Money in the fund is used to provide items like cots, blankets food and personal needs as well as aiding in family re-unification and financial assistance.

“We are committed to supporting the communities where we do business and causes that matter to our members,” said David Hoy, Chair of the Vancouver Island Co-op Management Group and CEO/General Manager of Peninsula Co-op.

“In light of the wildfires throughout the province, we are honored to support the Red Cross. Many of our members, customers and staff have close friends and family affected by the fires and we feel this donation is simply the right thing to do.”

And doing the right thing has become a big part of the co-operative’s reputation. The business is based on the co-operative model that rebates a portion of annual profits to its member-owners and, in 2016, rebate cheques totalled more than $4.6 million. But the business also annually funnels a portion of their profits into a community donation fund to support worthwhile projects and needs within the community.

In 2016 the company donated in excess of $370,000 to such projects, including Tour de Rock and the funding of the Keating Elementary School Playground when funds for that project were misappropriated, leaving community volunteers in a desperate situation. ( see www.peninsulanewsreview.com/news/keating-school-pac-theft-investigation-continues/).

“Our slogan is ‘moving ahead by giving back’ and we truly believe that,” said Penny Soltel, Peninsula Co-op’s community relations manager.

“We’re quite proud of the fact that we are a part of the community that reflects the giving nature of people on the peninsula, where our company was founded. It’s a tradition we intend to continue.”

The funds donated by Peninsula Co-op are being matched by another co-operative organization, the Federated Co-operative in Saskatoon, bringing the total donation to the wildfire fund to $50,940. All the funds will go directly to the wildfire efforts.

Anyone wishing to donate to the wildfire fund can do so at redcross.ca. and clicking on the link to British Columbia Fires Appeal.