MERRITT, B.C. – A foundation to help the cash-strapped British Columbia Women’s Institute has been proposed.
The foundation to raise money for the organization is one of the new ideas for the 100-year-old group to keep in step with the times.
The group also agreed to raise provincial dues to $25 per member at its triennial meeting in this central B.C. town June 10-13.
But $25 only goes so far.
The money is shared by the provincial office, the national federated women’s institute and Associated Country Women of the World. Some is also set aside for a convention fund, said newly elected president Susan Hoszouski.
Individual branches raise their own money for regular activities and special projects.
The institute receives a grant from the provincial agriculture ministry each year. But as the government cuts back, the grants shrink and the WI often does not have enough money to do its work.
One of its main projects is supplying the B.C. Hospital for Sick Children in Vancouver with blankets, slippers and money.
Besides earning extra money, the institute is working through constitutional changes to keep vibrant into the second century of women’s institutes.
“We have an action plan committee that is working on a journey, not a destination. We realize as an organization there has to be some changes,” said Hoszouski.
“Change is forthcoming but it has to be slow and cautious.”
A BCWI handbook containing policies, rules and organization is undergoing a revision. The last update was about 30 years ago.