People making a difference

Welcome to our new column. Let’s face it, Kelowna is a giving city; we get things done and we take care of each other

This is your look at the ordinary heroes, big and small, famous and not so famous who make a difference in our Okanagan.    

Keep your eyes out for someone you recognize.

Food plus love

Jaye Lesperance has been volunteering with the Central Okanagan Food Bank for over 15 years. Sadly, Jaye is living with a permanent brain injury due to a drunk driver. The driver was killed, and Jaye struggles with this catastrophe every day. 

Even though Jaye needs constant support, she volunteers several days each week without fail. Jaye says: "I've been getting social assistance for years because of my brain injury and I want to give back" says Lesperance.

Jaye loves working in the Community Kitchen and says it is her home away from home.

Team players

Shout to the team over on St Paul Street at Volinspire, quietly led by Sheldon Gardiner.

Volinspire is a social enterprise and community contribution company that has developed a platform for volunteers to connect to not for profits and charities looking for volunteers.

Their social mission has leveraged technology to do as much good as possible. Their app has logged nearly 750,000 volunteer hours serving over 4500 not for profits across the country.

Volinspire recently won the Social Impact Award at the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards.

Purple power

Word on the street is that local radio personalities Casey Clarke and Roo Phelps from the No. 1 morning show in town at New Country 100.7 are  planning to double the impact of their successful 2017 Purple Day event that raised nearly $30,000 in support of the Center For Epilepsy and Seizure Education of B.C.

“We have some big ol surprises in store for Spring 2018 “says Clarke.

"Funds raised help right here in Kelowna by supporting those living with epilepsy including sending children with epilepsy to camp” says Phelps.


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More Ordinary Heroes articles

About the Author

Richard James Deacon is a passionate philanthropist and volunteer and is dedicated to making a lasting impact on the community. Richard has been a director on a variety of not-for-profit boards across Canada, but is most proud of his role as the founder of 100 Kids Who Care Kelowna, as a co-creator of The Ron+Clair Deacon Leaders Pay It Forward Program, being a Scouts Canada Beaver leader and coaching his son in Central Okanagan youth soccer.

Richard, his beautiful wife, MaryAnn, and their young sons, Reston and Parker, along with golden retriever Buddy live in Kettle Valley and they love to travel the planet extensively. What they love most about Kelowna is that everybody says hi to each other and it still has that small town feel.

Contact Richard at [email protected]

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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