A teenaged Wenda Noonan once told her dad all the things she would buy if she ever won $1 million.

Dad disagreed and gave her advice the executive director of the B.C. Interior Community Foundation (BCICF) has remembered through the years.

“It turns out my dad was a smart man” Noonan said with a grin.

“He said that he would put that money in the bank, leave it there and live off the interest,” — and now, she helps others do the same thing.

What makes BCICF different from other charities is how they handle donations. Most of the time, it’s the donors themselves who ask for their contributions to go into endowed funds. That means the money doesn’t get spent right away; instead it’s invested. It is from the investment revenue they are able to distribute grants to local charities in the Thompson, Nicola and South Cariboo regions.

At the start of this campaign, Kamloops This Week had agreed that a small percentage of the money raised this year will go into a new Christmas Cheer endowment fund, Noonan said, a legacy that will grow annually and generate interest that can go into the annual campaign.

“If there had been a Christmas Cheer endowment fund started back in 1992, when Cheer was new, it could have over $1.5 million in it now,” Noonan said. “At the 2022 interest rate, that would generate over $69,000 a year! And that’s without any other donations.”

BCICF, through which Christmas Cheer donations have been processed to provide tax receipts, now is in charge of the entire campaign after Kamloops This Week, which took it over in 1994, shut down. Castanet Kamloops is its media partner.

Charities chosen this year are the Royal Canadian Legion, BGC Kamloops Journey Fund, Overlander Residential care auxiliary and the legacy non-profit, The Y Women’s Emergency Shelter.
The legion will use its portion of the money raised to offer new programs for vulnerable seniors and veterans.
The Journey Fund is used to help parents in Kamloops access therapy to help address adverse experiences or trauma.

The auxiliary will use the money to provide extra patient services, equipment and financial support that are not provided by Interior Health.

The women’s shelter, established years ago by fund creator Gregg Drinnan as a permanent recipient, will use its part of the campaign to help those it deals with needed assistance.

To donate online, click here. Cash, cheque, credit and debit card donations can also be made in person or dropped off at the BC Interior Community Foundation, 2-219 Victoria St., or at Castanet Kamloops, 102-635 Victoria St.


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