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Youth to benefit from over $22k raised by United Way in Penticton

The annual drive-thru breakfast was another success

The United Way will continue to pay it forward with the support of the local community and over $22,000 in donations.

The 12th annual Drive-Thru Breakfast for the United Way of B.C. — Southern Interior was held on April 11 and raised $22,165 for programs in the region, the Penticton Lakeside Resort announced on social media.

This year the focus of where the funds will go is on programs that help support kids and youth in the South Okanagan Similkameen.

“One of the programs we have is called the Children and Youth Mental Health Fund and the Foundry here in Penticton received that money last year for a peer-led program,” said Naomi Woodland, the regional coordinator for the United Way. “What that means is that vulnerable youth can connect with a peer to someone their own age, someone with some lived experience who they feel safe with so they can get support accessing things like mental health services or food security.”

In addition to the youth programs, funds from the United Way also go to support other programs such as food security.

Previous years have seen support for programs like the food hub that was established with the Lower Similkameen Indian Band.

Other organizations that the United Way partners with also receive funding, such as the Canadian Mental Health Association’s Penticton branch.

“We run a meals program for people with a mental health diagnosis, and we have about 400 members that come into the clubhouse,” said Leah Schulting, the Penticton CMHA’s executive director. “Our dishwasher was broken, and through the United Way’s grant, we were able to fund a new commercial dishwasher, which is a huge benefit to us because otherwise we’d have to be bleaching and sanitizing and hand washing everything.”

The United Way has also funded the meal program in other ways over the past years such as with funds for the purchasing of food.

Events like the breakfast are only possible through the help of volunteers and the support of the community. Many of the organizations that work with the United Way also volunteer to help with the breakfast fundraiser, with four local executive directors helping out on April 11.

READ ALSO: Record-breaking success at 10th annual United Way Drive Thru at Penticton Lakeside

Brennan Phillips

About the Author: Brennan Phillips

Brennan was raised in the Okanagan and is thankful every day that he gets to live and work in one of the most beautiful places in Canada.
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