Keith Johnson and Debbie Scarborough embarked on $600 shopping spree for various items needed by the women and children at the South Okanagan Woman in Need Society (SOWINS). Johnson and his children racked up $600 of PC Optimum points before donating them to SOWINS. (Contributed)

Penticton resident donates $600 of supplies to SOWINS

COVID-19 paired with warm summer months has caused more abusive situations, says SOWINS director

Penticton resident Keith Johnson recently made a donation of $600 to the South Okanagan Woman in Need Society (SOWINS).

The donation enabled SOWINS to stock up on much-needed supplies such as toothbrushes, shampoo, razors, sunscreen, socks, diapers and even the supplement drink Boost for women and children.

The donation was needed now more than ever, said SOWINS executive director Debbie Scarborough.

READ MORE: Penticton arts council delivers care packs to community members in need

Johnson, with the help of his son and daughter, racked up $600 worth of PC Optimum points before donating them all to SOWINS.

Johnson said the idea dawned on him after he discovered his points could be doubled using a Shopper’s Drug Mart flyer. Johnson had been collecting points in Penticton while his son and daughter collected points using his Optimum account in Calgary.

Donating the points to SOWINS was an obvious choice for Johnson.

“I do have a strong compassion for women and children who are facing domestic abuse,” he said. “It just seemed like the right thing to do.”

Scarborough was extremely grateful for the donation as she said her organization would never have been able to go out and buy all these items without extra support.

“It was such a gift,” she said.

The support comes at a time when SOWINS has more women and children to help than ever, explained Scarborough. The summer months are usually the busiest and the pandemic has made things even worse for many women in abusive situations.

“When the pandemic first happened the only thing that increased in sales was alcohol… in the Okanagan, with the heat, people drink more and when people drink more they hit more,” she said.

“There’s going to be a lot of families and a lot of women who will benefit from this (donation).”

READ MORE: Domestic violence on the rise in Okanagan amid COVID-19

READ MORE: Violence against Indigenous women during COVID-19 sparks calls for MMIWG plan

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