Fred North gives large donation

By Kassidy Christensen

February 14, 2017 12:00 AM

The Olive Tree benefits to the tune of $150,000

The Fred North Charitable Foundation humbly donated funds to The Olive Tree Thursday.
A cheque for $150,000, was graciously accepted by The Olive Tree personnel during a small ceremony with Mayor Gerald Aalbers and Fred North Foundation members in attendance. The Olive Tree hopes to use the money towards kicking off a capital campaign.
“It means the world to us really,” said Lynda Campbell, board member and secretary treasurer of Olive Tree. “(It) means probably our biggest need right now, which is a place of our own, a home of our own, becomes possible.”
Campbell explained The Olive Tree has been “well-supported and well-hosted by many churches in town, businesses in town and individuals, but we’re getting so busy and the need is very great and we need a home.”
Although the new location is yet to be determined, Campbell’s vision includes “all our programs, including the thrift store, might be able to be housed under one roof,” she said.
“We do a lot of hauling and sorting, and probably causes some inefficiency to be honest, that we’re looking forward to minimizing,” Campbell said. “I think by the summer time we would like to have something in place, possibly sooner, now we can dig into that in earnest.”
Fred North, founder of the Fred North Charitable Foundation, found The Olive Tree to be a worthwhile organization in the community to receive a donation.
“We’ve checked the organization (The Olive Tree) and found it to be a very worthwhile thing and so we decided to give in a small token of help,” he said.
“We looked into it a little more and it’s a good thing helping people that need help and done by a lot of great volunteers that make it all happen. So it was a worthwhile thing. Excited to help!”
The charitable foundation was founded by Fred North in 2011 and gives donations to other registered charities. 
Aaron Davison, one of the directors of the Fred North Foundation and a partner of Fred North’s, explained this is a cause close to North’s heart.
“He’s (North) made his living in the community for many years… He’s at a point in his life where he wants to give back,” Davison said.
“He continues to be a prominent member in the business community and he just really picks causes now that he can give back with his success.”
Aalbers was in attendance to witness the donation and is excited for The Olive Tree and its new endeavour.
“They’ve worked very hard at what they’ve had, they had to move a couple times, work out of different locations, and when you can bring them into one place and have a home I think we can all relate to that,” Aalbers said, noting The Olive Tree is immensely valuable in the community.
“I think without the volunteers and organizations like The Olive Tree and all the other non-profit organizations that are there to assist people that are less fortunate … it’s incredible to have those people step forward and volunteers and makes things happen,” he said.
“Then people like Fred and Lily come forward and make a donation like this to help them reach their first milestone and hopefully the community will be able to assist them and help them make it all together.”
Campbell and Aalbers extended many thanks to the Fred North Charitable Foundation.
“We want to thank Fred and Lily and Aaron and their entire foundation and all of its staff,” Campbell said.
In keeping with the spirit of helping others, Aalbers encouraged citizens to “look in their own heart and see if there’s something they can help out with.

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