City Furniture, Kohler Canada and Monashee Health Collective have helped bring 25 new mattresses to Vernon’s Archway Society for Domestic Peace Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)

City Furniture, Kohler Canada and Monashee Health Collective have helped bring 25 new mattresses to Vernon’s Archway Society for Domestic Peace Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)

North Okanagan women fleeing domestic abuse able to sleep easier

25 new mattresses donated to Archway Society thanks to Kohler/Hytec initiative

When transitioning away from a place of domestic abuse, one of the most important things to have is a good night’s sleep.

And thanks to a donation of 25 new beds, women and children staying at Vernon’s Archway Society for Domestic Peace will be able to sleep easier.

Kohler, a global manufacturer which runs its Hytech plant in Armstrong, started a company initiative to help out women’s transition houses across Canada, and Vernon is one of several locations they’re currently lending a helping hand.

“We got together and decided we wanted to help women’s transition houses all over Canada,” said Hollie Rakos, Kohler Western Canada customer service rep. “With COVID there’s more and more people who are in need and funding hasn’t gone up.”

In addition to supporting the purchase of new mattresses, Rakos’ stewardship team launched an Amazon wish list for people to provide needed items, with Kohler then matching the purchases.

“It’s like Christmas all over again,” Rakos said.

Archway program assistant Doris Biollo said the new mattresses have been needed for about 10 years.

“These women have come and they have complained about our beds for years,” she said. “They’re having a safe place to stay so we’re now providing them with a comfortable bed.”

Vernon chiropractor Steve Piper has been servicing patients from Archway pro bono for the last three and a half years. After starting his own clinic, Monashee Health Collective, he made it a goal to ensure that “the entire community of Vernon has access to care.”

“I was seeing a number of patients from the Archway Society that were suffering from low back pain, neck pain,” he said, explaining that these issues are common when people are no longer sleeping in their usual bed, as is the case in a transition house.

Wanting to give something material in addition to free chiropractic treatment, Piper was glad to be able to donate towards the purchase of the new mattresses.

“The patients I see now from Archway, I ask them if it’s going to help them and they all agree it’s going to be one of the biggest things for them to have an improved mattress.”

Piper was even called in to test out the mattresses at City Furniture before their delivery — because who better to assess the quality of a mattress than someone who deals with back pain issues regularly?

“I thought this was a great idea to swap out or improve the mattresses at the house as a way of giving back,” Piper said. “It’s taken a while to get to this point but it’s worked out really well.”

READ MORE: Software company employees lend a hand to Vernon’s Archway Society

READ MORE: Vernon domestic peace group looks to make Christmas merry


Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
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