The Lower Similkameen Community Services Society is looking for the public’s help to fundraise for its new services centre.
With a $500,000 goal, the LSCSS still needs around $240,000 from the public to cover the cost for the new office and program space.
“We are excited and we have had incredible support already,” said Sarah Martin, the executive director of the LSCSS. “Those donations are from a number of individuals in our community as well as the Similkameen Pharmacy and our benefit plan provider, so we have had a couple of corporate donations too.”
Space is limited at the society’s current offices, and with COVID-19 adding additional restrictions on how many people can be in a space, they are looking to expand.
The new centre for the society will be located inside the Ambrosia affordable housing development. As part of a deal negotiated with BC Housing when the facility was being planned, the construction of the complex would include building the commercial space, however, the LSCSS would still need to provide the funds for space once they move in.
With the space in the Ambrosia development, the society would be able to expand its community programs.
Half of the necessary funding has already been secured by donors in the area, with the other half ideally raised through community fundraising.
Since 1975 the LSCSS contributed to the quality of life in the South Similkameen. With over 20 community-centered programs and three affordable housing complexes already, the LSCSS is reaching out to the community for help with their relocation to Ambrosia.
The new offices will operate 20 or so programs: Meals on Wheels, Victim’s Services, Mental Health Support, Family Support, Early Years work, Child and Youth Programs, Friendly Visitors to elderly or homebound, employment support and referral, a Volunteer Driver Program, Community Outreach, Income Tax preparation, Legal Services, Violence Prevention, a Family Literacy program and more.
There will be additional room for activities for parents, infants, children, youth and elders. The new space will offer new opportunities to serve those with mental health issues.
Along with the offices for local staff, more office space at Ambrosia will accommodate regular visits from regional service providers, allowing spaces not only for the LSCSS own programs but for support resources.
“We will continue to occupy 310 Veterans Avenue, but we are looking at renting out space to health-care and other service providers,” said Martin.
The fundraising campaign for the new facilities at Ambrosia welcomes “matching funds” donors, business, service club and family group donations as well as those arranged through estate planners and from individuals.
“We need we would be fundraising from a few years back from the conception of the idea, and we imagined we would have some black-tie dinners and a nice barbecue event, so we have encountered a few challenges with our fundraising,” said Martin.
Fundraising progress will be recorded in a thermometer display at the Ambrosia construction site and on the society’s Facebook page. Recognition of donors at bronze, silver and gold levels will also be posted on the Facebook page.
Moving forward, an Apple Tree display will fill, apple after apple, thanking one contributor after another.
The usual tax creditable receipts will issue from the Registered Charity, which is Lower Similkameen Community Services Society.
Donations can be received electronically on the LSCSS website at www.LSCSS.com, by cheque delivered to 310 Veterans Avenue or by mail to LSCSS at 720 Third Street, Keremeos V0X 1N3.
Donor inquiries are welcome at 250-499-2352, Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to noon. Also email Admin@LSCSS.com.
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