VWS Gift Card Program

VWS Grocery Fundraising

If you…

  1. Eat food,
  2. Want to raise money for initiatives such as a new playground for our children without spending any extra money than you already do, and
  3. Would like to have a chance each month to win a $50 gift card

…then please get involved with our grocery fundraisers!

How our Grocery Fundraising Works

There are a number of different ways to support our school through grocery fundraising all of which cost you no more than you would normally pay for groceries.

  1. Purchase pre-loaded gift cards from the school
    Supporters purchase gift cards from the school at face value and get face value at the retailers. That is, you spend nothing more than you would normally spend, paying with gift cards rather than your cash, debit or credit card.
    The school makes money by buying the gift cards in bulk and receiving discounts from the stores (between 2- 10%).
    Cards are available for pick-up monthly.
  2. Purchase gift cards for reloading in store
    Some stores require the purchase of only one gift card and then any amount you load and reload on that card in their store will go towards raising funds for our school.
  3. Purchase fundraising produce boxes from SPUD to earn 25% for the school
    We have also teamed up with SPUD.ca to offer organic produce boxes delivered directly to your home or office.
    Please see www.vws.ca/giving/spud-fundraising for more detail.

How Does the Gift Card Ordering Work?

A grocery fundraising order form is distributed at the start of the school year. There is an option to place a recurring monthly order or you can place different orders for each month. If you need to change your order you can simply email VWSgiftcard@vws.ca.

At this time, monthly payment options include direct debit; credit card (fees apply); or post-dated cheques provided at the time of ordering.
Pick-up of gift cards is in person or via your children.

The high level process is as follows:

Gift Card Process

VWS parent, Rachel Garratt, manages the program with support from the VWSS Board of Trustees, Class Representatives and VWS staff.

For more detail on the program’s procedures, please check out the links below, or feel free to contact Rachel Garratt at vwsgiftcard@vws.ca.

What Gift Cards are Available Through the Program?

Gift Card Program Coordinator, Rachel Garratt, conducted a survey of families in October 2015 to help determine which stores should be included. The gift cards on offer will continue to evolve as stores agree to take part in our program and also as the community’s needs change.

All gift cards can be used across multiple trips and none of the gift cards ever expire.


Sprout Organic Market
Gift cards are valid at Sprout Organic Market, located at the corner of East 7th and Queensbury, North Vancouver.

Sprout gift cards will be loaded and reloaded with funds in store, making this a great option for those wishing to use their credit card to load funds. It also means you’ll only ever need one Sprout gift card!

Sprout Organic Market is an independent market offering 100% organic or wildcrafted products. They have a great selection of produce, groceries, bulk goods and other items, making it a perfect one-stop shop for those looking to support small business. It is located a short 5-minute drive or 10-minute cycle from the Grade School campus.

Owner, Nicole, has and continues to be a wonderful supporter of our school so please consider reciprocating her support.

Donald’s Market
Gift cards can be used at all Donald’s Market locations. They have stores in Hastings Sunrise, Commercial Drive, River Market New Westminster and Port Coquitlam. Donald’s Market is an independent market offering quality products for an affordable price. It is packed with healthy varieties including an organic section and hard-to-find items requested by customers.

They are offering the school an excellent return so this store is the best choice for those living in Donald’s neighbourhoods or for those transiting through the Hastings/Nanaimo area.

Whole Foods
Gift cards can be used at all Whole Foods Markets in Canada. They currently have stores in West Vancouver, Robson Street, Cambie Street, Kitsilano, North Burnaby and opening February 2017 Lonsdale Avenue. Whole Foods Market is an American supermarket chain that prides itself on offering some of the finest natural and organic foods available and staying true to its core value of caring about communities and the environment.
2% – 6%
(Depending on volume purchased.)
Gift cards can be used at Save-On-FoodsOverwaitea Foods, Cooper’s FoodsPricesmart Foods.

Gift cards cannot be used for Save-On-Foods online delivery service at this time.

Save-On offers better discounts for the school than President’s Choice because they have lower minimum spends to get the higher percentage returns.

They are a BC-based company with locations all across Western Canada including close to the school at Lynn Valley Village and also a larger store at Park & Tilford – across the road from the Return-It Depot to make even
more money for our school’s initiatives!


2% – 5%
(Depending on volume purchased.)
Gift cards can be used at any President’s Choice stores as well as at the gas bars. This includes but is not limited to: Real Canadian Superstore, Loblaws, Joe Fresh, No FrillsSuper Valu and Independent.
PC® gift cards can be used for anything in-store except tobacco, liquor or items from in-store third-party businesses.
President’s Choice is a store brand owned by Loblaw Companies Limited, Canada’s largest food retailer. Their cards offer the greatest variety of store choices and product offerings, such as clothing and home-wares in addition to your groceries.

Their minimum spends for each level of rebate are higher than other stores, with the 5% return not kicking in unless we spend $20,000 in the month.

Having said that, based on your survey responses collected last October, we may be able to meet that level within our community if everyone gets involved.

T&T Supermarkets
Gift cards can be used at any T & T Supermarket and Osaka Supermarket. There are locations all across Greater Vancouver, including the Osaka Supermarket at the Park Royal Mall in West Vancouver. T & T Supermarkets differ from other supermarkets by featuring many uniquely Asian food products not available in other retail outlets.

Shopping at T & T is like taking a journey through parts of Asia where one finds fresh mangoes from the Philippines, crispy snacks from Japan, sauces from Hong Kong, noodles from Taiwan, spices from Thailand and a variety of flavours from China and other Asian countries. They also have fresh seafood, an in-house bakery, an Asian deli, a Sushi and a Chinese BBQ department.

Established in 1993 by T & T Supermarket Inc., they continue to expand, merging with Loblaw Companies Limited in 2009.

Thrifty Foods Smile Card
Slightly different to a gift card, Thrifty Foods offer a Smile Card program. Thrifty Foods will send VWS an amount equal to 5% of the dollars you load on to your pre-assigned Smile CardSmile Cards will be loaded and reloaded with funds in store, making this a great option for those wishing to use their credit card to load funds. It also means you’ll only ever need one Thrifty card!

See www.thriftyfoods.com/community/smile-card-fundraising-program for more details

Take the Smile Card with you to Thrifty Foods when you go grocery shopping. Ask the cashier to load any amount you wish onto the card before having your grocery order rung through. Pay for the card load with cash, debit card or credit card. Ring the grocery order through and pay for the order with your Smile Card. When the card balance is running low, load it again to continue to support the school every time you shop! It’s that simple!Money raised via the Thrifty Foods Smile Card program must be spent on playground improvements at the school.


*Please note, Costco do not offer a bulk purchase gift card program so it will not be possible to include them in our Program.

How Will the Monies Raised be Used by VWS?

No independent school can charge the full cost of educating its students without pricing itself out of the market. Every independent school including the Vancouver Waldorf School relies on fundraising to sustain their programs. Fundraising enables the school to grow and expand, and allows us to continue to make Waldorf education available to children from diverse economic backgrounds. The Gift Card Program is just one of the many ways the school raises funds. The proceeds from the grocery fundraising program are held and managed by the school’s Parent Council. Parents, friends, staff and faculty may request funds for school projects at any time.

The available funds are assigned based on the needs in a particular year and include support for High School, Grade School, Early Childhood and school-wide initiatives. Examples include funding for trips, supplies, playground/school equipment, events and more.

Gift Card Funding Diagram


How Much Has Been Raised?

In 2015-16, the inaugural year for the program, we raised in excess of $6000. This money was raised with only about 30% of the community taking part.

Please help to spread the word within the school, but also amongst your family and friends. The more people involved, the more funds we will have to put towards initiatives for our children.

Getting Involved

A program such as this is only worth the administrative effort if all families are involved. We would like to strongly encourage all families in the school to purchase a minimum of $200 in gift cards each month. Remember this is not additional money from your pockets rather it is money that you will change into gift cards to buy your groceries. With this commitment, we would hope to make in excess of $20,000 from the program in the 10 months it will operate this year. The more you can buy in gift cards, the higher this number will be. Think of the initiatives we could undertake for the children with that money!

Monthly Giveaway!

As a thank you to families for participating in the program, we will be giving away a $50 gift card to one lucky winner each month. Winners, who will be drawn at random, will be able to select which of our participating stores they would like the gift card from. You’ve got to be in it to win it. Good luck!

Frequently Asked Questions

[accordion_toggle title=”Why is there a fee for paying by credit card?”]

We have decided to pass on the fees that the school is charged for receiving credit card payments so that all of the funds raised can go towards initiatives for the children rather than paying for the administration of the program. The direct debit or cheque payment options incur no fees for families.[/accordion_toggle]

[accordion_toggle title=”Why is there a delay between payments being processed and gift cards being received?”]

There are a number of reasons for this delay, but it is something we will continually work towards improving for you in any way we can. The first delay is waiting for payments to clear as well as the processing time for the stores to prepare our bulk orders.

The remainder of the delay is the time it then takes volunteer Gift Card Coordinator, Rachel Garratt, and the VWS Finance Team to sort all the gift cards for delivery. Rachel is only available on certain days. Thanks for your patience in the meantime.[/accordion_toggle]

[accordion_toggle title=”Will tax receipts be issued?”]

Tax receipts will not be issued for this program. If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation please see: www.vws.ca/giving/donate-online.

If you need a receipt for your cards for some other purpose, contact Gift Card Program Coordinator, Rachel Garratt at vwsgiftcard@vws.ca.[/accordion_toggle]

[accordion_toggle title=”Do the gift cards expire?”]

None of our gift cards have expiration dates. Regulation of gift cards is under provincial jurisdiction; and all Canadian provinces have specific laws prohibiting expiration dates on gift cards.[/accordion_toggle]

[accordion_toggle title=”Can the gift cards be used online?”]

Each store is different. Please see the “What Gift Cards are Available Through the Program?” section above to check the store in question.[/accordion_toggle]

[accordion_toggle title=”Can I use a partial amount of the gift card?”]


[accordion_toggle title=”What happens if I lose my gift cards?”]

The gift cards should be treated like cash. They cannot be replaced if lost.


[accordion_toggle title=”Can I return my gift cards if I find I’m not using them?”]

We want this program to work well for everyone involved. If you purchased some gift cards and find that you are no longer shopping at that store and not using the cards, contact Gift Card Program Coordinator, Rachel Garratt at vwsgiftcard@vws.ca to discuss options. We may be able to exchange the gift cards for a different store.


[accordion_toggle title=”What happens if my gift card won’t work?”]

Contact the store directly or contact Gift Card Program Coordinator, Rachel Garratt at vwsgiftcard@vws.ca and she’ll do her best to assist you.


[accordion_toggle title=”Will I receive my store reward points (E.g. Air Miles, More Rewards, etc.) if paying by gift card?”]

Yes, store reward points are given when making your purchase with the gift cards (not when the school buys the gift cards).


[accordion_toggle title=”Is it possible to set the order through SPUD as repeating so that it isn’t necessary to place the order each week?”]

Yes, you can set up recurring orders for weekly, every two weeks or every four weeks to save you time.

[accordion_toggle title=”Didn’t find the question you were looking for?”]

Submit a question here vwsgiftcard@vws.ca




Gift Card Order Form
Delivery Terms and Conditions
Gift Card Program Information 2016-17 Information Sheet

How Do I Get More Information?

Please check the FAQ section of this page or contact Gift Card Program Coordinator, Rachel Garratt at vwsgiftcard@vws.ca or on 778-772-3601 for more information.