Okanagan charities to donate car seats to families in need

A child’s safety is priority No. 1 and that shouldn’t be compromised by financial struggles

United Way Southern Interior BC will distribute 169 car seats to vulnerable families this year as part of its fourth annual Child Safety Initiative.

The 2019 initiative saw a 50 per cent increase in car seats from 2018 due to the generous commitment of the Paul Docksteader Foundation and through partnerships with the Central Okanagan Foundation, the Kelowna General Hospital, Vernon Jubilee Hospital Foundation and corporate sponsor Kal Tire.

“I have always loved to get involved in local projects where I can see instantly the difference being made, especially for vulnerable families and kids,” Paul Docksteader said. “The United Way’s vision of making a positive difference in the communities in which we live is one which I echo at our foundation.”

United Way will be distributing the car seats at the Kelowna General Hospital on Tuesday and it will make stops in Penticton, Vernon, Lake Country, West Kelowna and Salmon Arm, among others.

Forty car seats were distributed in the initiative’s first year in 2015.

The boost in car seats coincides with low income families’ rising needs, United Way said. BCAA estimates five per cent of children in British Columbia do not use approved car seats due to financial limitations.

The British Columbia Dragoons have volunteered their time to assist with distribution in Kelowna. Car seats will be delivered by TAP-V armoured vehicle.

The car seats were purchased from Costco Kelowna and thanks to a partnership between the organizations the seats were discounted, which in turn benefits more families in need.

“We are thrilled to support this collective action initiative which will ease the burden for so many struggling local families with little ones,” Docksteader said.

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