Nicola Family Therapy receives $35K
The mood was jubilant at Nicola Family Therapy last Thursday evening when the organization accepted a $35,000 cheque from Teck Resources Highland Valley Copper.
The agency’s staff and directors applauded and gasped when the cheque was presented by Highland Valley Copper Technical Development Superintendent Rob Robison and Senior Community Affairs Officer Jacqui Schneider.
The non-profit organization provides counselling to individuals, couples, and families to help break the cycle of abuse. Last June, Nicola Family Therapy lost a $35,000 annual contract and was forced to close its doors on Fridays to accommodate for the lost funds.
“Merritt and the Nicola Valley is part of our community and part of our family, the way I look at it,” Schneider said.
Agency Director Sheri Bishop said the donation should bring the availability of services back to where it was prior to the funding loss.
“This money means more services for our communities, and takes a little bit of pressure off our need to continue to raise money so we can grow and expand,” Bishop said. “Our end goal is that no family gets turned away from services.”
Staff agreed that the cheque affirmed the community’s mutual need for Nicola Family Therapy’s services.
“We all lost a day a week in the summertime, so now we want to make sure we keep our staff on full-time to make sure the doors are always open for the community,” board member Sue Sterling said.
The donation comes from the Teck Resources community investment program, which distributes grants in four focus areas: education, environment, community, and health, which this donation falls under. Schneider said the company decides which causes to fund based on their demonstrated need and the impact they have on their communities.
“Safety is an unwavering value and an inherent part of who we are at Highland Valley Copper,” Schneider said.
“Our communities also deserve a place that provides the foundation for a safe and healthy environment. Nicola Family Therapy has similar values to us in their strategies toward the community.”
Bishop presented Schneider and Robison with a certificate of appreciation for their platinum-level sponsorship.
The agency, which has operated in Merritt since 1993, runs on between $200,000 and $225,000 per year, of which the bulk is provincially funded.