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Christmas Kettle Kick-off

The Salvation Army Christmas Kettle Campaign is off to a good start but is in urgent need of Volunteer Bell Ringers at stations throughout Kelowna and West Kelowna in order to meet the fundraising goal.

The overall goal is $700,000 with the Kettle Campaign target at $300,000 of it, making Bell Ringers an important and vital part of the campaigns success.

“Usually our phones are ringing constantly with people signing up but our phones are quiet this week.” says Suzie Docherty, Volunteer Coordinator for The Salvation Army Central Okanagan. “There are still many shifts to be filled around Kelowna and West Kelowna for weekdays and weekends to fill our 5000 bell ringing hours.” Many key locations on the weekends are not being filled this year which is concerning. “If you can smile, you can Bell Ring!” says Docherty.

Historically Okanagan sports teams have been a part of the volunteer “army”. The challenge is being put out to join the Okanagan College Coyotes, Kelowna Ice Angeles Ringettes, Okanagan Premier Athletics Baseball, Bust N’ Loose Dragon Boat, Okanagan Master Swim Club and Okanagan Youth Dance Society, teams and groups in the Jersey Pride Challenge.

JerseyPrideChallenge: Sign your team up and challenge your competitors to a friendly competition. Have your team take a day or half day ringing the bells at a Canadian Tire, Rona, or Walmart location and see who raises the most! Wear your jerseys and score for ending poverty in the Okanagan.

“Ringing the Bells at a Kettle has become a great family tradition for many throughout the years. With stories going back to the war, and memories of ringing and sometimes singing as a family, Christmas Kettles are part of making Christmas meaningful.” shares Pam Grimm, Communications Coordinator for The Salvation Army Central Okanagan. “This year we are seeing young adults and families who want to make a difference sign up for the first time. They know they can trust what we do and recognize the funds go right back into the community to help people. It takes generations coming together to give help and hope and the Kettles are one way to facilitate that.” Kettle Ringing is something all ages can volunteer doing. All you need is a heart for giving.

Volunteering is easy. Inside and outside locations, weekday and weekend shifts starting at 2 hour commitments. Training is provided.

Call: 250 860-2329 ext.324 or email: [email protected] to sign up today!


Philanthropists celebrated

Over the years, Black Friday has become just as much a part of the American Thanksgiving tradition as turkey and stuffing. In response to a day set aside for “good deals” another day has emerged to celebrate “good deeds” – Giving Tuesday.

On December 1, Mayor Colin Basran will officially declare Giving Tuesday in the Okanagan and show support for a day that promotes the idea of giving in our community.

Just two weeks ago, Mayor Basran joined Mike Roberts and the Okanagan Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) for another opportunity to celebrate giving in our community at the first annual National Philanthropy Day Luncheon.

The luncheon was held on Friday, November 13 at Harvest Golf Club in Kelowna, BC, and welcomed 103 people. Of the attendees, 24 individuals and organizations were honoured for their philanthropic work within the community.

Mike Roberts, who for 40 years on the Okanagan’s Very Own CHBC television was a story teller, weatherman and community advocate, kept the crowd laughing and engaged as he shared the many examples of philanthropy that he has witnessed throughout the years.

This annual awards luncheon was held to celebrate National Philanthropy Day, which takes place every year across Canada on Sunday, November 15. The luncheon honoured and acknowledged outstanding achievements by individuals, foundations and organizations who contribute their time, talent and resources to the philanthropic community in the Okanagan and beyond.

In 2012, Canada was the first country to officially recognize National Philanthropy Day – a day set aside for celebrating philanthropy and highlighting the accomplishments, large and small, that philanthropy makes to enrich our society.

The Okanagan Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), which formed in 2014 and represents more than 30 fundraisers, supports National Philanthropy Day.  

Tattoo artists give back

The Okanagan Boys and Girls Clubs Downtown Youth Centre is the grateful recipients of $3055 raised at the Okanagan Tattoo Show in July 2015. The Tattoo Show is an annual event hosted by Don’t Look Down Tattoo shop. This year, event organizer Danielle Crowe slated silent auction funds to be donated to the Downtown Youth Centre to support youth programs.

Both Don’t Look Down Tattoo and the Okanagan Boys and Girls Clubs want to send out a big thank you to Robin Steg and all the local businesses, artists and community members who participated in making the auction such a success.

Don’t Look Down Tattoo shop has worked with the Downtown Youth Centre to educate young people about safe tattooing and piercing, and is eager to begin teaching art lessons to our members. When they decided to further their partnership through the Okanagan Tattoo Show’s silent auction, neither Danielle Crowe nor Centre Director Sarah MacKinnon anticipated such a success.

The Okanagan Boys and Girls Clubs Downtown Youth Centre offers a safe space to belong for youth who need us. Centre programs include a daytime drop in program, emergency overnight youth shelter, outreach and mental health support, life skills and recreational opportunities. Centre staff are here for youth who need us but can’t do it alone. We are very grateful for the support of community businesses like Don’t Look Down Tattoo and events like the Okanagan Tattoo Show. 


Firm gives to food banks

In lieu of corporate gifts to its clients this holiday season, Okanagan Restoration Services Ltd. will be supporting 12 food banks in the Okanagan Valley with a $1,600 dollar financial contribution.

“We believe in giving back to the communities we live and work in and this is a way we can help people in need have food on the table for Christmas,” said Kelly Moorhouse, the company's chief administrative officer.

“Thanks to generous community support and great businesses such as Okanagan Restoration Services, the Salvation Army in Vernon continues to meet basic human needs, restoring hope and dignity for those unable to help themselves,” said Captain Jean-Curtis Plante.

Okanagan Restoration Services is a family-owned, local restoration company founded in 1992 with locations in Vernon, Kelowna and Penticton, employing over 70 staff.

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