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United Way Southern Interior BC
United Way Southern Interior BC serves the communities of the Okanagan, Columbia, Shuswap and Similkameen regions. Formed by the merger of United Way CSO and United Way NOCS, Un...
Extra information
Our goal is to create opportunities for a better life for everyone in our communities.
SIBC Admin office: 202-1456 St. Paul St.
Kelowna, British Columbia
Causes we care about

  • Housing and Homelessness

  • Poverty

  • Social Services

Businesses whose employees volunteer with us
Social Mission
Improving lives and building community by engaging individuals and mobilizing collective action.
Businesses and organizations that we work with
Summerland Review
Secure-Rite Mobile Storage
Interior Savings
Kelowna Capital News
Do Some Good
Lake Country Calendar
Central Okanagan Elizabeth Fry Society
Canadian Red Cross - BC Southern Interior
Kelowna Family Centre
Stories of our community involvement
Local youth learn virtually through United Way’s CODEanagan program

This month, United Way Southern Interior BC, in conjunction with partners Accelerate Okanagan and Okanagan College, presented the first of the 2021 CODEanagan bootcamps, as part of an ongoing tech education program for local youth who may traditionally face barriers to accessing learning opportunities like this at no cost and with appropriate support. Supported by the RBC Future Launch Foundation and Coast Capital Savings Community Investment for Youth, the program was piloted in 2018 with extensive community partnerships including the Okanagan Boys & Girls Clubs and TELUS.

CODEanagan provides bootcamps and ongoing mentorship to inspire them to explore career opportunities in the tech sector. In 2020, the planned programs had to be postponed due to COVID-19 preventing the in person workshops, but the communications with youth and partners went on. The program content had to change to allow for reduced access to shared equipment and materials, but the outreach to youth could cover a wider geographical area once it switched to online content. It was decided to trial a full bootcamp over Zoom and see how youth responded and the results were overwhelmingly positive.

“At United Way, we are passionate about helping youth reach their potential & explore new opportunities,” says Jude Brunt, Manager of Events & Special Projects at United Way SIBC. “COVID-19 has affected our youth so enormously and, for many young people, fun learning opportunities like this are not readily available or encouraged, and certainly not without a cost prohibitive barrier. That’s where CODEanagan comes in. To watch youth make connections with each other and with potential mentors is priceless, even when we are operating virtually like this.”

Read the story: https://unitedwaysibc.com/local-youth-learn-vir...
#PinkShirtDay is just around the corner - February 24th! Have you got your pink shirt yet? If not, check out Bootlegger's Kindness Matters shirts. Proceeds from the sale of these shirts at your local Bootlegger or online go to United Way to support children, youth and families who may be experiencing bullying or even domestic violence. Together, we can make a difference!

Thanks Bootlegger!! https://www.bootlegger.com/erin-kindness-st21-8...
FUNDING OPPORTUNITY! Are you under age 25 and working on a project that supports people in the Central or South Okanagan? Did you know that you can partner with a local charity or organization to apply for a grant to support your project?

More info below or contact Sherry for more information! Deadline is March 2nd at 3 pm.
February 11 (2/11) is 211 day and this is the first year it will be marked across the entire country. Funding from the federal government’s COVID-19 response allowed United Way Centraide Canada to increase capacity among existing 211s and expand the service to ensure every part of the country is covered. In BC, the provincial government enabled BC211 to expand phone service across BC in 2020.

“Last year, BC211 saw a 30% increase in calls compared to 2019,” says Kahir Lalji, Executive Director of United Way SIBC. “We are so grateful to our donors, the provincial and federal government for supporting the expansion of 211 across the province and Canada. This is a vital service especially for those living in isolation due to the pandemic.”

What is 211 day? It is a day to remind people of the helpline that connects people with information on government and community-based programs and services. Most people know when to call 911 but many are still learning about the 211 helpline. In BC, residents can call, text or chat using 211 or go online to search the database at www.bc211.ca .

211 is a helpline that provides information on and referrals to community, social, and government programs and services. 211 is the primary source of information and gateway to non-emergency social services that people need.

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the value of the service as a large number of people try to sort through changing government programs and find access to supports such as food banks, utility relief, programs for seniors, and employment assistance.

February 11 is 211 Day across North America, where local 211s will raise awareness of the service and its benefits to residents.

To celebrate the national expansion of 211, several major sites across Canada, including BC Place, Canada Place sails and the BC Parliament buildings, will join us by illuminating their facades in 211 red. https://www.unitedway.ca/blog/211-day-united-gl...

Join United Way and all the local service providers to celebrate 211 Day today!
We are very proud of Shannon Amores for her #unignorable drawing that she submitted as part of the Arts for Social Change show currently running at the Rotary Centre for the Arts in Kelowna.

The Sustainable Development Challenge is engaging local high school students to tackle the most pressing issues of our time. Shannon chose goal 10 - reducing inequalities.

The show runs until Feb 24. Be sure to check it out! More info at www.sustainabledevelopmentchallenge.com
Are you or do you know a young person aged 16-22 (or thereabouts)? Looking for something fun & educational to do over a couple of evenings virtually from home? Want to learn how to use technology to share your views...on anything?

Register TODAY for the United Way Southern Interior BC upcoming Blog Writing workshop at CODEanagan.com.
PS. You do NOT need to be a tech whiz to join this, AND there’s free pizza!

Thanks to our partners who enable us to offer these free workshops to help youth connect with tech opportunities! RBC, Accelerate Okanagan, Okanagan College, and Coast Capital Savings
United Way Southern Interior BC , GenNext Kelowna and the Central Okanagan Foundation announced today that they have partnered again this year to offer Youth Initiative Grants. Youth who are improving their communities have a chance to receive project funding of up to $2,000.

These grants are available to young people up to age 25 who are partnering with an organization to create positive change in their local community. The partner organization can be a school, church or charity and youth must reside in either the Central or South Okanagan Similkameen in order to apply. Applications are available until the March 2, 2021 deadline.

"Youth in the Central and South Okanagan want opportunities to have a positive impact in their communities. They care about their communities, the environment, inclusiveness, homelessness, youth engagement and mental health,” explains Co-Chairs Charmaine Pearce and Zach Webster. “Youth Initiative Grants give youth the resources to make those positive impacts possible, and GenNext Kelowna is proud to be a funding partner and part of the granting process every year.”

Last year’s recipients included youth-led projects by Enactus Okanagan College – Green Screen and Silver Surfers programs, CRIS Adaptive Adventures – Scavenger Hunt and YMCA – Youth Advisory Council.  More info and pictures at the link below.

“The Youth Initiative Grants provide an opportunity for youth to have their voices heard and make an impact in areas that matter the most to them,” says Abbie Norrish, Grants & Community Initiatives Coordinator with Central Okanagan Foundation. “It’s inspiring to see the passion that the youth have for their projects and their community.”

Application packages are available at: https://unitedwaysibc.com/how-we-help/kids/yout... For further information, contact Abbie Norrish at Central Okanagan Foundation for Central Okanagan inquiries or Sherry Ferronato at United Way SIBC for South Okanagan inquiries.

More details and complete media release at: https://unitedwaysibc.com/2021-grants-up-to-200...
The United Way Southern Interior BC serves the communities of the Okanagan, Columbia, Shuswap, and Similkameen regions. Each year, over 85,000 residents in this region benefit directly from United Way investments with 73 local charities, which focus on supporting kids, moving people from poverty to possibility and b and building strong, healthy communities. BCAA estimates as many as five percent – roughly 23,000 – of children in British Columbia don’t use an approved child car seat when travellin by car, despite the clear safety advantages to using one. The unfortunate reality is that some kids go unprotected because their families simply cannot afford the expense of a new car seat.

The Child Safety Initiative is a partnership powered by the Paul Docksteader Foundation, United Way Southern Interior BC, Kelowna General Hospital (KGH) Foundation, and Central Okanagan Foundation, which provides new car seats to families in financial need. The car seats are distributed to families throughout the Southern Interior of BC, thanks to a network of community partners who provide social services in these regions.

A 20' x 8' x 8.5' container allowed the United Way to securely stow a large delivery of 172 children's car seats while they prepared for distribution to 29 local charities throughout the Okanagan. This campaign was considered a huge success by the organizers!
So proud of the Central Okanagan Foundation for its ongoing support of nonprofit and charitable organizations in our communities! Read their full story below!

As this challenging year wraps up, the Central Okanagan Foundation is pleased to announce that it invested $142,249 in local organizations this fall.

“In this extraordinary year, the need to support the communities of our region was more important than ever,” says Cheryl Miller, the Foundation’s Director of Grants and Community Initiatives. “It’s our privilege to steward the investments of our donors, and then support 13 organizations across a range of sectors.”

The Foundation supports charities in eight fields: arts and culture, heritage and historical, environment, animal welfare, health and community service, children, youth and family, education, and global initiatives. Its impact covers the Okanagan from Lake Country in the north, to Peachland in the south.

Earlier this year, 16 organizations received grant funding totaling $236,542 in the spring cycle of grant distribution. This latest round brings the Foundation’s 2020 investment through these grants to $378,791.

Twice annually, the Central Okanagan Foundation Grants are open for applications. The next intake is in the spring of 2021, with an application deadline of May 3. An information session will be held on March 17 at 1:30pm via Zoom, and registration is now available online: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIqdO...

Registered charities and non-profit organizations are encouraged to apply, and can find more information on our website (https://www.centralokanaganfoundation.org/grant...), or can contact Miller directly via email: cheryl@centralokanaganfoundation.org.

The funds for this program come from the investment income earned on the Foundation’s Community Endowment Fund. A full list of the 13 fall recipients can be found here: https://www.centralokanaganfoundation.org/grant...
This Sunday, December 13th, United Way Southern Interior BC turns 70 and we want to take this opportunity to celebrate 70 years of local giving and impact in our community. First by looking back and then a glimpse into the future.

Take a moment as we reflect on the past and look forward to a future where everyone has opportunities to thrive. Show your local love and donate today so no one gets left behind.
SIBC Admin office: 202-1456 St. Paul St.
Kelowna, British Columbia
Causes we care about

  • Housing and Homelessness

  • Poverty

  • Social Services

Businesses whose employees volunteer with us