United Way uniting

In an effort to streamline its organization in the Okanagan, the United Way Central and South Okanagan Similkameen and United Way North Okanagan Columbia Shuswap will join forces starting in April 2019.

"United Way is all about local giving and local impact. That won’t change under this new regional model," stated Sinead Scanlon, Board Chair for United Way CSO. "Our Boards remain absolutely committed to the principle that funds raised locally, stay local. Local decision-making will continue to guide local community investments, focused on local priorities. What we gain is efficiency and the regional capacity to share what works."

The United Way says the merger will create opportunities to respond to community issues that are common across the region such as homelessness, mental health and poverty. 

"For many years, our neighbouring United Ways have enjoyed a supportive, collaborative relationship – sharing ideas and working together on several programs," says UWNOCS Board President, Debbie Bagnall. "We have developed a strong and trusted relationship. On several occasions, we have explored the idea that we should come together, but only now have we decided that the time is right. 

The decision comes as long-time  Executive Director, Linda Yule the retirement approaches in March 2019. 

Helen Jackman Executive Director, United Way CSO will take the lead.

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