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Nurturing Community and Empowering Families at Burnside Gorge Community Association

In this episode of Business Matters, presented by Island Savings, a First Division of West Credit Union, host Rob Cupello welcomes guest Suzanne Cole, Executive Director of Burnside Gorge Community Association.

Cole has been an integral part of Burnside Gorge for the past 30 years, contributing her passion and expertise in various roles.

Burnside Gorge is not just a community center; it's a lifeline for residents, offering a comprehensive array of services.

From childcare programs for ages 3.5 to 11 to community and school-based youth and family services, housing and asset development supports, community recreation, and special events, the center serves as a hub for diverse community development initiatives.

Throughout her career, Cole has consistently focused on working with families and children, finding joy and fulfillment in this deeply meaningful work.

Acknowledging the financial struggles faced by the community, Cole emphasizes the crucial role of community generosity in sustaining their efforts.

Burnside Gorge thrives on the support of volunteers who actively contribute to events, creating a sense of togetherness and shared responsibility.

At Burnside Gorge, one of Cole’s most special programs is the High-Risk Parenting Program. This initiative not only supports parents in regaining custody of their children but also contributes to minimizing government care by ensuring children can safely live within their home communities.

Reflecting on the rewards of working in a non-profit, Cole says, “If you can find the money to do something and you see a need, you try to meet it.”

Cole attributes Burnside Gorge's success to a dynamic team that constantly brings new ideas and embraces change and innovation.

Looking ahead, she plans to open three more childcare facilities to address childcare needs.

To learn more about Burnside Gorge, how they support our community, and what you can do to help, listen to the full episode.

You can also catch this episode on YouTube, Spotify, and Apple Podcasts.



Send your comments, news tips, typos, letter to the editor, photos and videos to [email protected].




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