BCAA estimates as many as five percent of children in British Columbia – roughly 23,000 – don’t use an approved child car seat when traveling by car, despite the clear advantages of using one.
The unfortunate reality is that some kids go unprotected because their families simply cannot afford the expense of a car seat. Family poverty is a complex issue and affects 1 in 5 children in British Columbia.
United Way’s Child Safety Initiative believes that no family should have to put their child’s safety at risk because of limited finances.
“I love to get involved in local projects where I can see instantly the difference being made, especially for vulnerable families and kids. The United Way’s vision of making a positive difference in the communities in which we live is one which I echo at our Foundation. We are thrilled to support this collective action initiative which will ease the burden for so many struggling local families with little ones.”– Paul Docksteader, Paul Docksteader Foundation
The Child Safety Initiative Program
The Child Safety Initiative was launched in 2015 as a partnership led by United Way to provide convertible car seats to families in financial need.
The seats are free to families, funded by the program partners and sponsors and distributed to families through 20+ United Way charity partners in local & rural communities across the Southern Interior of BC, including Lake Country, Kelowna, West Kelowna, the Westbank First Nation, Summerland, Penticton, Oliver, Keremeos, Vernon, Lumby, Nakusp, Enderby, Salmon Arm, Sicamous and Revelstoke.
BCAA estimates that 5% of children in BC (roughly 23,000) do not use approved child car seats due to financial difficulty, and demand is increasing — seats were allocated to families in a matter of days in 2019.
We purchase Evenflo convertible car seats that adapt from a rear-facing infant seat, to a forward-facing harnessed car seat, and belt-positioning booster. They grow as the child grows from newborns, from toddler years through to children weighing 100 lbs.
The initiative delivered 84 seats in 2015 and has grown to 169 car seats delivered in 2019. In 2021, United Way delivered over 200 car seats and 50 baby wellness items to 45 distribution partners across 17 communities in the Southern Interior, as well as the delivery of 300 school supplies and backpacks: a 30% increase from previous years made possible by the support and generosity of the community.
Distribution Charity Partners
2022 United Way Child Safety Initiative Partners and Sponsors
Special thanks to the following organizations for helping make this year’s initiative possible.