Bryan and Kim James have always thought that it was important to support their local community. When they were living in Prince George, they liked to donate to local hospitals, as well as organizations in communities like Kamloops, where their business originated. Bryan’s family had a truck dealership that he spent decades working at, first as an employee and then as an owner.
“We’ve been lucky and had a lot of success. We made our money in the province, so we want to give back to the community.” said Bryan.
Kim has also spent many years volunteering at organizations like the YMCA and BC Cancer, where she had the opportunity to work with young people. They’re both passionate about youth and have two sons in their thirties who are thriving. But they know how many young people out there need help, which is why they started donating to Covenant House Vancouver when they moved here, a few years ago.
Bryan said, “Sometimes things happen in life that put you in that situation; and how do you get out of that?” He feels that there are a lot of gaps in the system that young people are falling through, making it hard for them to succeed in life.
“If everyone would support places like Covenant House, it would give people a chance to make that change.” added Kim.
Kim also has a personal connection to this type of work. One of her family members used to be homeless and struggled with substance misuse. He used similar types of services to help him get back on track. Now he’s in a healthy long-term relationship, has a great job, and is in stable recovery.
“He has a life that none of us ever envisioned,” said Kim. “Including himself!”
Kim believes the reason he was able to accomplish this is because he had people who didn’t give up on him.
“These success stories do happen, but if everybody gives up on these kids and writes them off, then they don’t have a chance.” explains Kim. “And that’s why Covenant House is so important. They say to a group of people ‘I’m going to take a chance on you.’ Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?”
They were both overjoyed at the opportunity to be one of our matching donors, this holiday season. Kim confesses that she’s always wondered who those matching donors were, and is excited that she and Bryan get the opportunity to be those donors this time.
“Covenant House Vancouver is literally around the corner from where we live, so we’re lucky enough that we get to help people that we pass on the street.” She said, “One day, we might even pass one of Covenant House’s clients looking happy, and maybe in some small part we had something to do with that.”
This holiday season, Bryan and Kim James wanted to inspire generosity in our community, so they offered a $50,000 matching gift. This has been generously matched by Scotiabank, which means there is a total of $100,000 in matching funds. Any donation you make will have 3X the impact.
Thank you, Bryan and Kim, for your inspiration and generous support of vulnerable youth.