September 5, 2018 (Central and South Okanagan) – Today, United Way announces grants of $500k from the Community Fund for vital programs delivered by 38 agencies across the Central and South Okanagan/Similkameen. These investments will help improve the lives of thousands of people throughout the next year.

United Way’s Community Fund investments respond directly to the most pressing issues in our community and provide funding to programs and services designed to help meet the needs of the most vulnerable kids, families, individuals and seniors across our region. Examples of investments from the fund include providing baby essentials for low income families, counselling to youth in crisis, support for survivors of sexual abuse, resources for women fleeing intimate partner violence, healthy breakfasts for children, and trauma counselling for people overcoming addictions.

“At United Way, we do our homework through the Community Fund grant process to ensure our donor dollars are invested wisely,” says Helen Jackman, United Way CSO Executive Director. “Our understanding of community priorities allows us to support partner agencies working right across the spectrum of need in our community. I’m proud that we are able to support programs that help children build resilience and confidence, support families living in poverty or on the verge of crisis and help reduce seniors’ isolation. Our Community Fund investments truly provide local support to those people who need it most right here in our community.”

In total, United Way invested $1.42 million in our communities this year from the Community Fund, Innovation Fund, provincially-funded Better at Home program to support seniors and Success by 6. These investments enabled 60,000 people in 22 communities to build a better life.

“We are a proud partner of the United Way, and value the contribution that they make to our many community collaborations,” says Diane Entwistle, CEO of Okanagan Boys and Girls Clubs. “We are very thankful for the support they provide to our programs for children, youth and families throughout the Central and South Okanagan.   The United Way is a vital contributor to a strong community.”

These investments are only made possible thanks to generous donations of this community. From workplace donors to individuals and corporate sponsors. Thanks to teams of trained community volunteers, we do our homework to ensure that every dollar is invested wisely and for maximum impact.

“When I learned about the great need in our community, I was shocked,” says Susan McIntyre, leadership donor with United Way CSO. “I had no idea so many people needed help, nor did I know how many amazing organizations are out there to provide the help that is needed. That’s why I support United Way.”

Despite growing wealth in our communities, there remains significant need. 1 in 5 children and youth are still living in poverty, 75% of children are not receiving the mental health support they need and 13% of households don’t have access to healthy, affordable food.

Join us as we kickoff the 2018 United Way Campaign and show your local love by giving back to your community. On Thursday, September 13 close to 300 local donors, community leaders, funded partners and corporate sponsors will gather for the annual workplace campaign kickoff breakfast at the Coast Capri Hotel followed by the South Okanagan campaign kickoff at the Penticton Lakeside Resort United Way Drive Thru on Thursday, September 20th. These events mark the official start of the workplace campaigns engaging thousands of employees in special events and other fundraising activities that fuel over 60% of the Community Fund.

More info:

For more info or to get tickets for these events, visit:

For the full list of Community Fund investments, visit:

About United Way CSO:

United Way CSO serves 22 communities, including the region from Lake Country in the North, to Osoyoos and Princeton in the South. Each year, 60,000 residents in this region benefit directly from United Way initiatives, which focus on supporting kids, moving people from poverty to possibility and building strong, healthy communities. For more information about our community impact and investments, visit: or call 250-860-2356.

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