United Way FAQs

What is the United Way?

United Way is a charitable organization dedicated to creating healthy, caring and inclusive communities in the Okanagan. It relies on donations from individuals, work places, charitable trusts, corporate gifts, sponsorship,  and money raised by individuals to improve lives and create measurably better communities.

Why should I give to the United Way?

When you give to United Way you are making a profound difference in people’s lives in your local community, and improving the quality of life we all enjoy. You are helping at-risk children get the best start in life, and helping them to grow up healthy, happy and resilient. You are helping isolated seniors to age with dignity and stay connected to their communities. You are helping to build a better tomorrow for everyone.

United Way is an organization committed to preventing social problems, such as poverty, and making a measureable difference in our community. More than a funder, United Way:

  • Knows how to prevent poverty, bullying and social isolation by undertaking research to get to the root cause of our community’s greatest challenges;
  • Strengthens non-profit organizations, enabling them to deliver life-changing programs
  • Multiplies our impact by working in partnership; raising our voice to influence public attitudes, systems and policy
  • Evaluates the performance of our investments and efforts to ensure long-term social change.
  • Giving to the United Way is a step towards creating  a community everyone is proud to call home.

Where does my money go?

It is invested in building a healthy, caring and inclusive community because the United Way knows how to prevent poverty, bullying and social isolation. Your donation helps the United Way break the cycle of child poverty, endured by one in five children in BC. It helps adults in transition to improve their lives through programs targeted at overcoming challenges and increasing employability. And it enables seniors to age with dignity and to live in their own homes, surrounded by friends, families and neighbours.

What is the impact?
When you donate to United Way you ensure children in your community are growing up able to take advantage of opportunities and their families are empowered to help them succeed. Seniors are no longer isolated and are able to share their wisdom and experience with the rest of their community.

In simple terms, the work United Way of the Central and South Okanagan Similkameen is preventing social issues, researching, planning, funding programs and services and evaluating who and how we are helping – has lasting impact. With your help, we are making the Okanagan region stronger.

How many organizations are helped by United Way?
  • The Arthritis Society
  • BrainTrust Canada Association
  • Building Healthy Families Society
  • Canadian Mental Health Association
  • Central Okanagan Elizabeth Fry Society
  • CRIS Adaptive Adventures – Community Recreation Initiatives Society
  • Desert Sun Counselling (South Okanagan Integrated Community Services Society)
  • Dragonfly Pond Family Society
  • Hands in Service
  • Inn from the Cold
  • John Howard Society CSO
  • Karis Support Society
  • Kelowna Child Care Society
  • Kelowna Community Resources Society
  • Kelowna Family Centre Services Society
  • Kelowna Women’s Shelter
  • Penticton Recovery Resource Society / Discovery House
  • Penticton Hospital Auxiliary Meals on Wheels
  • Neighbourlink Summerland
  • NOW Canada
  • Okanagan Boys and Girls Clubs
  • OSNS Child Development Centre
  • Peachland Wellness Centre
  • Penticton & District Community Resources Society
  • Project Literacy Kelowna Society
  • Reach Out Youth Counselling and Family Services Society
  • Seniors Outreach Services Society
  • South Okanagan Similkameen Brain Injury Society
  • South Okanagan Victim Assistance Society
  • South Okanagan Women in Need Society
  • Starbright Children’s Development Centre
  • Westside Health Network Society
  • Summerland Food Bank and Resource Centre
  • Westside Health Network Society

View the 2017 United Way Central and South Okanagan annual report