Child Safety Initiative expands to include investments and care packages for 42 local charities

September 14, 2020  – The United Way Child Safety Initiative will see a significant expansion this year thanks to our partners and donors, which this year includes the Government of Canada’s Emergency Community Support Fund (ECSF). Now, families in need will receive infant car seats as well as baby care packages that include essential items like diapers, wipes and formula. In addition, several local charities will receive grants to support children and youth wellness programs. The additional funding and care packages mean children, youth and families will receive even more vital support this year.

Partners in the Child Safety Initiative, Paul Docksteader Foundation, Central Okanagan Foundation, KGH Foundation, and United Way SIBC, will provide 172 car seats and 39 baby care packages delivered to 29 agencies in the Southern Interior this week.

“The well-being of children and youth are critical to the social fabric of our communities. Ensuring the safety, holistic care and comfort, and the equitable access to resources for the youngest members of our communities are essential to addressing unignorable issues facing children and youth in our region,” says Kahir Lalji, Executive Director of United Way Southern Interior BC.

Lalji adds, “The pandemic has further deepened the need families are facing and we are grateful to all our partners for coming together to expand this much needed program. We know the need is more dire than ever and we will continue to work hand in hand with all our neighbours to support the delivery of essential non-medical social and community supports to those who need it the most.”

Thanks to the addition of the federal government ECSF grants, 13 local charities will receive additional investments to apply towards children and youth programs as they adapt to address COVID-19 protocols and ultimately enable them to sustain and deliver programs safely. A total of $170,000 in grants, car seats and care packages will be distributed.

“Canadian charities and non-profit organizations are at the heart of our communities, providing important services and programs to those in need. The Government of Canada is pleased to support these organizations so they can continue to serve vulnerable Canadians, including children and youth, during the COVID-19 pandemic,” says the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development.

IRL Idealease will provide the increased capacity 5 ton transport truck to carry the precious cargo up and down the valley and this year, the West Kelowna Warriors management team will be pitching in to help with deliveries in West Kelowna. United Way purchased the car seats through a relationship with Costco Kelowna at a discount which enables the budget to stretch even further.  Storage was provided by Secure Rite.

Local media are invited to attend a media event at the location nearest them and noted below.


Vernon – Okanagan Boys and Girls Clubs
September 15, 2020 (Tuesday)
9:30 a.m.
3300 37 Ave, Vernon

Revelstoke – Child Care Resource and Referral Centre
September 15, 2020 (Tuesday)
12:00 pm
1001 MacKenzie Ave, Revelstoke

Central Okanagan – West Kelowna
September 18, 2020 (Friday)
8:50 a.m.
Royal LePage Place
2760 Cameron Rd., West Kelowna BC

South Okanagan – OneSky Community Resources
September 18, 2020 (Friday)
11:15 a.m.
330 Ellis St. Penticton BC

Other Distribution locations:

Lake Country, Kelowna, West Kelowna (WFN), Peachland, Penticton, Oliver, Cawston, Keremeos, Vernon – Okanagan Indian Band, Salmon Arm, and Sicamous.

More info at:


Funded by the Government of Canada



  • Presenting sponsor: Paul Docksteader Foundation
  • Founding partners: United Way SIBC, Central Okanagan Foundation, KGH Foundation
  • Supporting partners: IRL Idealease, Secure Rite
  • Logistics partners: Costco Kelowna, West Kelowna Warriors


The Child Safety Initiative is a unique partnership between United Way Southern Interior BC, Central Okanagan Foundation, KGH Foundation, and the Paul Docksteader Foundation. Costco Kelowna handles the ordering and enables us to purchase the products at a discounted rate. IRL Idealease provides the 5 ton truck for deliveries and Secure Rite provides the storage. Since 2015, over 200 car seats have been delivered to charity partners in the Southern Interior. United Way charity partners receive car seats and care packages to distribute to low income families in their community. The agencies assess the needs of applicants and distribute to the individual families.  Those families interested in inquiring about a car seat need to contact their local community agency directly.

Shown in above photo: United Way SIBC team unloads the car seats from COSTCO delivery truck into Secure Rite storage containers. (Left to Right): Jeremy Lugowy, Morgan Brannon, Reanne Holden-Amadio, Marie Martin, Jeanne Legua and Marianne Dahl.

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