Get Involved: Volunteering Central Okanagan Style 2015

Check out the new Get Involved: Central Okanagan Style magazine that was launched at last weekend’s 18th Annual Okanagan Volunteer Opportunities Fair.

In addition to a profile of all the fantastic organizations participating in the fair, the magazine includes articles about some special volunteers in our community who are giving back to our local organizations.

A big thank you to the Kelowna Capital News for producing the magazine this year.

To learn more about volunteering opportunities in the Central Okanagan, check out the Volunteer Opportunities Database.

Roll with the Blues – Fundraising Concert

Date: Saturday, February 20th, 7:00 pm
Location: First United Church, 720 Bernard Ave, Kelowna
Cost: $30 (includes complimentary refreshments and dessert buffet)

RollBluesInternational Jazz Legend & Juno Award Winner Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne & his 5 Piece Band

Come listen to some world class jazz and help the First United Church raise money for sponsoring Syrian families and outreach for First United Church’s downtown neighbours.

Advance Tickets ONLY may be purchased at the First United Church Office. Proceeds to aid in the sponsorship of Syrian Refugees & Outreach to assist our downtown neighbors.

PLAN Okanagan’s Trivia Night – February 27th

Date: Saturday, February 27th, 6:45 pm
Location: Westbank Lion’s Hall Community Centre
Cost: $20 / Table of 8 for $120

PLAN Okanagan is excited to bring back it’s Trivia Night Fundraiser! Bring your friends, family, costumes and your trivia knowledge in this battle of wits for the pride of being the top Trivia team! This year’s theme is The Great Outdoors, so make sure to dress your team up in your best outdoors themed costume! Prizes will be awarded to the top 3 scoring teams, best dressed team and most enthusiastic team. There will also be a cash bar, silent auction, live auction and a few other exciting games that you will just have to see when you come!

This event is 19+. We are also looking for volunteers to help with various parts of the event. To purchase tickets, or to volunteer, please contact Aimee Jensen at moc.liamtohnull@nesnejeemia or 250.718.8292.

How to Help Refugees in the Central Okanagan

The Institute of Community Engaged Research at UBC Okanagan in collaboration with Kelowna Community Resources have created a mapping website that allows users to share information about household items, employment opportunities, services, housing, and volunteering that might be used by incoming Syrian refugees.

To Donate Household Items, Employment Opportunities or Volunteer Time…
  1. Register on the GeoLive Mapping site
  2. Add your donation information by dragging a map icon for the category (employment, volunteering, etc)
    View the video tutorial for making donations through the Okanagan Refugee Community Resources Geolive Map
  3. Choose whether you want your information to be public or private – Public information will be posted on the corresponding Facebook Page automatically
  1. Post your donation directly to the Facebook Page.
Groups working with facilitating the transition of refugees who want to access the private information on the site in order to direct resources to refugee families in the community, please view the tutorial video, or contact UBCO.

**If you encounter difficulties with GeoLive, please use our submission forms:

To Make a Monetary Donation:
  • Donate through United for Refugees. United Way will match funds up to $5000.
  • Donate through Paypal
  • Donate through
  • Donate by cash or cheque to Kelowna Community Resources
*All donations over $50 will receive a tax-receipt

Kelowna Services

Vancouver Services

Workshop Series: Nourishing Managers of Volunteers

Free Workshop Series: “Nourishing Managers of Volunteers” – Encourage one another & Expand our knowledge during these lunch hour gatherings held the 2nd Wednesday of each month. Block one hour in our calendar every month during 2016 and then register for one workshop at a time.

Upcoming Workshops

Volunteers as Agency Ambassadors
Date: Wednesday, March 9th, 2016, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Registration Opening Soon

Description: This workshop’s sub-title is ‘How to develop a Speakers Bureau’ – using volunteer resources. Carrie Broughton will share with us her experience. We will consider some of these questions.
  • What training is needed? Who provides the expertise?
  • How long does it take? Over what time period?
  • What did it cost? Did volunteers pay to attend?
  • How do you ensure volunteers stay true to their training?
  • What outcomes will be measured? How will it be evaluated?

Past Workshops

Volunteer Training: What? How? Why?
Date: Wednesday, January 13th, 2016, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

The Love Languages of Volunteers: How to Speak Them Fluently
Date: Wednesday, February 10th, 2016, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

The Law & You: A Free Information Series for Employers

Date: Tuesday, February 16th, 2016, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm (Doors open at 6:00 pm)
Location: Kelowna Community Resources, #120 – 1735 Dolphin Ave, Kelowna
Cost: Free. Complimentary Child Minding available on request.
Pre-register: ac.rcknull@eehtorod or 250.860.4911

Kelowna Community Resources (KCR) Immigrant Services is pleased to present “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Employment Law Lessons for 2016” as part of its ongoing The Law & You Information Series. This session is aimed at employers in the region, especially those working with immigrants.

As any HR practitioner is aware, employment law is constantly evolving. To help navigate this changing environment, KCR is partnering with the Law Foundation of BC and Pushor Mitchell LLP to host a “year in review”, looking at opportunities and challenges being presented in 2016.

Labour and Employment lawyer David Brown hosts this talk. Specific topics include:
  • Escalating Damages before Human Rights Tribunals
  • Just Cause in Employee Terminations
  • Employee Disabilities and Frustration of Contract
  • Family Status Discrimination
  • Notice Periods and Non-Competition Agreements

Join us for an information evening that is relevant to both employers and employees.

For More information contact:
Dorothee Birker, Project Coordinator, 250.860.4911, ac.rcknull@eehtorod
Katelin Mitchell, Manager, Immigrant Services, 250.763.8008 ext. 130, ac.rcknull@niletak

Presented by KCR Immigrant Services

Employment Opportunity – Project Literacy Executive Director

Project Literacy Kelowna Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion and awareness of literacy in Kelowna. Our mission is to provide free high-quality language and math tutoring to adults in order to provide them with the means to fully realize their potential. Project Literacy also oversees the ESTEEM program which provides support to youth in their efforts to overcome barriers to employment or study.

The Executive Director is responsible for the successful leadership, operation and management of Project Literacy in accordance with the strategic direction set by the Board of Directors and is directly accountable to the Board. Duties include but are not limited to staff / agency management, grant writing, program planning and implementation, fundraising, financial management, media and communications. Qualifications include a university degree in a related field, a proven track record of fundraising and fund development as well as excellent communication, organizational and interpersonal skills. For a more comprehensive job description, please contact the e-mail address below.

Interested candidates should e-mail their cover letter, resume and salary expectations to:
Fern Carr, President
PLKS Board of Directors

The closing date for applications is Tuesday, January 12th, 2016. While we thank all candidates for their interest, only those selected for an interview will be contacted. No phone calls please.

Workshop: Board Boot Camp 101

Dates: September 27th, 2016, 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Cost: Free
Registration Opening Soon

You’re standing on the sidelines of your daughter’s soccer game, completely engaged in the game. A parent approaches you and says, “hey, you’ve come to every game and practice. You must really enjoy watching her play”. You nod in the affirmative, eyes still on your daughter. The parent then says, “we’re looking for a few parents to help us out organizing the soccer club. Can you stay after the game to chat for a bit?” Still absorbed in the game, you nod your head and say “sure!” – anything for your daughter. The game ends: your daughter’s team played a great game against a worthy opposing team and you’re both excitedly breaking down the plays. The same parent beckons you over to where they, the coach, and a few other parents are standing. Uh-oh. What did you agree to?!

Often, this is how many of us start our volunteer “careers”: someone asks us to “help”, and we agree to become involved, not necessarily knowing or understanding the scope of what we’re taking on. What we do know is that we want to help and are likely passionate about the cause, club, or issue that we’ve been invited to participate in.

Board Boot Camp 101 will give you a complete understanding of the not-for-profit sector. You’ll also learn the questions you should ask before becoming involved in a not-for-profit organization; and the types of answers you should expect. Lastly, Board Boot Camp 101 will increase your understanding of a Board member’s role and responsibilities and help you determine when, and whether becoming a Board member is right for you.

Workshop: Board Boot Camp 201

Date: Tuesday, April 12th, 2016, 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Location: TBA
Cost: $25 per Organization (Max 4 people)
Register Now

It’s 6:30pm. You’ve been up since 6:00am and have just put in a full day at work. Your head and stomach are telling you it’s time for dinner. And you’re still sitting in a not-for-profit board meeting that started at 4:30 … which was supposed to wrap up at 5:45pm. Suddenly, you hear, “I nominate [your name] for Board Chair”. What?!

Maybe your appointment as Chair of your favourite not-for-profit wasn’t quite so dramatic. Maybe you were one of the lucky ones that served as Vice-Chair for a term before becoming Chair. Even so, most future Chairs of not-for-profit Boards are not prepared (read: groomed) to take over the leadership position.

Board Boot Camp 201 will give you a quick primer and overview to become the best leader you can be for your not-for-profit organization. Learn effective qualities of leaders and your personal leadership style. Understand the separation between the Board and staff, and between the senior staff and the Chair. Find how to run your meetings timely and effectively  – one of the best ways to retain current directors and attract new ones! And, when you think you or your organization might need outside help, explore the circumstances when going outside for expertise is of benefit to your organization.

Tree Chipping for Charity

Dates: January 2nd & 3rd, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Locations: Fire Hall Station 1, 2255 Enterprise Way & Fire Hall Station 4, 619 Dehart Road

The City of Kelowna Fire Department is offering holiday tree chipping by donation for charity for the fourth year in a row.

The Fire Department has teamed up with Cody Tree Service, 4 less Disposal and Okanagan Portable signs to chip the trees, raising money for the B.C. Professional Firefighters Burn Fund. Trees must be free of all decorations and tinsel before being dropped off for chipping.

For more information, contact the Kelowna Fire Department at 250.469.8801.

Want to Help Welcome Refugees?

News of an influx of refugees to our community is prompting individuals, businesses and nonprofits to get involved. A region-wide coordinated effort is underway.

It is anticipated that 20 Syrian families will arrive at the Kelowna airport over the next 4 months. Their needs will reflect both the unique settlement issues of newcomers and the typical concerns of any family moving to another country taking few material possessions with them.

Kelowna Community Resources (KCR) in partnership with School District 23 and Ki-Low-Na Friendship Centre (English as a second language provider) have delivered settlement services throughout the Central Okanagan for over 13 years. Settlement services are currently offered in over 20 languages with many more available through contracted translators.

“Our expertise and collaborative approach in Immigrant Services allows us to provide leadership that is coordinating efforts to maximize impact for the benefit of all in our community,” said Ellen Boelcke, Executive Director.

UBC Okanagan, in collaboration with KCR, have created a mapping website that provides people who want to donate with the ability to share information about household items, employment opportunities, services, housing, and volunteering that might be used by incoming Syrian refugees.

Preparing the community to be inclusive, welcoming and vibrant so that immigrants can reach their potential, racism is eliminated, and cultural diversity is valued and celebrated is the goal of committed stakeholders involved in the Central Okanagan Local Immigration Partnership, facilitated by KCR.

“The families suffering because of war are coming here and we want to extend open arms and helping hands to demonstrate the Canadian heart and spirit that has become famous worldwide”, says Rawle James, Partnership Coordinator.

United Ways across Canada are stepping up to support the settlement of refugees and ensure they are welcomed and able to adapt and thrive in our communities. Support for community-based immigrant and refugee settlement services is an integral component of their Healthy People, Strong Communities focus area.

With that, the United Way Central and South Okanagan/Similkameen has launched a “United for Refugees” campaign that will collect monetary donations for a fund earmarked for programs supporting the refugees with housing, childcare, education, translation, counselling, transportation and immigrant services.

“Supporting our community is what we do and these new community members need our assistance and our compassion,” says Shelley Gilmore, Executive Director of United Way CSO. “Integrating into a new country and a new community presents many challenges that are innate to the refugee and immigration process. Partnering with these many other organizations to assist both the families moving here and the families and systems that will now support them is key to our community’s overall success and health.”

To donate to United for Refugees, visit: United Way will match funds up to $5000 with hopes of raising a total of $10,000 for the cause. A summary of information about how to become involved is available on the Central Okanagan Refugee Community Resources section of the KCR website.

Kelowna Community Resources

United Way of the Central & South Okanagan Similkameen

Okanagan Refugee Community Resources GeoLive Map

Central Okanagan Foundation

Central Okanagan Local Immigration Partnership

About KCR
The mission of Kelowna Community Resources (KCR) is to foster diversity, collaboration and resourcefulness by tailoring services to meet community, family and individual needs. As a multi-service agency, services are provided in the Central Okanagan and beyond through five departments: Community, Family, Immigrant, Adoption and Employment Services. We are passionately committed to empowering individuals through the delivery of our services, firm in the conviction that all have a responsibility to one another and that our community is made stronger through our work. KCR has operated as a registered charity since 1983.

Contact: Katelin Mitchell, Manager, Immigrant Services, KCR
Email: ac.rcknull@niletak; Phone: 250.763.8008

About United Way CSO
For 65 years, the United Way of the Central and South Okanagan/Similkameen has served the region from Lake Country in the North, to Osoyoos and Princeton in the South. Our Community Impact mission captures the essence of what we do: We improve lives and build community by engaging individuals and mobilizing collective action. The United Way invests in three focus areas that support all that kids can be, move people from poverty to possibility and builds healthy, strong communities.

Contact: Shelley Gilmore, Executive Director
Email: moc.oscyawdetinunull@yellehs; Phone: 250.850.2356
Translate »