Community

RBC Foundation helps KidStart

RBC Foundation recently announced a donation of $10,000 to KidStart, as part of their commitment to investing in kids and youth to generate benefits for families and communities.

KidStart is a volunteer-based mentoring program offered by the John Howard Society of North Island (JHSNI). This award-winning program connects vulnerable children and youth aged six to 18 with positive adult role models in the Comox Valley and Campbell River.

Each child or youth in KidStart has experiences that indicate their need for support. The death of a parent, being bullied at school, or other struggles at home or in the community are some of the reasons why a child will be identified as needing a caring adult friend.

Peter Phillips, RBC account manager for business and commercial markets, is a KidStart mentor.

“I know what it is like to grow up without a dad, as my dad passed away when I was young. People took the time to make a difference in my life so I wanted to do the same for someone else,” Phillips said.

KidStart depends on donations, grants, and fundraising. In addition to the $10,000 donation, RBC also gave $500 to KidStart this year to recognize Phillips’ volunteer contribution.

“If an employee volunteers for a community cause 40 or more hours per year, the bank will donate up to $500 to that charity,” Phillips explained. “It is fantastic to be volunteering for an organization that my employer supports to this level.”

Wendy Richardson, JHSNI’s Executive Director, said the agency is delighted with RBC’s donations.

“RBC’s generosity will make a real difference in the lives of children in the Comox Valley and Campbell River,” she said. “This funding will support mentors and mentees to have weekly visits, with a focus on having fun, developing committed friendships, and providing opportunities for kids to experience success.”

KidStart is looking for volunteer mentors as well as donors. There are 45 children in the Comox Valley waiting for volunteer mentors to spend three hours a week with them.

“I’d encourage others to consider mentoring. It’s rewarding and fulfilling,” said Phillips.

To find out more about becoming a volunteer mentor or making a donation, contact Wendy Thurlborn, Comox Valley KidStart co-ordinator, at 250-338-7341, ext. 335, or wendyt@jhsni.bc.ca. Visit JHSNI at www.jhsni.bc.ca/kidstartchampion.html.

— John Howard Society of North Island

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