Impact Stories

Six local agencies will receive coaching support from United Way BC and partners

Meet the agencies in the Southern Interior that are helping to tackle key social challenges in our communities, and are the 2022 recipients of the Sustainable Recovery Grant.

United Way British Columbia, working with other funding partners, is pleased to amplify these important programs with tailored coaching to support their capacity and long-term financial sustainability.

This is a multi-year collaboration among local funders including United Way BC, Interior Savings, Community Foundation of the North Okanagan, the Community Foundation of the South Okanagan Similkameen, and Valley First, a Division of First West Credit Union.

“In these times of financial upheaval, the grant provides non-profits with alternative revenue streams, away from grants and donations, that deliver stable and reliable income to the operations of their service. United Way British Columbia is honoured to have Purppl as the lead partner in delivering this work. The team at Purppl has great skill in creating space for conversations that lead to growth, change, and sustainability,” says Naomi Woodland, Regional Community Impact & Investment Coordinator, United Way BC.

More than two years since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the effects of the crisis are still being deeply felt by many non-profits across the country. Data from Imagine Canada shows the effects of the pandemic: many smaller charities continue to be severely affected while others, more typically the larger organizations, are doing OK. More than 40% of our local charities still face declines in revenue with the average drop at 44%. 56% of charities are struggling and their recovery is tough, with many of these experiencing demands for their programs and services that far exceed their capacity to deliver.

All six organizations will receive grant funding for customized coaching and support through Purppl’s Resilience & Recovery Program. The program pairs agencies’ leaders with experienced “Entrepreneurs-in-Residence” to help them build sustainability and resilience in four key areas: revenue, operations, leadership, and impact. This may include considering or expanding social enterprise initiatives where the organization sells a product or service to reduce future dependence on grants and donations.


Kelowna & District SHARE Society

Kelowna & District SHARE Society is a grassroots non-profit that has been proudly serving the community with various programs, equal employment opportunities, and affordable home essentials and clothing since 1977. The vast majority of the profits from the items sold in their store directly fund their in-house charitable programs. They provide material support and quality self-help opportunities to promote responsible personal growth for people in need.


The Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society was established in 1974 and provides for the mental, emotional, physical and spiritual well-being of all people through the development of community-based services while encouraging the community to preserve, share and promote Aboriginal cultural distinctiveness. They are exploring a new youth-led enterprise using art therapy and healing with the design of unique items for sale to support their programs.

People With Lived Experience Society (PEOPLE)

PEOPLE’s mission is to provide opportunity for people with lived or living experience through education, understanding, practical paid employment, and support for success. It is a job agency for those seeking more flexible employment opportunities, and for employers looking to hire regular or one-off teams of employees for various entry-level tasks. People with Lived Experience Society is best described as a team of talented people using their life experiences in addiction, homelessness, and mental health challenges to contribute economic services to the community.

Okanagan Indian Band (OKIB)

The Okanagan Indian Band is located at the head of Okanagan Lake in Vernon, BC. Their seven reserves total 11,282 hectares, and there are currently about 2,030 Okanagan Indian Band members. OKIB offers a variety of services and facilities, including health care, social services, and early childhood education. The primary mission is to ensure the healthy future of OKIB lands and peoples through cultural, social, and economic development. OKIB is exploring entrepreneurial opportunities in transportation and food security to support its community and beyond.

Childhood Connections – Okanagan Family & Childcare

Since 1977, Childhood Connections (formerly Kelowna Child Care Society) has been providing services and resources to help children in the community grow and thrive in safe, secure, and healthy environments. They help families find the right care environment for their children and support those who provide care with valuable training and resources. Their recently opened Drop-In Childcare facility will operate as a social enterprise and offer an expanded flexible childcare solution to multiple local families.

IndigenEYEZ (MakeWay Charitable Society)

IndigenEYEZ started a social enterprise called kinSHIFT as an Indigenous-led initiative supporting settlers in building respectful relationships with Indigenous peoples and places. Their experiential, arts-based workshops allow participants to learn, practice, ask questions, and make mistakes in a safe environment, all while building a foundation for engaging meaningfully with Indigenous peoples. IndigenEYEZ is a community-based initiative that has been empowering emerging Indigenous leaders since 2013.

“This is a unique and innovative opportunity to approach our environmental, social, and governance (ESG) practices in a more meaningful way,” says Paulo Araujo, President of Valley First. “This approach goes beyond basic monetary support, focusing on helping charities grow a sustainable revenue stream and develop long-term business skills. Through working together with other funders, we all get to be supportive partners, with regular check-ins and opportunities to champion these social enterprises in other ways.”

The Sustainable Recovery Grant aims to build the capacity and long-term sustainability of non-profits in the Southern Interior region of BC. The funders work collaboratively to develop this unique partnership and have seen significant success since it was launched in 2018. They welcome other community focussed local businesses to consider supporting the fund in the future so that more organizations may benefit from the initiative.

Learn more about the Sustainable Recovery Grant.