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Impact Stories

United Way BC’s Child Safety Initiative delivered 520 child car seats in the Okanagan and Kootenays

Funding partners work together to provide safety to more children in BC

Did you know that over 150,000 children live in poverty in BC, and around one in five do not have access to an appropriate car seat? At United Way BC, we believe no family should have to choose between their child’s safety and other essential costs. That’s why we’ve worked with funding partners, the Paul Docksteader Foundation, Kelowna General Hospital Foundation, and the Central Okanagan Foundation, to raise over $55,000 to help families in need acquire this essential safety equipment.

“I am so very pleased and proud to continue in our ongoing support of this very important initiative,” says Paul Docksteader of the Paul Docksteader Foundation. “The need has never been greater, and I am humbled to say, that together with the Paul Docksteader Foundation, others have stepped up to match, join in, and contribute to this incredibly important cause. Thanks again to the United Way for their spirited leadership, hard work and generous support, as we all team up to make a kind and positive difference in the communities in which we all live.”

This year, the initiative welcomed Two Small Men with Big Hearts Moving and Secure-Rite Mobile Storage, as well as Kootenay Savings and Vernon Canadian Tire as Sponsors. United Way charity partners receive car seats to distribute to low-income families in their community.

The impact of COVID-19, cost of living increases, and the ongoing housing crisis have forced many families to make unthinkable decisions between the roof over their heads or safety as they drive around. Since 2015, United Way BC and partners have worked collaboratively to address this gap and have provided over 700 car seats across the Okanagan to community agencies that support low-income families. In 2022, the initiative has secured 320 car seats and 200 booster seats through the generous contributions of the funding partners.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has further deepened the need families are facing, and we are grateful to all our partners for coming together to expand this essential program,” says Kim Winchell, Provincial Director, Community Impact & Investment at United Way British Columbia. “We will continue to work hard on initiatives like this to strengthen vital connections in our community.” 

Car seats are distributed to families in need 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, Revelstoke, and Kootenays.

We are grateful and proud of the United Way BC’s Child Safety Initiative, which has been transforming the lives of families in need, thanks to the generosity of partners, sponsors and the support of keen volunteers across the region. Want to learn more? Please, visit https://uwbc.ca/program/child-safety-initiative/