While September is almost through, there is still time and much for the community foundations in the Okanagan to celebrate, as the Province of British Columbia proclaimed September as Community Foundations month.

“As a community foundation, our job is to help our donors help our communities,” says Aaron McRann, Executive Director of the South Okanagan Similkameen Foundation. “That job has always been a privilege, but 2020 has really made us realize just how fortunate we are to be in a position to help. We mobilized resources very quickly and leveraged provincial and national relationships to bring significant funding to the communities we serve.”

His foundation has just opened a new round of Neighbourhood Small Grants to help bring citizens together. Responsive Neighbourhood Small Grants from $50 to $500 is a grant stream created to support small scale community projects in neighbourhoods and small communities in the South Okanagan – Similkameen that:

  • build community strength and resilience        
  • foster community creativity and well being
  • alleviate social isolation

Need some inspiration to apply? How about:

  • holding emergency preparedness or first aid workshops
  • having winter and spring beautifications, gardening, or planting projects
  • have a workshop on making, baking, yoga, or anything creative
  • painting a mural, the curb, or neighbourhood fences

All projects must comply with all safety protocols and requirements, all of the details can be found here.

The Central Okanagan Foundation and the Community Foundation of the North Okanagan, based in Vernon, are also celebrating. The Central Foundation, based in Kelowna and servicing charities from the District of Lake Country to the District of Peachland, has supported a number of programs focused on family health and well-being in recent months, from child safety programs through the United Way to the “Stretchable Soups” program with the Central Okanagan Food Bank and Start Fresh Kitchen.

In the North Okanagan, multiple granting programs are featured on the community foundation website with new partnering opportunities being explored all the time. 

Working together and creating partnerships is one of the cornerstones of community foundations, and this is an annual acknowledgement of the role community foundations play in elevating philanthropy and helping to sustain hundreds of organizations and worthy projects in the province.

Do you have a Love Local story to tell? Let us know! Email economicdevelopment@penticton.ca.

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