Big donation for Men’s Shed
Brayden Ursel - Sep 22, 2023 - Get Involved

The Okanagan Men’s Shed in Kelowna is getting an upgrade.

Home Hardware on Thursday dropped off a sizeable donation of lumber for the not-for-profit men’s group that helps bring retired and working men together to both connect and create.

The lumber donated will be used to build an outdoor work space that the group hopes to call home for years to come.

“We’ve had problems in the past with the high prices of real estate and trying to hang on to anything,” Okanagan Men’s Shed member Mike Boucher said. “We’re not for profit, so there’s not much money to go around. We’re just hoping to get something permanent that’ll work for us.”

The group has been forced to move locations a number of times in recent years, which impacted membership.

“It’s been a welcome relief,” he said. “We lost a lot of members over the year because there was nothing to do anymore, so members are coming back now. We’re getting more members coming back all the time and some new ones as well. It’s working out really good.”

Paul Hobbs, the general manager of Home Hardware Kelowna, was on site the day of the delivery to lend a helping hand.

“They’re looking at a 12 by 24 shed to come off their current building (to create) a place for them to work outside,” Hobbs said. “We’re in the wood business. We sell a lot of decks, fences, we work alongside a lot of our home builders in Kelowna. We’re a big part of the community, and this was just a great opportunity to be another connection to the community.”

Cheryl Morrow of the Okanagan Men’s Shed said she’s seen these men come together and do some pretty incredible things for the community.

“We have so many retired people in our community, and we have a lot of these gentlemen who have downsized out of homes, and they don’t really have a garage or anywhere to go to, yet they’ve been so involved in woodworking,” Morrow said. “Now the Okanagan Men’s Shed is a place for them to come and to have a community where they can work on projects.

“They give back to our community so much. They build the crates for the food bank, and they are involved in the Scarecrow festival that is happening in Rutland this weekend, Society of Hope where they’ve built benches. You will see so many things around our city that these elderly gentlemen have done … For them to be able to have a place to come is not only good for our community, but is good for them and their mental health, so we just appreciate this donation from Home Hardware so much.”

The Okanagan Men’s Shed hopes to have the deck completed within a month so that they can bring on bigger community projects in the future. Those who wish to get involved can find more information here.


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