Here. For joy.

One in four kids in Canada struggle with mental well-being. Will you help bring the joy back to childhood?

Donate today

Kids are feeling the pressure.

Economic uncertainty means parents are working longer hours and stretching grocery budgets, leaving less money for recreational and after-school activities. Kids have fewer chances to connect with their peers and make lasting friendships.

In short, childhood is losing its joy.

Every child deserves fun and a safe environment that supports healthy development. United Way BC’s School’s Out programs provide a vital, safe-space solution that gives kids fresh, nutritious snacks, educational activities, field trips, and opportunities to connect with new friends and mentors.

Double the joy!

Your gift of any amount will be matched by iA Financial Group, up to $50,000!

Mental-health related struggles today are sky-high among BC kids, with 1-in-4 children in Canada struggling with mental well-being (UNICEF, 2020). Young people crave socialization that was out of reach for so long. And the call for access to United Way BC’s School’s Out program has never been louder.

“School’s Out programs create opportunities for connection, growth, and greater self-confidence – the basic building blocks that will help a child along the pathway to success.” – Trisha Dulku, Strategic Initiatives Manager at United Way BC

School’s Out is an after-school program for children in Grades 1-7 that offers fun-focused, educational activities to help the kids reconnect with each other. It’s a place and time where kids can be kids: three hours of connection and joy, plus a lifeline to mental wellness support, mentoring, homework help and more.

Most School’s Out programs are offered free of charge to students and families based on assessed needs. Students are selected by school administration and/or community support staff based on who they believe will benefit the most. The results are astounding: 75% of children participating in School’s Out programming report improved health and wellness, and greater connectedness.

Give the gift of friendship

As summer approaches, more families are searching for summer day programs that are affordable and have space available.

United Way BC piloted the School’s Out Summer program last year for an additional 1,800 children at 51 locations across the province. But current resources only go so far: waitlists are long and growing. The demand for out-of-school time programs far exceeds the current number of spaces available for children. Sadly, 70% of kids are sitting on the sidelines.

Parents continue to do their very best, especially during tough times, but everyone benefits from support. With your donation, we can help make this year happier for more BC kids and help bring the joy back to childhood.

Be here. For childhood joy.


Your donation of any amount will be matched up to $50,000 by our generous corporate partner iA Financial Group.

Double your impact!

Your $100 donation becomes $200 – providing 2 children with a week’s worth of healthy, nutritious food at a School’s Out program.

Questions? Contact us at 1-877-557-1953 or

Reconnection is everything for kids

Confidence and self-esteem are essential to ensuring every child reaches their full potential. Learn from the kids themselves how School’s Out provided the guidance, friendship, and support they desperately needed.

Angelyca, 10, leads a craft project at a School’s Out program in Burnaby.

Someone to talk to

Angelyca knows the value of a best friend – someone you can not only play with, but also talk to when you’re feeling sad. Thankfully, she found her bestie at a School’s Out program in Burnaby.

Pre-teens learn to make snacks at a School’s Out program in Trail.

Safe spaces to learn and grow

Katie and Anna, both 12, head to their School’s Out program at Sanctuary, a pre-teen centre in Trail, for some much-needed ‘me’ time. The sisters pick up a healthy snack and then have 30 minutes of free time to connect with their peers and adult mentors before choosing their next activity: pottery for Anna, and learning to cook for Katie.


Help bring the joy back to childhood

Your gift of any amount will be matched by iA Financial Group up to $50,000!