Irish Benevolent Society of BC:
Extending a Helping Hand Since 1994
The Irish Benevolent Society of BC (IBSBC) was formed as a volunteer non-profit society registered with the Province of British Columbia in 1995 in response to a need for short-term crisis financial support for Irish families and individuals in the Province of British Columbia.
Before the days of GoFundMe and other online fundraising initiatives, the only way for the community to support each other with crucial emergency funding was through an article in The Celtic Connection newspaper. This would inform the community about the circumstance and encourage donations to the cause through the ISBC.
Over the years, the IBSBC has spearheaded numerous fundraising campaigns and has received generous support from many local businesses to meet specific situations. The IBSBC continues to serve as a vital link connecting the local Irish community with emergency support and works in close collaboration with various Irish community organizations.
The first Irish seniors’ luncheon program in Vancouver was launched by the IBSBC (2008-2014). The committee coordinated ongoing Irish senior events for 7 years with grant funding assistance from the Irish Government’s Emigrant Support Program.
The annual Brigid Festival Vancouver launched in February 2019 has received widespread acclaim and support. It is administered by the IBSBC through the support of the Consulate General of Ireland Vancouver, the Emigrant Support Program, and community sponsorship.
In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic (2020-2021), needs in the community increased again and the IBSBC administered an emergency food program with the support of the Consulate General of Ireland and the community group Irish in BC. A GoFundMe initiative fundraising was also launched to support this program and it has now been completed.
The IBSBC continues to raise funds as needed and is available to respond to emergency situations in the Irish community in Metro Vancouver. All proceeds go directly to those in need. There are no overheads to manage the IBSBC. As a community-based non-profit, the IBSBC can issue a receipt for donations, however, it is not a registered charity and cannot issue tax receipts. Only Canadian charities with a registered CRA tax number can issue official donation receipts for gifts they receive from individuals and corporations.
How to Donate
To donate there are two options:
Board of Directors
The board of directors for the Irish Benevolent Society of British Columbia serves on a volunteer basis with no compensation. It consists of the following:
Maura De Freitas – Chairperson
Sharon Brown – Treasurer
Eilis Courtney – Director