April 2, 2019 – Today, United Way Central and South Okanagan/Similkameen (CSO) and United Way North Okanagan Columbia Shuswap (NOCS) announced they have joined forces under the new name United Way Southern Interior BC.

The merger creates a strong, efficient regional United Way, focused on local impact and investment. By combining and centralizing administrative functions and processes – including HR, IT, Finance, website, for example – the new organization will avoid duplication and be freed up to focus more energy on local partnerships supporting the communities’ most vulnerable. It also creates opportunities to respond to local community issues that are common across the region such as homelessness, mental health and poverty – issues that do not stop or start at lines on a map. Most importantly however, funds raised locally will continue to be invested back into those local communities.

The merger was unanimously supported by the Boards and Voting Members of both United Ways and comes at the end of a year of careful and diligent joint planning.

This is the direction being taken by United Ways across Canada. In fact, in recent years, 32 United Ways have combined their scale and capacity to create 12 integrated regional organizations while maintaining strong local presence.

”United Way is all about local giving and local impact. Every dollar raised locally will go back to the local community – whether that’s the North, Central, or South Okanagan”, says Sinead Scanlon, Board Chair for United Way Southern Interior BC. “The Board of United Way SIBC remains 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 regional capacity. I am excited for the future of the new regional United Way.”

The merger was, in part, triggered by the planned retirement of Linda Yule, Executive Director United Way NOCS. Paying tribute to Linda, Debbie Bagnall, President of United Way NOCS said “Linda has been an exemplary leader in our community. For 25 years, she has built powerful relationships with local employers, donors and community partners and stewarded investments supporting the most vulnerable in our community. On behalf of the entire community, we thank Linda for her years of service.”

United Way SIBC will continue to have a strong local presence in the North Okanagan, Columbia, Shuswap. Tracy Williamson has been appointed as Community Engagement Manager, based in Vernon, and will work closely with the United Way SIBC Team in Kelowna, led by Helen Jackman, Executive Director. Tracy will work from an office generously donated by Interior Savings Credit Union at their branch at 4301, 32nd Street, Vernon. A Local Committee will be appointed to support fundraising and local impact investments, reporting to the Board of UW SIBC. Interested parties are encouraged to contact Helen Jackman or Tracy Williamson for further information!

About United Way Southern Interior BC (SIBC)
United Way Southern Interior BC serves communities across the Okanagan, Columbia, Shuswap and Similkameen – from Salmon Arm and Revelstoke in the North, through Vernon, Lumby, Enderby, Falkland, to Lake Country, Kelowna, West Kelowna and Peachland, and south to Penticton, Oliver, Osoyoos and over to Keremeos and Princeton. Formed by the merger of United Way CSO and United Way NOCS, United Way SIBC builds on over 65 years of community investment. Our mission is to improve lives and build community by engaging individuals and mobilizing collective action. The United Way invests time and resources in three focus areas that support all that kids can be, move people from poverty to possibility and build healthy, strong communities. For more information, visit www.unitedwaysibc.com or call 1-855-232-1321 or in the North Okanagan: 1-866-GIVE4UW.

Our Reach – United Way SIBC Regional Map

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For more information, please contact:

Helen Jackman,
Executive Director
United Way Southern Interior BC
T: 250.860.2356
M: 250 215 6029
E: helen@unitedwaysibc.com

Tracy Williamson
Community Engagement Manager, North Okanagan region
United Way Southern Interior BC
T: 250.549.1346
M: 250.306.7778
E: tracy@unitedwaysibc.com