On Monday night, city council was approached by two local organizations requesting support.
The first of these two groups was the Blueberry Creek Community School (BCCS) council who are requesting a consistent $20,000 for the next three years.
The BCCS is a non-profit, recognized neighbourhood hub with a strong volunteer base.
Their proposal to the councillors was for an initiative called Rural Resilience.
Community liaison for BCCS, Rebecca McDonald describes Rural Resilience as, “the ability to adapt to change.”
“Blueberry Creek has been adapting to a lot of changes over the past four years.”
BCCS has undergone changes in funding, has taken over the entire four acre site as of earlier this year and McDonald said they have done this and more in a time of uncertainty within the community.
Earlier this year School District 20 was considering demolishing the school site. Through community support a petition garnered enough signatures to allow the BCCS to purchase the facility for $1.
McDonald said the BCCS fills many roles for all members of the community.
To name only a few, their services range from dance hall to library to daycare and education services for differing age groups.
The organization’s finances have been in the red since 2013 but with the support of council they are projecting to rise to a positive $18,183 dollars by 2016 and $26,000 the following year.
BCCS is requesting city support not only for monetary reasons. McDonald said council endorsement may influence the Ministry of Education to support them further and will ensure the school remains a public facility.
Next up was the Community Foundation of Castlegar & District. President for the foundation, Bob Jackson was there to lead the presentation.
Jackson will be retiring December 31 but before he does so he would like to see the council offer support.
No specific amount was requested, just that the council think on how they believe they can help.
“We are part of this community and we intend to become a more significant part as the years go by,” Jackson said.
Their mission statement is simple, “To improve the quality of life in Castlegar and District by developing permanent endowment, making responsible grants and inspiring leadership.”
In principle a foundation is simple. Grants and donations are put into a community fund which is invested. The income from investment is distributed to qualifying applicants and used to cover the foundations administrative costs.
The Foundation — run solely by volunteers — offers support in a myriad of ways. In the past they have provided activity based education to Stanely Humphries Secondary School, dental support to those in need and coincidentally contributed to a new floor for Blueberry Creek School.
Jackson said the Columbia Basin Trust is willing to match community donations received if they amount to $25,000 to $50,000.
The Foundation will also be approaching areas I and J for assistance.
“In short, we want to make this a healthy community,” Jackson commented.
To put things into a better perspective, the Nelson Osprey Community Foundation had amassed over $6 million by 2012 and put over $200,000 into the community in one year alone. It did take over 15 years for these funds to pile up but Jackson believes Castlegar can do the same over time.