If Santa were a banker, he’d work at the East Kootenay Community Credit Union (EKC).
Like Saint Nick, EKC is highlighting the importance of giving back and helping those less fortunate.
“We see firsthand through our members the needs in our communities. As a credit union our philosophy is to give back,” said Eric Johnstone, manager of the Elk Valley Branches. “We are proud of our staff who volunteer.”
The EKC has given back over $4.1 million in total community investment since 2000.
Johnstone helped develop The Fernie Community Fund. Since its initial donation of $10,000, the EKC continues to support the fund, which is controlled by a local committee of volunteers.
The Fernie Salvation Army Food Bank will once again receive the proceeds from photos with Santa at EKC’s Fernie Branch. On Saturday Dec. 10 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., pets, kids and adults can get their picture taken with Santa. There is no cost. Donations will be accepted for the Fernie Salvation Army Food Bank. Coffee and hot chocolate will be served.
Other recipients of EKC donations include the Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy (CBAL), which received $1,530 for their Raise a Reader programs in Cranbrook, Elkford, Sparwood and Fernie.
Even their dress code gives back to the community. The last Friday of each month is Jeans Day at the EKC where staff pay $5 to wear jeans to work and the funds raised support local charities and organizations.
EKC collects close to $2,000 a year from their Jeans Day. The Isabella Dicken Elementary school lunch program is the beneficiary of three Jeans Days anticipating a total of $500 by the end of 2016.