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It’s Mental Health Week and this year’s theme is understanding our emotions. 2021 is the 70th annual Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) campaign rallying to celebrate, protect and promote mental health.  Since the onset of the pandemic, 40% of Canadians say their mental health has deteriorated.  As many people are experiencing a time of unprecedented stress and anxiety, it is even more important that we support good mental health for everyone. 


There are many resources available online to help us address mild to moderate mental health challenges due to work related issues, family worries, sleep difficulties or physical health problems. There are two programs our members may find helpful: the CMHA program called BounceBack® and the Federal Government’s Wellness Together portal. Both these sites aim to be a practical way of learning key life skills that can boost your mood and help you turn the corner. 


They say that good mental health isn’t about being happy all the time. In fact, a mentally healthy life includes emotions like sadness, fear and anger. It is important that we know how to recognize, label and accept our feelings. Naming our emotions, understanding how we are feeling, and taking corrective actions when our response isn’t helpful are all strategies for good mental health.  


We are all in this together and we need to look out for and support each other. The world has changed and we can let people know we are here for them and that they’re not alone. The pandemic has made it more difficult to be together with each other and this lack of social contact has adversely impacted our mental and physical well-being. With this in mind, if you do know someone who is living alone or in a stressful or unsupportive environment, reach out to them. A check-in call goes a long way to keep vulnerable members of our community connected.  


In closing, be sure to take care of yourself so that you can support your family, friends and neighbours. Follow the recommendation on the Wellness Together site and Take 5 to do the mindfulness and breathing exercises. 


This is Mental Health Week. Get Real with your emotions. Visit BounceBack® and the Wellness Together sites to learn more.  


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CCEC is proud to be the screening partner for the film, Food for the Rest of Us.  Our film this year explores farming and harvesting as forms of radical activism. Read more about the film and pre-order your tickets today.

Across Turtle Island and beyond, young people are turning their anxieties into action when it comes to sustenance and the human relationship to food. Food for the Rest of Us follows four unique and inspiring food projects that are making a difference in their communities: a youth internship program in Hawaii offers college tuition in exchange for two years’ service on an organic farm; an urban farmer in Kansas City describes his aquaculture initiative as a form of decolonization; a female Shochet in rural Colorado conducts workshops reconnecting participants to a more humane and local meat supply chain; and a community greenhouse takes advantage of short, intense summers to grow fresh produce in the Northwest Territories where, despite the impending threat of climate change, Indigenous methods of food harvesting have continued to thrive. Centering their agricultural practices firmly in their belief that new ways of operating are crucial for our survival, these food activists demonstrate—through word and deed—alternative paths to our culinary future.

Watch the trailer....

Be sure to check out the full festival program and join their special 20th Anniversary events. You can pre-order your tickets and festival passes to watch the films from May 6 - 16. 


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We are inviting our members to donate to the scholarship fund and for our youth to apply for the scholarship to support the registration fee. The YES is running a limited number of smaller programs this summer.  Youth ages 14-18 who want to attend Camp YES this year, please email Joanne. We have Sponsorships to support the Registration Fee.


Last summer, due to Covid, there could be no overnight camps. At that time, the Camp YES staff asked themselves, "What should we do during this time?  As co-operators, the question inevitably became, “How can we best serve our members, or our community?"  They’ve been busy this past year supporting our youth and here is an update on their initiatives: 


  • Created the YES This Journal Activity Book Download a copy

  • YES Camp merch is for sale!

  • The podcast, Care Package, is in its second season

  • Continue to connect alumni with each other for support. If you are a YES Camp or Camp Rainbow Alumni, stay in touch with Camp YES here

  • Produce a regular newsletter - subscribe to their Mailing List


Their 2021 programming for the start of summer includes virtual camps, and weeklong day camps. With ongoing health and safety guidelines, The YES will not be able to facilitate traditional week-long overnight camps. However, they recognize that this may change, and, if so, they will be sure to update you and their programs. Be sure to subscribe to their mailing list and check their website for updates.  At this time, their program is: 

  • Roots Hybrid (Mainland)  July 5-9

  • Roots Hybrid (Island) – July 12 - 16

  • Roots Virtual – July 19 - 23

  • Pathways Virtual – July 26 - 30

  • Leadership Cohort Virtual - TBC


Members may donate to the Camp YES Scholarship Fund by email to info@ccec.bc.ca or by phone to 604.254.4100. Youth ages 14-18 are asked to email Joanne with your application


At CCEC, we are proud of our members who contribute to the Camp YES Scholarship Fund allowing us to supoort the Registration Fee for our Youth.  We also believe that the Camp YES programming is a transformative experience for both campers and parents;  and provides our youth with the tools and skills to create positive change in their family, school, and community.


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We encourage our members to receive the Covid-19 vaccine. While we have all been trying to do our best, it is unfortunate that this past week we’ve seen a surge of more transmissible coronavirus variants. In response, the province announced a ‘circuit breaker’ timeout with new restrictions and a reminder to all of us to avoid indoor social interactions. There is also a rollout plan for the Covid-19 vaccine, and we feel it is a good idea to see our members being immunized.  

 

Up to date information on the Covid-19 vaccine can be found on the Immunize BC website.  While the main vaccination program is age-based, the province has responded to higher risk of transmission places so that teachers and front-line staff are also receiving the vaccine. In addition, some pharmacies in Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal health have been able to offer the AstraZeneca COVISHIELD vaccine for people aged 55-65. 

 

We appreciate that it will still take time for all of us to be vaccinated. Online registration is open for eligible people living or working in BC. For more information, the Get Vaccinated website is available in 11 languages and you can follow Immunize BC multilingual posts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.   Keep up to date and be sure to share information with family and friends. 

 

The BCCDC (BC Centre for Disease Control) has launched BC COVID-19 SPEAK Round 2. We’re over a year into the pandemic and our public health officers are asking you to tell them how you are doing. Last year, almost 400,000 British Columbians took the time to participate in the survey called, BC COVID-19 SPEAK: Your story, our future and it provided valuable information about how British Columbians experienced the first wave of the pandemic.  

 

As we move into the next phase of the pandemic, we send a gentle reminder to all our members to please be safe, be calm and be kind - we’re all in this together.



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Are you planning to purchase a new property or renovate your existing one? Do you want to learn more about your borrowing options at CCEC? Call or email Derek, our Mortgage Loans Officer to learn more.  Derek recently joined our staff at the credit union and has been working with members to make sure the process is easy and as stress free as possible.

When it comes to something as important as taking out a mortgage, you want to make sure you are making the best decisions for your situation. Derek is here to walk you through the options and work with you to get pre-approved for a mortgage.

At CCEC, we provide first and second mortgages for purchase of a residential or recreational property. Moving your mortgage to CCEC may be easier than you think. If your friends and family need assistance with a mortgage, please have them get in touch with us. We have helped many new members because their "bank" couldn't help. Help your friend, the credit union, and our local community!

At CCEC, we keep your money working in your community.  

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Wednesday, February 24 is Pink Shirt Day -  Anti-Bullying Day -  when people wear mainly a pink shirt to symbolise a stand against bullying.  Did you know:

  • Two out of three youth have faced bullying over their cell phones or online. 

  • Three out of ten bullied students reported missing school at least once.

  • Three out of five LGBTQ+ students feel unsafe at school.  

  • Every seven minutes someone is bullied on a playground in Canada.


A recent survey also found cyberbullying surpassed drugs and alcohol as the top concern among Canadian parents.  Bullying affects us physically, emotionally and mentally and is a major problem in our schools, workplaces, homes, and online. Bullying comes in many forms, including but not limited to verbal attacks, physical violence, threats and intimidation.


This years’ Pink Shirt Day theme is, “lift each other up”.  The focus is on working together and treating others with dignity and respect. The pandemic has affected us all and shown the importance of helping one another and advocating for those who need it.


Chances are that you or someone you know is being impacted.  How we respond to bullying as a victim or witness is important. Over 90% of bullying incidents have peer witnesses. But when those peers intervene, most incidents are quickly resolved.  


Remember that kindness and compassion can go a long way.  It is important to support healthy self esteem and teach empathy, compassion and kindness. There are many resources available for parents, caregivers and our youth.  Visit the Pink Shirt Day website for more information.  Make every day an anti-bullying day!


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At CCEC, RSP loans are available until February 23, 2021!  The deadline to contribute to an RRSP for the 2020 tax year is March 1, 2021. 

We know that we are in unprecedented times and finances may be tight this year. Saving for your future may not be top of mind. However, even contributing a small amount to your RRSP today will go a long way in the future.  It’s not just about long-term growth but also benefits, like lowering this year’s taxes.  More important, your funds at CCEC are invested in your community, your neighbours and local businesses.

Are RRSPs worth it in the long run? Even though you have to pay the tax back when you withdraw the funds, yes, they are worth it. They are a valuable tool to reduce your tax burden and save for the future. We encourage our members to include an RRSP as an investment option in your financial plan. And, be sure to review your plan each year.  


If you would like to contribute, ask us about an RRSP loan so that you can maximize or top-up your RRSP contribution. Consider starting a monthly contribution plan, you can earn compound interest making more than if you contribute a lump sum. 

Call us today and ask how you can contribute to, top up or start an RRSP. Be sure to also ask about our other investment options including TFSA’s.


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Pride in Art Society and DOXA Documentary Film Festival were each awarded the Roger Inman Memorial Award for 2021.  The Trustees felt that both member organizations were most deserving of the recognition and awarded $1,000 to each of them.  The announcement of the 2021 award recipients was at the Virtual AGM by Trustee and new Board Member, Gerry Dragomir.  

On learning of the award, DOXA said,  "We are honoured to accept the Roger Inman Memorial Award, alongside the Pride in Art Society (who do outstanding, necessary work). We feel very proud to join the ranks of amazing organizations from award years past, and look forward to continually supporting the values of cooperation, curiosity, and critical media engagement." 

The Pride in Art Society said, “We are honoured to be awarded the Roger Inman Memorial Award. Our wholehearted thanks to the trustees for this recognition in Roger Inman’s memory, and to CCEC for its dedication to keeping money and resources working in our community by supporting and promoting the development of organizations like ours.” 

The annual award honours the memory of Roger Inman who became a member when CCEC first opened in 1976.  Shortly after joining, he began serving as a volunteer teller, a member of the credit committee, and later joined the Board of Directors. He contributed to many community initiatives and was active in politics. Through this award we acknowledge his devotion to community economic development, his commitment to his ideals and his generosity in spirit. Congratulations to both CCEC Member organizations selected to co-share the award recognition.  Click here to learn more. 

About the 2021 Award Recipients

DOXA is presented by the Documentary Media Society, a Vancouver-based non-profit charitable society (incorporated in 1998). They are devoted to presenting independent and innovative documentaries to Vancouver audiences (and, as of recently, beyond). The Society exists to educate the public about documentary film as an art form. The 20th annual festival is May 6-12, 2021.

The Pride in Art Society (PiA) produces, presents and exhibits art with a curatorial vision favouring challenging, thought-provoking contemporary art work that pushes boundaries and initiates dialogue. Our annual Queer Arts Festival (QAF) is a professional, artist-run, multidisciplinary festival and our year-round SUM gallery is Canada’s only queer-mandated art gallery.


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We recognize times may be uncertain and finances may be tight this year. Saving for your future may not be top of mind. However, even contributing a small amount to your RRSP today will go a long way in the future.  It’s not just about long-term growth but also benefits, like lowering this year’s taxes.  More important, your funds at CCEC are invested in your community, neighbours and local businesses.  

Our members tell us that they are with CCEC because we are aligned with their values.  As we are hosting the second Virtual Town Hall on Saturday, January 16th at 10:30am, a member wrote to us saying, “CCEC fills a niche that no other credit union does: a people-centred perspective that sees everyone as an equal no matter their heritage, income, or orientation.” We continue to  be an independent single branch credit union in a financial industry that has been undergoing consolidation for many years. The member reminds us of our history and says, “Where else can BIPOC and employment-challenged communities go for vehicle loans? Where else can social enterprises go that aligns with their values-based mission statements? Where else could a WomenFutures Loan Guarantee Fund exist?” 

The member adds, “There is part of CCEC's original mission that is based on E. F. Schumacher's "Small Is Beautiful" (1973). There is something to staying small on purpose! CCEC has always been about ensuring its acronym stays true: Community, Congress and Economic Change. This is why CCEC exists. “

So, as we are encouraging our members to invest in an RRSP, remember that the funds in your RRSP at CCEC stays in your community and support what is important to you. 

Call us today and ask how you can contribute to, top up or start an RRSP. 

Email Joanne to RSVP for the Virtual Town Hall on Saturday and add your voice to the conversation on the future of CCEC. 


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Holidays are supposed to be a time of gathering together.  However, this year, we will be staying at home and limiting our social interactions. Some of us may find a socially distanced holiday to be stressful. It is important, especially during this unprecedented season, that we take care of ourselves and our mental health.


We know that social distancing can make us feel more lonely and isolated.  So, even if you can’t meet in person, it is important to connect with family and friends in any way you can. The following are also positive ways to manage your mental health and the holidays: 


  • Exercise - get outside, go for a walk; 

  • Have a hobby hour - reading, crafting, puzzles or drawing. Join a friend group online;

  • Practice relaxation - meditation, yoga, taking a hot bath or getting a massage;

  • Talk to someone -  talk about how you are feeling with someone you trust. Call a friend or family member who is in your regular social circle.

These are a few strategies that can help you take care of yourself during the holiday season and year round. 
On behalf of CCEC Credit Union, we wish all our members a safe holiday season. 

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