At a time when major news channels are flooded with reactions to the San Francisco church that installed a sprinkler system to repel homeless people from their doorstep, Kelowna’s Trinity Church wants the community to know they intend to be part of the solution to creating a community that cares.
Every Christmas, Trinity invites the community in to their auditorium to experience a full-scale theatrical production, seating 10,000+ people through 5 shows over three days. Tickets have always been free, but a couple years ago, Trinity decided to utilize the platform they had to make a greater impact on local, national and global causes.
“Reaching out to help people, communities and the world is an expression of our faith and is just part of our DNA,” states Wayne Alguire, Trinity’s Senior Pastor. “When we looked at the thousands of people from our community coming together for these services, we just knew we needed to leverage the crowds for good.” So, a decision to take an offering and split it between local, national and global initiatives was made, and $81,000 was taken in this past December. “Trinity has always been generous locally and globally and this just enables us to make an even greater difference. We are humbled and overwhelmed to get to do this,” says Alguire.
The total amount of money was split three ways, with one-third going locally to the Canadian Mental Health Association’s Connected by 25 program, which recently received a national award for excellence in the Prevention of Youth Homelessness. “We are thrilled to be recipients of this generous donation by the Trinity community,” says Shelagh Turner, Executive Director of CMHA Kelowna. “This kind of financial support makes a huge difference to young people in our community to get connected to the right services and supports so they have a chance to thrive as adults.” says Turner.
Connected by 25 program is unique in it ability to support at risk 16-24 year olds who may have mental health and/or substance use issues to navigate their life’s transitions to adulthood. Participants and their families receive support navigating complex systems so they get the help they need.
Mental illness is a serious health problem in Canada affecting relationships, education, productivity and overall quality of life. Approximately one in five Canadians, or 20 per cent of the population, will experience a mental illness during their lifetimes. Mental illness costs the Canadian economy an estimated $51 billion annually.
Fortunately, CMHA offers the promise of a better life for many individuals living with mental health issues.
For more information about Connected by 25, contact the Canadian Mental Health Association at [email protected] or call 250.861.3644.
The CMHA Kelowna Branch is a charity that promotes the mental health of all through community-based programs and services, public education, advocacy and research. It is part of a network of more than 10,000 CMHA volunteers and staff in over 135 communities across Canada. www.kelowna.cmha.bc.ca
Do you love beer? Do love festivals? We have some great opportunities coming up.
We are currently looking for volunteers for the first annual Great Okanagan Beer Festival taking place at Waterfront Park downtown Kelowna May 7th-9th, 2015. Volunteers are needed for several 3-6 hour shifts throughout the weekend.
Key roles for Volunteers
• Token collection at the booths.
• Set-up/Teardown Assistance.
• Handing out mugs and wristbands.
Perks for Volunteers
• Great Okanagan Beer Festival Swag
• Invite to the official after party
• Networking within the Craft Beer Industry
• Local hook ups and discounts at various retailers and restaurants exclusive for volunteers.
• Follow the link below to sign up
Scott Norrington has always seen the world in a different way – a trait his mother cherishes.
“Scott is an extremely special kid,” his mom, Monica, says.
When Scott was three, he was diagnosed with autism, and for the next nine years, Monica stayed home to help with his learning and development. Now, mom is ready to return to work, and at age 12, Scott is a happy child with a positive outlook.
“Scott has been able to enjoy some community activities throughout the years with the support of autism funding,” says Monica. “However, our annual support was running out and our family couldn’t afford extra programs.”
That's when she came across the programs and financial assistance offered by the YMCA.
Scott began a free week trial at the Kelowna Family Y, and was instantly drawn to afternoon open gym time. “He loves it here,” Monica explains. “We are so grateful, because if it wasn’t for the Y’s Strong Kids Campaign, Scott wouldn’t be able to continue accessing these programs.”
Scott comes to the Y each day to play active games and sports.
“I am excited that Scott can now engage in social interaction after his school day,” his mom says.
In 2014, the Y helped support 1,571 kids access programs through YMCA Strong Kids assistance.
For more information, go to ymcaokanagan.ca.
Johnny Aantjess of the Penticton Speedway Foundation presents a cheque for $1,117 to the Jumpstart program in Penticton.
Last year, Jumpstart helped more than 400 children play sports in the community.
In Canada, one in three families cannot afford to enroll their children in organized sports. Jumpstart gives children from families in need the same opportunity to participate in sports as their peers.
The speedway's donation will go towards paying for registration, equipment, and transportation costs for organized sports of children in the community who could not otherwise participate. Jumpstart also helps create programs for youth, such as swimming programs and handing out equipment to the community.
Jumpstart says participation in sports helps children develop physical and social skills, self esteem and confidence.
Since Jumpstart's inception in 2005, 875,000 children aged four to 18 have been helped by the organization.
Read more Get Involved articles
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- Rooftop campout for firefighters Mar 6
- Speedway gives back Feb 27
- Covered in Kindness Feb 24
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