United Way of the South Okanagan Similkameen gave out $95,000 to local social service agencies last month at its second annual community partner celebration hosted by Canadian Mental Health.
The amount of donation money increased $25,000 from last year due to a 21 per cent increase in campaign fundraising for a total of $95,000, including $4,000 in student grants, which is new this year.
In attendance were representatives from all 12 community partner agencies, other organizations that collaborate with United Way, youth grant recipients, leadership donors, Unity House members and United Way volunteers.
Among the 13 recipients, the top two receivers were Desert Sun Counselling and Resources and Penticton and District Community Resources Society, which received $14,500 each.
“It’s an honour, we’re really happy to have received it … the resources will go directly to families that need support,” said Tanya Behardien, executive director of Penticton and District Community Resources Society. “It helps us to help families.”
Other donation recipients include the Arthritis Society of B.C., Canadian Mental Health Association, Canadian Red Cross, Dragonfly Pond Family Society, NeighbourLink Summerland, Okanagan Boys and Girls Club, Penticton Hospital Auxiliary Meals on Wheels, South Okanagan Victim Assistance Society, South Okanagan Similkameen Brain Injury Society, Summerland Asset Development and Imagination Library Collaboration.
“Our mission is to improve lives and build community by engaging individuals and mobilizing collective action, and to help the most vulnerable children, families and seniors,” said Tracy St. Claire, United Way co-ordinator. “We pick up the pieces for vulnerable people.”
United Way’s main goals include moving people out of poverty to meet basic human needs, improving access to social and health-related support services and access to early childhood learning and development programs, supporting resident and community engagement and community integration and settlement, and helping kids do well at school and make healthy transitions into adulthood and post-secondary education.
For more information on United Way contact Tracy St. Claire at 250-462-8880.