North Okanagan residents go about their daily lives expecting that the services they need will always be there.
There is little consideration that many of the programs we take for granted are provided by non-profit agencies. Government assistance is extremely limited, if not non-existent, and these groups are left operating with shoe-string budgets.
Case in point is the Whitevalley Community Resource Centre, which has served Lumby, Cherryville and surrounding area since 1989. It offers everything from toddler programs and counselling for adults and children to keeping in regular contact with seniors and showing people how to stretch their dollars by cooking healthy.
And the demand for these services is growing. In 2011, there were 12,000 phone calls and in-person visits.
But providing these services costs money, and a lack of help from Victoria meant WCRC almost closed permanently a few years ago. That would have been devastating for those residents who depend on these services.
In fact, the entire community would have been set back as a strong social base positively impacts issues like crime, poverty and unemployment.
The WCRC has taken a big step by launching an $800,000 fundraiser over five years. The principle will go into an endowment and the interest generated every year will cover operations so these much-needed services can continue.
The key goal is to provide long-term stability.
We would encourage everyone in Lumby and Cherryville, and the entire North Okanagan, to get behind this worthwhile endeavour.
It’s only through coming together that our community can move ahead.