August 27, 2018  – United Way Central & South Okanagan/Similkameen and United Way North Okanagan Columbia Shuswap have teamed up to deliver car seats to families in need up and down the valley this year. In partnership with Central Okanagan Foundation, Kelowna General Hospital Foundation and with the added support from Vernon Jubilee Hospital Foundation and corporate partner Kal Tire, the Child Safety Initiative will expand to the North Okanagan and Shuswap region.

“Every day, families living right here in the Okanagan are forced to make extremely difficult choices,” says Helen Jackman, Executive Director of United Way CSO. “The choice between paying rent or putting food on the table and making sure their kids travel safely. BCAA estimates that as many as 5% of kids in BC don’t use a child car seat – that’s roughly 23,000 kids. I’m really proud that this partnership initiative will enable families to keep their children safe.”

In previous years, car seats have been delivered to community partners within the Central and South Okanagan/Similkameen region. The annual initiative will now include 13 communities from Salmon Arm to the Canada/US border and over to Princeton. Altogether, 16 community partners will distribute 114 car seats to families in need.

“Kal Tire is pleased to support child safety and families in need in the Okanagan,” says Kevin McCarty, Senior Specialist, Corporate Social Responsibility with Kal Tire. “Safety is a top priority within our business and we welcome the opportunity to support public safety initiatives with our community partners as well.”

In addition to Kal Tire’s involvement, the British Columbia Dragoons have volunteered this year to help with distribution in the Kelowna area using their TAP-V armoured vehicle. This should be quite the spectacle! On Wednesday, August 29th, the United Way teams will be picking up car seats from Costco Wholesale Kelowna and delivering them to the various communities. Media are invited to the distribution partners for a photo opp and interviews.

Watch for the BC Dragoons TAP-V armoured vehicle delivering car seats to the Hub on Wednesday.

WHEN: Wednesday, August 29, 2018 (approx. times below)



  • Program partners: Central Okanagan Foundation, KGH Foundation, Kal Tire, United Way CSO and United Way NOCS, Vernon Jubilee Hospital Foundation
  • Logistics partners: Costco Kelowna, Budget Car and Truck Rental, British Columbia Dragoons
  • Distribution partners:
    • Okanagan Boys and Girls Clubs (Vernon and Armstrong)
    • North Okanagan Friendship Centre (Vernon)
    • Vernon Jubilee Hospital
    • Whitevalley Community Resource Centre (Lumby)
    • Enderby & District Community Services Society
    • Shuswap Children’s Association (Salmon Arm)
    • Desert Sun Resource and Counselling Centre (Oliver & Osoyoos)
    • KCR – Community Resources (Kelowna)
    • Kelowna General Hospital Perinatal Unit (Kelowna General Hospital)
    • Lake Country Health Planning (Lake Country)
    • Lower Similkameen Community Services Society (Keremeos & Area)
    • OneSky Community Resources (Penticton & Area)
    • Princeton Family Services (Princeton & Area)
    • Summerland Food Bank & Resource Centre (Summerland)
    • Westbank First Nation Community Services (WFN & West Kelowna)


The Child Safety Initiative is a unique partnership between United Way Central and South Okanagan/Similkameen, United Way North Okanagan Columbia Shuswap, Central Okanagan Foundation, KGH Foundation, Kal Tire  and Vernon Jubilee Hospital Foundation. Costco Kelowna handles the ordering and enables us to  purchase the car seats at a discounted rate. Cube vans are supplied by Budget Car and Truck Rental and in 2018, the Okanagan Regiment of the BC Dragoons will also assist with delivery. In total, 114 car seats will be delivered to 16 agencies in 13 communities. United Way partner agencies in Lake Country, Kelowna, West Kelowna (WFN), Summerland, Penticton, Oliver, Keremeos, Princeton, Vernon, Lumby, Enderby and Salmon Arm will receive car seats to distribute to families in their community. The local agencies assess the needs of applicants and distribute to the families.  Those families interested in inquiring about a car seat need to contact their local community distributing agency directly.

More info at: