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Category: Good Neighbours

Helping Syrian refugees find their way in a new world

As seen in our pages. Diddy Evans (centre) felt powerless as she watched the horrors of the war in Syria unfold. “Then I found an opportunity to do something for people who have endured so much,” she says, explaining why she volunteers with a group helping Syrian refugee families in Summerland. In spring 2016, the Summerland Refugee Sponsorship Group welcomed the Al Abdulrahman and Al Sheblaqe families, bringing the number of Syrian families in the town to three. e local United Church sponsored the Al Betar family in 2015. Evans is part of the team helping Adnan and Hadya...

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Summerland school club promotes healthy living

“I love young children and I have a passion for nutrition,” says Val Wright, explaining why she volunteers as coordinator of the Breakfast Club for Learning at Giant’s Head Elementary School in Summerland. A former child care counsellor in Vancouver, Val assumed her duties in 2003, seven years after she, her husband and two children moved to Summerland. “The program started in 2001 with the goal of providing breakfast for hungry children,” Val says. Under her leadership the program has expanded to include children from a spectrum of income levels and backgrounds. “I never ask why the children come,”...

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Get ready for Family Fishing Weekend

June 17-19 BC residents can fish for free without a fishing licence — such programs give volunteers a chance to teach kids to fish With his face screwed up in concentration, the small boy held his fishing rod up in the air and then flung it forward, where its tip vibrated for a minute, and the bobber and hook danced above the water—but no line went out. He looked up at his dad with questioning eyes and was shown once more how to operate the reel so the fishing line would be free to snake out and drop his baited...

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From Haiti to Kelowna, the birth of Shoe Bank Canada

When the shoe fits Once there was a little girl who would shuffle into the classroom, head down; sit silently — her mother, in prison; her father drinking; her shoes torn and dirty. The girl’s teacher called the Shoe Bank and asked if they had a few size 4s she could pick up. They did. The next day, the girl skipped into class, smiling, chatting, enamoured with the red light that blinked above the shiny white sole. Once there were two homeless men in Fort St. John who died of exposure. An agency worker called the Shoe Bank and...

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Lifting Spirits, bras for women’s shelters

When community support is part of your business plan, success follows all around Florenda Pickett had no idea, when she was freed from her corporate bonds, that she’d end up helping so many women in ways she had not yet imagined. Florenda was at the top of her corporate game when the company moved to Ontario. The hard-core sewer decided to stay here and open a fabric store, which also carried material for making bras. When her friends heard of the idea, they asked her to make them custom bras. She changed her business plan and opened Esteem Custom Foundations. Within months,...

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