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Kelowna  

Welcome to the 'Love Inn'

For 12-hours Saturday members of the Okanagan community are getting together to show 'what love really means'.

Everyone is invited down to the Metro Community at 1470 Water Street until 10 p.m. tonight to spread some love to those in need this Valentine's Day.

The event is put on by Open for Change and was meant to bring awareness and support to Inn from the Cold, Metro Community and the Okanagan Boys and Girls Clubs Emergency Youth Shelter.

“Today is all about helping people,” explains Michael Lavigne, CEO and co-founder of Open for Change. “This Valentine's Day instead of just cards and chocolates and the corporate side of Valentine's Day, we are trying to inspire people to think about what love really means to them and maybe share some love with the community.

He says their mission is to raise awareness by inspiring and activating our community to join and learn more about the social issues our society faces every day, right here in Kelowna.

“I invite people to come down so that they can have something to eat and share in the festivities. We are spreading a lot of love today so if your love bank is empty come on down and we will fill it up for you,” adds Lavigne.

The activity-filled free event includes lunch and dinner served by the community, as well as guest speakers, musicians and artists being featured throughout the day.

Lavigne says he chose to take on the issue of homelessness as it is near to his heart.

“I have had members of family go through this lifestyle. I lost my sister and mother through this type of lifestyle, so for me it means a lot because I want to be able to give back and help others. Those who don't seem to have great opportunities and fall through the cracks everyday.”

With his family members in mind he created Open for Change, a society based on five founding values; Community, equality, transparency, sustainability and simplicity.

“Open for Change is for-profit social organization that has created a united community for sustainable change. What we are doing is inspiring everyone in our community to get together and help out a little bit more so we can help the organizations that need it.”  

For more information on Saturday's event, or for ways to get involved, check out their website here

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