United Way, Dragoons delivery keeps kids safe on roads across the region

United Way partnership enables children to travel safely up and down the valley

United Way Central & South Okanagan/Similkameen and United Way North Okanagan Columbia Shuswap teamed up to deliver car seats to families in need up and down the valley Wednesday.

And some of those seats were delivered in style thanks to the help of the British Columbia Dragoons who volunteered this year to help with distribution in the Kelowna area using their TAP-V armoured vehicle.

“It is fun to have the Dragoons with us today. They are very supportive of the United Way. They offered to help and it is nice to have some strong guys help us,” says Marianne Dahl, marketing and events manager United Way CSO.

“I rode in the vehicle, it was fun, and it is pretty cool.”

In partnership with Central Okanagan Foundation, Kelowna General Hospital Foundation and with the added support from Vernon Jubilee Hospital Foundation and corporate partner Kal Tire, the Child Safety Initiative has now expanded to the North Okanagan and Shuswap region.

“Every day, families living right here in the Okanagan are forced to make extremely difficult choices,” says Helen Jackman, executive director of United Way CSO.

“The choice between paying rent or putting food on the table and making sure their kids travel safely. BCAA estimates that as many as five per cent of kids in BC don’t use a child car seat – that’s roughly 23,000 kids. I’m really proud that this partnership initiative will enable families to keep their children safe.”

Dahl adds that with Kal Tire’s help this year, and the Vernon Jubilee Hospital Foundation, they expanded it from 90 car seats last year to 114 this year.

“Agencies from Salmon Arm down to Oliver and over to Princeton are receiving car seats for families in need,” adds Dahl.

“Five per cent is too many, kids traveling unsafely is just not right. There are so many families that live below the poverty line.

In previous years, car seats have been delivered to community partners within the Central and South Okanagan/Similkameen region.

The annual initiative will now include 13 communities from Salmon Arm to the Canada/US border and over to Princeton.

Altogether, 16 community partners distributed 114 car seats to families in need.

“Kal Tire is pleased to support child safety and families in need in the Okanagan,” says Kevin McCarty with Kal Tire.

“Safety is a top priority within our business and we welcome the opportunity to support public safety initiatives with our community partners as well.”

For more information on the Child Safety Initiative, click here.

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