In photo above are (from left) Amy Little

Child travel safety initiative proves popular

Partnership between Central Okanagan Foundation, Costco, KGH Foundation and local United Way basis for car seat program.

Car seats have been flying off the shelves of local community services agencies after United Way delivered 84 seats throughout the region.

The car seats were purchased for families that can’t afford a car seat as part of a new Child Safety Initiative, a partnership between the Central Okanagan Foundation, KGH Foundation, United Way Central and South Okanagan/Similkameen and Costco with an initial $16,000 program investment.

Other contributors to the program include Budget Car and Truck Rental providing a free cube van for the delivery of the seats to the South Okanagan agencies and Kelowna Now offering temporary storage after the car seats arrived.

“This is truly community in action,” said Shelley Gilmore, executive director of United CSO. “United Way CSO is committed to ensuring our community works together to make it a stronger and healthier place for everyone.

“Through this partnership with KGH Foundation, COF and Costco we have been able to supply car seats to families in need in our region, working to help families keep their children safe.”

United Way partner agencies in Lake Country, Kelowna, Peachland, Summerland, Penticton, Oliver, Keremeos and Princeton received car seats to distribute to families in their community and almost all of the car seats are spoken for. Local agencies were able to assess the needs of applicants and distribute the car seats to individuals as they saw fit.

Doug Rankmore, executive director of the Kelowna General Hospital Foundation, added: “The KGH Foundation is thrilled to partner with the United Way, and the Central Okanagan Foundation to support community organizations in their work to make sure kids in the Okanagan remain safe. This is critical work and the collaboration helps to make it possible.”

“COF is delighted to participate in this important community collaboration,” said  Bruce Davies, executive director of the Central Okanagan Foundation. “This successful partnership between United Way CSO, KGH Foundation , Costco and COF is proof of the power of working together towards promoting the safety of the children of our communities.”

The United Way hopes to continue the program next year as they focus more on tackling the root cause of poverty in our communities. Funds for this initiative came from the United Way “Impact Fund” which is used to invest in partnerships, collective impact initiatives, capacity building and increasing access to services and supports.

For more information about United Way CSO community investments strategy, visit www.unitedwaycso.com.

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