Canada‘s Credit Unions Are Helping Here.

IC Savings announces funding commitment to unique West Neighbourhood House programs benefiting older Portuguese adults


West Neighbourhood House

July 23, 2019

Frank Alvarez, chair of the IC Savings Community Advisory Board, announced today a donation of $20,000 to West Neighbourhood House through Fundo de Apoio IC Savings, the credit union’s community support fund.

The United Way social services agency will use these funds to continue offering Portuguese-language workshops on retirement and advanced care planning through the successful Universidade da Vida (Life University) and to launch Banco de Tempo, a community time bank. Both programs will operate out of the Older Adult Centre located at the agency’s Ossington Avenue location beginning in the fall of 2019.

Fundo de Apoio IC Savings focuses on creating lasting value for the benefit of the Portuguese- Canadian community in the GTA by investing in community-based programs,” said Mr. Alvarez. “Our support, made on behalf of the members of IC Savings, is about strengthening the neighbourhoods where we live and work. This can be achieved through essential programs such as those that are delivered by organizations like West Neighbourhood House.”

From increased self-esteem and empowerment to greater cultural sensitivity, the positive social, cultural and economic impacts of each program are many. Through the exciting learning environment of the “university” and its instructors, as well as the community time bank, meaningful connections can be created that will lessen the impact of language and literacy barriers that might otherwise lead to social isolation for at-risk older Portuguese adults and seniors.  The time bank, in particular, will see seniors paired with Portuguese-speaking professionals who will volunteer their time for this experience exchange.

Launched by the credit union in September 2017, Fundo de Apoio IC Savings prioritizes investing in direct-impact and community-based services and programs in the Portuguese-Canadian community. Grants are awarded annually to registered charities and community groups that are focused on enhancing the Portuguese-Canadian footprint in the Greater Toronto Area.


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Members of our Community Advisory Board –Luis Arruda (fourth from left), Filomena Silveira and Frank Alvarez –join AnaBela Taborda, manager of our Little Portugal branch and clients of West Neighbourhood House for the special announcement. Members of PW55+, a self-help group of Portuguese women, ages 55 years and older, who piloted the agency's retirement and advanced care planning workshops, are on-hand to celebrate. Frank Alvarez, chair of our community advisory board and enthusiastic ambassador of the Luso-Canadian community, shares our story with media. Branch manager AnaBela Taborda emcees the media event.