The KTW Christmas Cheer Fund helps to provide valuable financial support to a number of local non-profit organizations every year during the holiday season.
This year, four charities will be helped by your donations: Y Women’s Emergency Shelter, Kamloops Therapeutic Riding Association, Chris Rose Therapy Centre for Autism and Kamloops Brain Injury Association.
New this year to the fund is its donation partner, the BC Interior Community Foundation.
The fund has partnered with the BC Interior Community Foundation so more money can go to the charities. Receipts will be given for donations of $25 or more, with the foundation running the online donation portal, cutting cheques to the charities and writing tax receipts to the donors.
Every year, Kamloops has embraced giving to the fund, from individuals to groups, it continues to grow each year.
“The Christmas Cheer Fund is one of the most important things I think we do at Kamloops This Week every single year,” said Tim Shoults, operations manager of Aberdeen Publishing.
“We tell the stories of the community all the time and we help other organizations raise funds, but this is where we are directly raising the funds for local charities and we get to put our money where our mouth is,” he said.
“We get to put our readers’ money to great use in the community. It’s one of the things that makes me feel really, really good about being in community media. It’s something I’m so pleased has lasted through multiple papers over more than two decades.”
For the BC Interior Community Foundation, the partnership with the KTW Christmas Cheer Fund is a great blend.
“This, obviously, is the first time that we’ve played this role, so clearly we’re thrilled to be there and support not only KTW and its charitable endeavours, but to provide the community with a tax-receipting means of showing their donations and support,” said foundation executive director Rob Miller.
The BC Interior Community Foundation began as the Kamloops Community Foundation in 1984 with a core group of volunteers and the City of Kamloops.
By the early 2000s, part-time staff were brought in and a process began in 2015 to ensure the mandate of its regional scope, including its service area beyond Kamloops to include the Thompson-Okanagan and South Cariboo areas.
To better reflect the nature of that broad, diverse service area, it recently re-branded to the BC Interior Community Foundation.
“We’re the most significant charity you’ve never heard of,” Miller said.
“Everybody knows what a hostel foundation does or a food bank does. Our mission statement is a bit more complex. We do grant dollars to charitable organizations and sponsored non-for-profits. Sectors from health and environment, to youth and education, seniors, families, arts, culture — it’s all about championing community sustainability and community vitality.”
Miller said the foundation likes to encourage the community to “give where you live” through the KTW Christmas Cheer campaign.
Donations can be made directly online at www.kamloopsthisweek.com/community/cheer. Donations can also be brought to the newspaper’s office at 1365B Dalhousie Dr., which is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Each donor’s name and contribution is added to the list and will be published each week by KTW.
The fund has already received its first donation as result of the VW Turtle Race in September, with more than $11,000 donated.
“We get to tell the stories from great companies that give thousands of dollars at a time,” Shoults said, referencing as an example employees of Sureus Murphy of the Trans Mountain pipeline, which last year donated $12,000, their first-ever donation to Cheer and the largest single donation.
Shoults also recognized the little kids who arrive at KTW with rolled coins as donations.
“Every single one of those stories has great value,” he said. “It makes me feel great.”