Community

Royal Bank contributes to local kids' mentoring program

Clockwise from left, Tara Jordan and Steve Ayers from JHSNI receive a $10,000 donation for KidStart from Cheryl Hildebrand, Matthijs Bruining, and Peter Phillips at RBC. - Photo submitted
Clockwise from left, Tara Jordan and Steve Ayers from JHSNI receive a $10,000 donation for KidStart from Cheryl Hildebrand, Matthijs Bruining, and Peter Phillips at RBC.
— image credit: Photo submitted

RBC Foundation recently announced a generous donation of $10,000 to KidStart, as part of its 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 ages 6-18 with positive adult role models in Campbell River and the Comox Valley.

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 & 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,” Phillips said. “People took the time to make a difference in my life so I wanted to do the same for someone else.”

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 Campbell River and the Comox Valley,” 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 83 children (ages 6-18) in Campbell River currently 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 Tara or Leanne at 250-286-0611 or e-mail tara@jhsni.bc.ca

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