Janet Parker (left) and Parkers Chrysler general manager Jim Tabler (right) present a cheque for $7,720 raised through a June fundraiser at the dealership to Jerome Abraham, Discovery House executive director. Parkers is part of a fundraising campaign for SOWINS during the holiday season. Submitted photo

Businesses stepping up for SOWINS during holiday season

Several Penticton businesses are running campaigns to assist SOWINS

Several local businesses are driven to make the season brighter for women in need this Christmas.

Jim Tabler of Parker’s Chrysler Dodge Jeep said the longstanding car dealership is in full-gear on two initiatives that will help the South Okanagan Women in Need Society (SOWINS).

Each year, the dealership does some sort of fundraising campaign for the community. In previous years recipients of donations included the Salvation Army and Inn from the Cold.

This year, the staff organized Jam the Ram, which is a catchy name for a toy drive, Tabler noted with a laugh. Over the last month many customers and staff have brought in toys for children that might not otherwise have a Christmas.

The other initiative sees $25 given to SOWINS for every test drive done at the dealership from the beginning of December to mid-month.

Tabler said this year their efforts to give back are touching the hearts of staff more deeply after the death of co-owner Colin Parker.

“He passed away a year ago. It was fentanyl, a drug overdose. With his passing and a little bit before that we really focussed on where we were giving support. SOWINS is near and dear to our heart,” he said.

Tabler toured SOWINS, learning about the different holiday programs earlier this year.

“Its one of those things if you can get down and ask them about the programs and really take the time to do it, you’re amazed at how hard these people work and the impact they have on the community. You really see how dedicated they are and that to me is a big thing.”

Debbie Scarborough, executive director for SOWINS, said without businesses like Parkers, Morrison Real Estate Group and Shoppers Drug Mart and support of individuals in the community, many women and their children would not have a Christmas.

“When I think about what gets done every year to help I get a little teary-eyed. I know what Christmas means to me and those I care about and if I didn’t have the means to give something to those that I care about it would be pretty depressing.”

Scarborough said there are many programs offered to help women and children throughout the holiday season. SOWINS is giving out 72 hampers to women that use their services. The hampers include presents for children.

“It’s amazing what people give. It’s something when mom comes to pick up the hampers and they see that there are five or six presents for the children on top of the groceries they receive. We tell them to give us a wish list for the kids and people fill that list pretty much.”

SOWINS also has a Santa Shop where new items are donated and women get to come in and pick out a present or children come in and pick out something for their mom. There are also backpacks filled with needed items for those living on the streets that are handed out. Scarborough said about 30 backpacks would be filled this year.

“We couldn’t do any of this without the generosity of this community,” she said.

Businesses still collecting for SOWINS include Morrison Real Estate Group. The real estate agency is collecting money and will match up to $1,000 in donations.

Shoppers Drug Mart also has a Fill a Shoebox campaign. Drop by the store for more information.

Just Posted

South Okanagan pays it forward to BC Wildfire Service firefighters

Community members thank Eagle Bluff firefighters through Tim Hortons donations

Penticton students receive over $46,000 in bursaries

Twenty-two students will receive the Community Foundation bursaries for the 2019 school-year

Lake-to-lake cycling route to be discussed at Pedal Penticton

City staff to discuss the route but there will also be a number of exhibits for attendees to explore

The Offspring and Sum41 ready to rock Penticton

The Offspring and Sum 41 will stop in Penticton to the South Okanagan Events Centre

Motorcyclist involved in Westside Road crash

Air ambulance assists while motorists face lengthy delays

VIDEO: Canadian zoos’ captive breeding programs help preserve endangered species

Programs considered last-ditch effort to prevent local extinctions of turtles, butterflies and more

Kelowna International Airport threat deemed non-credible

Normal operations have resumed following note of a suspicious item on board a WestJet plane

Okanagan bus driver assaulted for asking patron not to smoke at stop

59-year-old in hospital with non-life threatening injuries

B.C. sets rules for ride hailing, same minimum fee as taxis

Larger operating areas seen as threat by cab companies

Editorial: Troubling aspect of speed cameras

There are troubling aspects to this new provincial-government program

Two hiking families team up to extinguish fire in B.C. backcountry

Children and their parents worked for three hours to ensure safety of the popular hiking region

Okanagan’s alleged “Deadpool” robber revealed

RCMP catch up with suspect following gas station robbery earlier this month

Athlete of the Week: Ciara Brown

Twelve-year-old Ciara Brown of Penticton loves all aspects of martial arts

RCMP searching for missing Kelowna hitchhiker

Cody Kolodychuk was last heard from on July 31 and was thought to be hitchhiking in the Vernon area

Most Read