United Way Southern Interior BC volunteers and partners in Vernon gather at the Okanagan Boys and Girls Club Tuesday, Sept. 15, to package up child safety initiatives for needy families. (United Way - photo)

United Way Southern Interior child safety program expands

Families in need to receive car seats and baby care packages

The United Way Child Safety Initiative will see a significant expansion this year thanks to its partners and donors, which this year includes the Government of Canada’s Emergency Community Support Fund (ECSF).

Now, families in need will receive infant car seats as well as baby care packages that include essential items like diapers, wipes and formula. In addition, several local charities will receive grants to support children and youth wellness programs. The additional funding and care packages mean children, youth and families will receive even more vital support this year.

Partners in the Child Safety Initiative, Paul Docksteader Foundation, Central Okanagan Foundation, KGH Foundation, and United Way SIBC, will provide 172 car seats and 39 baby care packages delivered to 29 agencies in the Southern Interior this week.

“The well-being of children and youth is critical to the social fabric of our communities,” said Kahir Lalji, executive director of United Way Southern Interior BC.

“Ensuring the safety, holistic care and comfort, and the equitable access to resources for the youngest members of our communities are essential to addressing unignorable issues facing children and youth in our region.

“The pandemic has further deepened the need families are facing and we are grateful to all our partners for coming together to expand this much-needed program. We know the need is more dire than ever and we will continue to work hand in hand with all our neighbours to support the delivery of essential non-medical social and community supports to those who need it the most.”

Thanks to the addition of the federal government ECSF grants, 13 local charities will receive additional investments to apply towards children and youth programs as they adapt to address COVID-19 protocols and ultimately enable them to sustain and deliver programs safely. A total of $170,000 in grants, car seats and care packages will be distributed.

READ MORE: United Way Southern Interior and local partners announce Sustainable Recovery Grant Recipients

READ MORE: Southern Interior charities to receive PPE from United Way



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

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