United Way of Southern Interior B.C. hosted its first distribution centre in Kelowna. The organization distributed PPE to local charities. (Twila Amato - Black Press Media)

United Way provides PPE to Okanagan charities

The organization hosted their Day of Caring at Kelowna’s Ramada

Okanagan charities providing non-medical essential services will now be able to do so safely.

The United Way Southern Interior B.C. hosted its Day of Caring at Kelowna’s Ramada on May 13, where the organization distributed packages filled with hand sanitizer, protective masks, as well as some feminine hygiene products to local agencies.

Executive director Kahir Lalji said from what they’ve heard from around the valley, those items were the hardest for charities to find.

He said the distribution day in Kelowna was the first to be held, but there are more to come.

“There will be more distribution centres for PPE throughout the South, Central and North Okanagan communities,” he said.

“We’re looking to mobilize distribution centres throughout the Okanagan based on need.”

Lalji added that distributing PPE is one of the ways the organization has had to adapt to meet the emerging needs of agencies during the pandemic.

The items were donated to United Way from other organizations throughout the region and it’s this unity, that Lalji said, should be recognized.

“The sector has taken an incredible leadership in collectively coming together to meet the emerging and imminent needs of those who are most vulnerable,” he said.

“If there’s a silver lining to all of this, it’s that people have come together to give so generously of their time and their knowledge during this time of need. Perhaps this is a legacy that we can build on as we navigate this time together.”

The Ramada’s director of sales and marketing and city councillor Maxine DeHart said they were very excited to partner with United Way for the day.

“We’re happy to partner with them now as we have done for over 20 years in the past,” she said.

“When they came to us and said this is what they wanted to do, we were on board right away. So what we’ve done is given them the premises… we’ve been keeping our distance and wearing our masks, and we’re doing it in a very responsible way. As you see, we have a huge ballroom and a huge parking lot.”

READ: City of West Kelowna to resume public hearings

READ: Interior Health begins planning for reopening of gyms and fitness centres


Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
Email me at twila.amato@blackpress.ca
Follow me on Twitter

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