Help KGH workers, local business
Miriam Halpenny - 2:37 pm - Get Involved

Image: Contributed

Two Kelowna women have found a way to support health-care workers by raising funds to purchase gift cards specifically for employees at Kelowna General Hospital.

Brittney Page and Danielle Smith have launched the fundraiser ‘Love for Local’ to help health-care workers as they continue to fight against COVID-19. A GoFundMe campaign has been created with a goal of $5,000. Each donation will help with the purchase of gift cards from local restaurants which will all be gifted to KGH healthcare workers.

The pair both have nurses in their families, which is why the cause is so close to home.

“We want to give back to a community that has given us and our families so much energy and joy,” the GoFundMe statement read. “Local business owners are often the first to be asked to donate, first to step up, and the first to contribute to community projects.

“We feel it is our turn to rally around them in their most trying times. Our hope is that both the KGH healthcare professionals and local restaurants feel the love that we know Kelowna has to give.”

To donate, click here.

Here’s to restaurant workers
Okanagan Edge Staff - 12:38 pm - Get Involved

Image: Contributed

Several Thompson Okanagan wineries, cideries, breweries and distilleries are joining the crusade to support B.C.’s restaurant workers.

The Drinks List liquor agency is teaming up with provincial alcohol providers to raise money for employees affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We recognize the COVID-19 pandemic is effecting all of society and causing emotional and financial suffering,” The Drinks List president Tim Wispinski said in a press release. “The restaurant industry is one of the segments suffering the most. We hope to create public awareness for the BC Hospitality Foundation and the Vancouver Food + Beverage Community Relief Fund.

“I hope other B.C. suppliers of wine, beer, cider, and spirits will join us in this program to increase its impact.”

The list of local suppliers supporting the program includes Adega on 45th Winery (Osoyoos), Evolve Cellars (Penticton), One Faith Vineyards (Oliver), Harper’s Trail Estate Winery (Kamloops), The View Winery (Kelowna), TIME Winery (Penticton), Wild Goose Vineyards and Winery (Okanagan Falls) and Wards Hard Cider (Kelowna).

For every case of wine, beer, and cider sold to restaurants, the program partners will donate funds to organizations that support hospitality workers in need. A $12 donation will be made for each case of wine shipped to restaurants, as well as a $6 donation for each case of cider or beer. The initiative will continue for as long as dining room restrictions are in place.

An initial donation of $500 will be made to the Vancouver Food + Beverage Community Relief Fund (VanFBC Relief Fund). This initiative addresses Vancouver food and beverage workers’ greatest immediate, short-term needs, such as groceries and prescriptions.

An additional donation of $1,300 will be made to the BC Hospitality Foundation to ensure the continuation of the charitable work they do for hospitality workers across B.C. experiencing financial crisis due to a heath condition.

Soupateria back up and running
Chelsea Powrie - 8:37 am - Get Involved

Photo: Contributed

Just a few days after announcing a “devastating” closure due to COVID-19 concerns, Penticton’s Soupateria has found a way to re-open to serve the community.

Soupateria president Tracy Comber announced on social media that the soup kitchen, which provides meals to more than 100 clients a day, will be open again Friday for bagged lunch service, and 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. daily thereafter.

They had previously been concerned for the health of their volunteers, many of whom are elderly, and their clients who tended to congregate in the yard and dining area.

But with tweaks to service, they are persisting.

“I am extremely happy,” she wrote. “We will be operating with paid employees over the next two months during the COVID-19 crisis.”

She thanked the Community Foundation, the City of Penticton, One Sky and Interior Health for “helping us to get back up and running.”

Order takeout, raise money
Glacier Media - Apr 02, 2020 - Get Involved

Photo: Emiko Ohama

Two Story Robot, a small web app development company based in Kamloops, is delivering it forward.

They’re asking locals to send in a picture of their delivery or takeout receipt. Two Story Robot will then match the total (up to $25 per person) and donate that money to the Kamloops Food Bank.

Team co-ordinator Paige Whitson tells Castanet each quarter her team receives around $300 American dollars from their partner, Postmark, to put on community events. Given the current situation of the world, Two Story Robot decided to use that money for their “Deliver It Forward” food bank contribution.

“Everyone’s feeling it, and we’re all in it together,” Whitson said of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Every opportunity we can leverage to support the community is a huge win for us.”

She added Two Story Robot will donate up to $500 (Canadian) to the Kamloops Food Bank.

The campaign runs from now until Friday, April 10. You can tweet your receipt to @twostoryrobot or email it to [email protected].

Big donation for The Bridge
Miriam Halpenny - Mar 31, 2020 - Get Involved

Photo: Contributed

The Bridge Youth & Family Services in Kelowna is celebrating a $30,000 anonymous donation towards its Youth Recovery House.

The donation will help people under 19 years old who are struggling with addiction. In B.C., there are fewer than 50 publicly funded beds for youth treatment. In the Okanagan there are no treatment options for people under 17 years old.

“There have been no recent additions to the province’s meagre inventory of youth treatment beds, and Kelowna sadly continues to have no local resource for these highly vulnerable and at-risk children and youth,” executive director Celine Thompson said. “They continue to languish on wait lists for space to become available in Vancouver, Prince George or out of province.”

The donation will be used to support phase one of the Youth Recovery House. This includes operational costs for a six-bed treatment program, and based on the outpour of written support from council and mayors The Bridge is continuing to apply for grants while they rely on private donations for resources needed to get the facility open and running.

To donate to the Youth Recovery House click here.

Realtors aim for 1,000 pounds
Chelsea Powrie - Mar 31, 2020 - Get Involved

Photo: Contributed

In light of the COVID-19 crisis causing dwindling donations to food banks, the Chamberlain Property Group in Penticton has set a goal of raising 1,000 pounds of food to donate to the Penticton Salvation Army, even offering to pick the donations up in accordance with physical distancing guidelines.

The group started their drive Saturday, and will be offering free scheduled pickups of food in Penticton and surrounding area.

“We wanted to do our part to help families and our community. We know some people are having a tough time dealing with this outbreak and we hope this food drive can help people who are in need at this time,” founder and Realtor Kirk Chamberlain said.

Members of the property group that will be volunteering include Kirk Chamberlain, Grant Klatik, Brian Cutler, Linda Toker and Chad Wozniak. 

To ensure social distancing, donors can schedule a pickup time between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. seven days a week by texting Chamberlain at 250-486-8887 and arranging a time to leave non-perishable food items in a bag outside their front door. 

Donations are also welcome at the Chamberlain office at 104-399 Main St.

The group emphasized they will be paying rigorous attention to proper health and safety procedures during the donation drive.

Soup kitchen forced to close
Chelsea Powrie - Mar 31, 2020 - Get Involved

Penticton’s downtown soup kitchen has closed its doors indefinitely in the face of the COVID-19 crisis.

The Soupateria, which offers a free lunchtime meal to over 100 people a day, closed its dining room mid-month in favour of offering takeaway lunch bags.

But that move ultimately was not enough to ensure the safety of volunteers and clients, forcing a total shutdown.

“It was almost impossible with 125 different volunteers and different shifts of people coming in to keep people social distancing,” Soupateria president Tracy Comber said.

“We can’t wash everything down and even if we do, is one of us contaminated? We don’t know. Honestly, there have been a lot of tears cried between all of us trying to figure out a way to go forward,” Comber said.

Social distancing between clients in the Soupateria yard, where clients normally congregate, was also difficult to enforce.

“Outside, we were trying to say ‘Hey, we have to socially distance, you’ve got to stay apart,’ we tried bringing in a handwashing station,” Comber explained. “It didn’t work well.”

She expressed hope that the organization will re-open as soon as possible.

“Hopefully we can get this right back on track, because we don’t want anyone going hungry.”

As of Monday, the Soupateria is not offering meals.

Give back if you can
Okanagan Edge Staff - Mar 26, 2020 - Get Involved

Photo: Peter Joyce Photography

The Association of Fundraising Professionals Okanagan is asking area residents to consider donating what they can to charities and non-profit groups.

The COVID-19 pandemic is stretching services thin, and AFP Okanagan is hoping once people have their own affairs in order they might be able to offer some financial help to those groups who need it most.

“These uncertain times are tough on everyone and the struggles are real,” AFP Okanagan president Richelle Leckey said in a press release. “It is important to ensure one’s own stability as well as their family members and or businesses.

“Once that goal is met than we are encouraging you to consider what can be done now or in the future to help those organizations who rely of the generosity of individuals and businesses in the community.”

Leckey said anyone who wishes to help should reach out to a charity or non-profit to determine its greatest need. She said even a $10 donation every month goes a long way for many organizations. Giving food or time can also be greatly beneficial.

More information can be found at AFP Okanagan’s website.

Big donation for food bank
Laura Brookes - Mar 24, 2020 - Get Involved

Photo: Contributed
Cody Pollard (left) and Dallas Chelick of Clique Group Ltd. with the $10,000 cheque for Central Okanagan Food Bank.

The Clique Group has announced it will donate $10,000 to the Central Okanagan Food Bank during what has become a critical time for the charity during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The food bank was named the charity winner of the Trellis Sprout a Fundraiser challenge, which asked contestants to raise money for their preferred cause.

Local resident Cody Pollard hosted the Fork and Spoon Gala fundraiser, winning the first place prize of $10,000 for the food bank, donated by The Clique Group.

The gala brought 14 Okanagan chefs and three local bartenders together to produce a nine-course meal using ingredients found in the food bank’s kitchen.

Food bank chief development officer Tammie Watson says the organization is under a lot of pressure, and the timing of the donation couldn’t be better.

“The need in our food bank right now is serious, and with this donation we now are able to serve more people during what has been an extremely challenging situation for many,” Watson said. “We are beyond grateful for Cody, The Clique Group, and Trellis for putting this all together.

“It is so inspiring to know others care about our organization and appreciate the work that we, as charitable professionals, do day-in and day-out.”

Clique Group CEO Dallas Chelick says they are thankful to have the opportunity to give back to the community.

“Not everybody is in a position to give, especially at a time like this,” he said. “For those of us that can, we have a responsibility to do so.”

Second and third place prizes went to the Central Okanagan Elizabeth Fry Society and The Bridge Youth and Family Services.

Choices nearly sold out
Okanagan Edge Staff - Mar 19, 2020 - Get Involved

Image: Contributed

If you want to isolate in a larger house, you might want to grab one of the few remaining tickets of the 2020 Choices Lottery.

The BC Children’s Hospital Foundation announced Thursday that 94% of tickets have already sold for its annual fundraiser, which offers eight grand prize options for the winner.

One of those grand prizes is a 2,000 square foot sub-penthouse at ONE Water Street. It will be located on the 28th floor of the yet-to-be-constructed building, offering stunning views of Okanagan Lake and the surrounding mountains. The home is expected to be ready in the summer of 2022.

If the winner picks the Kelowna package, they will also win a 2020 BMW X5 xDrive 40i along with $750,000 in cash.

Other grand prize homes are located in Vancouver, South Surrey, Tsawwassen, Courtenay, Victoria and Squamish. The winner can also take $2.2 million in tax-free cash.

More information about the 2020 Choices Lottery can be found here.

All Get Involved Stories