From Floods to Fires: It Takes a Community to Raise a Family.

By hmcneil

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It has been a challenging summer for us, across the province, and in the Okanagan. It wasn’t so long ago that we were dealing with flooding to the homes and businesses on the shores of our communities. Now, with summer drawing to an end, we continue to deal with the fallout of a dreadful year for forest fires across BC. We see the impact that these events have on children and families - wondering if they’ll be safe, struggling with displacement, trying to protect their homes, hoping that they don’t lose everything- this is all tough stuff. The smoky skies have reinforced that this was not a “normal” summer, yet communities across B.C. have shown to be stronger than ever. From Floods to Fires, the powerful stories that have come out of crisis situations show that when community bands together, it is capable of tremendous change and support. 2quote

But it isn’t just in the hard times that communities come together. At Okanagan Boys and Girls Clubs, we understand and appreciate the power of community. We know our community is bursting with individuals that want to help kids grow up well, and these are the very people who make up our volunteers, supporters, advocates, members, and parents. It really is incredibly inspiring that our community here at Okanagan Boys and Girls Clubs is made up of individuals who CHOOSE to join out of the goodness of their heart and the desire to see their community thrive. 

Okanagan Boys and Girls Clubs provide programs and services to children and youth growing up in 13 different communities in the Okanagan. In each of those communities, we work with a multitude of partners including schools, municipalities, churches, neighbors, corporations, governments and other community-based organizations like ours. Each of us contributes a piece of the puzzle that helps to make a community healthy and whole. So what happens when all of these pieces come together? We are left with a family friendly community; a place where parents feel supported in their journey through parenthood, where we work together to provide resources to support the well-being of the family and where children are encouraged to grow into healthy, successful and active participants in society. 

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It has been an exciting few months of community-building here at Okanagan Boys and Girls Clubs. The summer kicked off with the Sobey’s Canada Screams for Ice Cream Campaign, where local Safeway stores worked with Boys and Girls Clubs members to garner donations at their local grocery stores. This is the perfect example of a partnership that allows employees, friends, and neighbors to work together as a community for a greater cause. Our Golf Tournaments in the North, South and Central Okanagan are great examples of communities coming together and having fun and being active for a cause. Each year our community of golfers and local businesses connects, mingles, and enjoys the opportunity to give back to their community. Our last event of the summer, the Interior Savings Moonlight Movie series was our own way of giving back to the community. We invited families of every shape and size to come together across the Valley for a night of fun, games, and movies under the stars. 

As we say goodbye to another great summer season, we send the kids back to school with hopes of happy, healthy and thriving futures. Looking back over a successful summer of community support, involvement and engagement, let’s work towards being more mindful of the communities that we live in and the ways that we can kick-up our efforts to give back. 

As always, all of us at Okanagan Boys and Girls Clubs thank our community for all that you do, and all that you continue to do for us.

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