During the COVID-19 pandemic, charitable organizations had to adapt to continue providing for those most vulnerable as they're essential for communities across the country.
"Our role and the roles of our partner organizations during this pandemic hasn’t changed, except that the needs of those vulnerable populations have grown exponentially," writes Diane Entwistle, CEO of Boys and Girls Clubs of the Okanagan in a press release on Friday.
Nationally, the Boys and Girls Club movement have served Canadian kids and youth and their families for more than a century.
"We have navigated world wars, the Great Depression, economic recessions, and now, a pandemic. Through it all, we have been there for kids and teens and their families."
The Boys and Girls Clubs of the Okanagan is guiding kids through the pandemic, to help them understand what is happening in the world and offering them stability.
"Our programs are rooted in supporting kids’ mental health, in helping ease anxieties and fears, in navigating the effects of trauma."
The organization relies heavily on its program facilitators who spend time every day with young people.
"Our staff are showing up every day, either in person, or virtually, and making sure that our clubs are safe places for children and youth to be."
They've provided many different services, including child care for Essential Service Workers (ESW), housing for young people, youth drop-in support and food security in communities.
Project Impact, demonstrated that Club members are better at establishing positive relationships and building interpersonal skills, and have a stronger sense of belonging and acceptance.
The Okanagan Club, has been tackling food insecurity by delivering food and critical care packages to families, providing childcare for essential workers, running virtual programming for kids and teens, providing housing supports, connecting with young people online to offer counselling and one-to-one support, and connecting with families.
"We have always tailored our programs and services to meet the needs of all 16 communities that we serve throughout the Okanagan, and we will continue to do so."
The Boys and Girls Club of the Okanagan has been operating in the region for 60 years.