As our friends, neighbors and family in the United States celebrate Thanksgiving today, non-profits across Canada are preparing for Giving Tuesday, a day designed to help us focus on giving back and sharing our gratitude by either donating our time, our talents or our treasure with organizations that are focused on doing good in the community.
For this week’s column, meet the women whose desire to give back led them to launch Warm Hearts Kelowna, an entirely volunteer-run non-profit with a focus to support families around the giving season. Kaitlyn Hobbs and Bailey Sinclair launched the organization a year ago and are already growing by adding new team member Jenn Williams. Each team member has a key role with founder Katie in charge of Operations, Bailey focusing on Community Outreach and Jenn on Fundraising Events. During the giving season, Warm Hearts provides support in the form of gift cards or gifts as requested by families in unfavourable circumstances. To complement efforts and further spread the community network of aid, Warm Hearts connects to social workers from Interior Health and Child Advocacy Centre and KCR. The non-profit focusses on families in and around Kelowna and is entirely run by volunteers. This means that 100% of donations go directly to supporting the wishes of Warm Hearts families.
“Warm Hearts is now pivoting to offer more sustained support by fundraising for KCR Community Resource’s longstanding programs year-round,” share Katie and Bailey. “Warm Hearts has several pillars in mind while it grows into itself; remaining entirely volunteer-based, representing our work transparently, committing to continued learning, and evolving operations towards more effective impact for the areas we have chosen to support.”
“Though the volunteer program at Warm Hearts is still developing, we look forward to growing a team of “bear cubs” in the next year,” add the duo. “Given that Warm Hearts is so young and quite small currently, volunteers play a large role in bringing individuality and new ideas to the team. The current volunteers of Warm Hearts are always eager to meet new faces in the community and welcome new volunteers with open arms! In the next few weeks, we would love to have volunteers aid us with gift wrapping, delivering gifts, creating social media content, and organizing/hosting fundraisers.”
The team is quick to recognize the importance of community support to help them achieve success: “The generosity of friends, family, local businesses, social workers, and community sponsors is a valued contribution to the operations of Warm Hearts. In the next season, we hope to have more team members assisting us in the behind-the-scenes planning as well as interfacing with the community that would ideally involve only a few hours a week of volunteering, spanning 6 weeks from mid-November to December.”
“Volunteers are everything to Warm Hearts! As mentioned, we are an entirely volunteer-based organization; sponsors from Kelowna’s community who contribute support to those in our care, social workers and staff members at the Child Advocacy Centre and Interior Health partners who work beyond their roles to connect families to Warm Hearts, local businesses who show kind support and encourage fundraisers, and dedicated Warm Hearts team members are all integral volunteers without whom, we could not operate.”
“Volunteers primarily interact with Kelowna’s community, whether it be through organizing and hosting events or dropping off gifts to the families in our care. They can also connect with other volunteers on gift-wrapping days or work remotely by managing social media content. Those interested in volunteering for the 2022 giving season or on an as-needed basis throughout 2023 can contact us at email@example.com.”
You can also get involved by participating in one of their events, including, this weekend’s Yoga Class at Our Yoga House on Sunday, November 27 @ 9-10 am. https://app.schedulehouse.com/SH/Client/010501#schedule
And next Tuesday, November 29th consider how you can give back, including KCR’s Share your Light Campaign where you can share your light with those who are experiencing darker days (https://kcr.ca/share-your-light/).
Warm Hearts Kelowna’s social media and contact information:
• Instagram: @warmheartskelowna
• Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
• Phone number: 647-984-1495 (Kaitlyn), 905-380-5288 (Bailey)
Dorothee Birker is the communications and development coordinator for KCR Community Resources. If you are interested in sharing your volunteer or organizational news, please contact Dorothee at email@example.com.