United Way charity partners receive car seats to distribute to families in need across 20+ United Way communities in the Southern Interior of B.C. Photo: United Way

United Way charity partners receive car seats to distribute to families in need across 20+ United Way communities in the Southern Interior of B.C. Photo: United Way

United Way helps deliver 520 child car seats to Kootenay and Okanagan families

Funding partners work together to provide safety to more children in B.C.

United Way British Columbia — working with communities in the interior including Trail and surrounding areas, as well as the Lower Mainland and Central and Northern Vancouver Island — believes that no family should have to choose between the safety of their child and other essential costs.

Over 150,000 children, or almost one in five, live in poverty in B.C., and around one in five children do not have access to an appropriate car seat.

These reasons brought about the United Way British Columbia’s Child Safety Initiative, a unique partnership between United Way British Columbia, the Paul Docksteader Foundation, Central Okanagan Foundation and Kelowna General Hospital Foundation.

New sponsors this year are; Kootenay Savings, Two Small Men with Big Hearts Moving as well as Secure-Rite Mobile Storage and Vernon Canadian Tire.

United Way charity partners receive the car seats to distribute to low-income families in their community.

The agencies assess the needs of applicants and distribute them to individual families. Those families interested in inquiring about a car seat need to contact their local community agency directly.

Car seats are distributed to families in need through 20+ United Way charity partners in local and rural communities across the Southern Interior of BC, including the Kootenays, Lake Country, Kelowna, West Kelowna, the Westbank First Nation, Summerland, Penticton, Oliver, Keremeos, Vernon, Lumby, Nakusp, Enderby, Salmon Arm, Sicamous, and Revelstoke.

“This year, more than ever, 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.”

United Way notes that compounded with the impact of COVID-19, are cost of living increases and the ongoing housing crisis, all of which have forced many families to make unthinkable decisions between the roof over their heads or safety as they drive around.

“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 and Investment at United Way British Columbia. “We will continue to work hard on initiatives like this to strengthen vital connections in our community.”

United Way supports healthy, caring and inclusive communities by strengthening vital connections that support people in need. Representing the six regions of Central and Northern Vancouver Island, East Kootenay, Lower Mainland, Southern Interior, Thompson Nicola Cariboo, and Trail and District, the organization serves a population of 4+ million people, with a focus on kids and youth, seniors, poverty, mental health and food security.

Read more: United Way Trail and District merges with United Way BC

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