Holiday Charities in the Okanagan: Where to Give
By Lesley Buxton
Love to spread Christmas cheer? Not sure where to begin? Here’s a list of local charitable organizations seeking donations. Each of these local charities support a worthwhile community cause, pick one that embodies your family’s sense of Christmas giving.
Penticton’s favourite café, The Bench Market, known for its locally-sourced coffee and marvellous artisanal cuisine, has raised more than $2,100 for Penticton’s new Youth Centre. The goal is $5,000, and you can help them. They’re donating $1.00 from each featured coffee drink sold. Recently they’ve added two seasonal drinks to their fundraiser: their famous Eggnog Latte; and their delicious Hazelnut Marble Mocha.
This season support Discovery House—a peer-based men’s holistic recovery centre—as they work to “Shed the Light on Addiction.” They’re selling Christmas by Recovery light bulbs, at $10.00 each, or strands of 25 bulbs for $250. The bulbs will be strung up on Discovery house and lit at a Light Up and Open House Event on Saturday from December 15th, 3pm – 6pm. The goal is to raise money to cover three client treatment bed spaces for up to one year in one of their recovery homes.
This holiday season, Penticton’s Valley First, along with The Daily Courier and the Penticton Herald want people to donate to local food banks as part of their Be An Angel Campaign. The campaign now in its 21st season annually raises more than $100,000 for the Penticton and Central Okanagan Food Banks. This pays for over 300,000 meals for people in need. Drop in to any Valley First branch from Princeton to Vernon during the month of December to contribute.
Dog lovers won’t want to miss the chance to support the BCSPCA on December 14th. Kelowna Comedy is teaming up with Bark n’ Fly—known for their extraordinary state-of-the-art kennels, to present Stand up for the Dogs. The event takes place at Dakoda’s Sports Bar & Grill in Kelowna. If you can’t make the show, never fear, you can still support the SPCA at their 14th Annual Bake Sale on December 16th. There will be homemade baked goods for sale as well as Dog and Cat Gift Baskets.
Consider donating to the Kelowna’s Women Shelter. A safe haven for women since 1980, it serves women and their children from Peachland to Oyama by providing a place to stay as well as life’s essentials. Make a credit card donation online or send a cheque directly to them. The shelter also has a “Wish List” of items needed for clients such as gift cards and non-perishable food items.
In Vernon, Santa’s Anonymous Society is a great cause. This charity helps low income families in the North Okanagan who find Christmas hard to cope with financially by providing gifts for children up to age twelve. Donations can be dropped off until December 13th at their Vernon location. The Kal, Vernon’s last remaining original public house, will also be collecting toys for the Santa’s Anonymous Society on Saturday December 15th. This event is guaranteed to be a night to remember. Hosted by local country legends the Dirt Road Kings, guests can expect a night of dancing, drink specials, and prizes.
Join the Okanagan Valley Big Band and The Don Miller Group at Century 21 Executives for an evening of Classic Big Band music on Saturday December 15th at Vernon’s Schubert Centre. The event which is in its 5th year raises money to help a special needs child attend Camp Winfield through the Easter Seals “Send a Kid to Camp” program.
Vernon Chapter of KidSport wants you to consider giving “the gift of sport” this holiday season. In Canada a staggering thirty percent of kids cannot participate in organized sports for financial reasons. KidSport wants to change this. The campaign runs until January 7th. Donations can be made online and designated to a local chapter so your donation goes directly to helping your community.