Children and Youth 2018-11-30T01:30:25+00:00

Helping Children and Youth Reach Their Full Potential

Children and youth are one of our greatest assets and the key to a brighter future. In communities right here in our region, many children and youth are living in poverty, facing mental health challenges and are unable to access the services they need, when they need them.

Your generous support fuels United Way’s work in helping children and youth in our region create a better life. Together, we are providing them with the support they need to succeed and reach their full potential.

The Challenge

Too many young people are struggling. Poverty, food security, mental illness and lack of early years supports can have life-long effects on local children and youth.

Meet Jayce and her family

When Jayce’s kids fell behind in reading, a United Way funded program helped them improve their skills—and their confidence.

When she learned that her daughter, Nadine, was reading at a pre-K level in grade 2, it felt like a punch to the gut. Jayce was a single mother of four kids and had just entered university. She was so busy, she didn’t realize Nadine was floating under the radar. Once she knew, though, she enrolled her in a United Way funded summer literacy program.

At first, she thought the program would just give Nadine extra practice, but right away, Nadine showed so much improvement and enthusiasm. Her son Chase was also reading at a lower level. Chase deals with ADHD and was invited to the program the next summer. It improved his confidence so much. The volunteers didn’t discourage him for learning at a slower pace—they were patient with him.

When Jayce was first told Nadine was three grades behind in her reading level, she would never have guessed that she and Chase would be reading chapter books together two years later.

“I can’t fully express what United Way has done for my kids. The positive effects of this program last much longer than the time the kids spend there; the future of my entire family has been positively impacted.”

Program Funding

The programs listed below all receive financial support from the United Way Community Fund. These investments impact the lives of vulnerable children and youth in our communities.

Baby essentials 

Ensuring vulnerable and low income families have access to essential baby items such as diapers, wipes and formula.

Breakfast and nutrition programs

Ensuring kids have access to nutritious food and snacks by supporting school breakfast programs

Early childhood development

Teaching parents how to support the developmental needs of their young children facing health conditions or disabilities.

Family accessibility

Clinical counselling and therapeutic services for young children and their families who are coping with developmental disabilities such as Autism, ADHD and Down Syndrome

Family support programs

Building resilient, connected families through parent-focused support groups, nutrition programs, post-partum depression resources and flexible financial support.

Food sustainability

Providing families and children participating in a school food backpack program with access to food in the summer months.

Life skills for youth

Providing outdoor adventure and sports programs, personal mentorship and life skills coaching to vulnerable youth.

Programs for children with developmental disabilities

Engaging program for school breaks that creates a connection for families and their children

Youth crisis and trauma counselling

Filling the gaps in essential crisis and trauma counselling services for youth and their families.

Youth brain injury outreach 

Providing youth struggling with brain injury the support needed to successfully return to school and daily life.

Youth domestic violence counselling

Supporting at-risk youth to learn about healthy relationships, spot signs of abuse and equip them to deal with situations where they may be vulnerable or in crisis.

Charity Partners

Community Building Partnerships

Working together for greater impact, the United Way collaborates on the following strategic initiatives with local government, charities, and community partners.

A Way Home Kelowna

Community plan to address and prevent youth homelessness in Kelowna.

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Central Okanagan Family Hub

A family centre where parents and caregivers can drop in for information and programs

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Central Okanagan Early Years Partnership/Success By 6

Ensuring that children have what they need to be successful by the time they start school: socially, emotionally and physically by providing resources for children up to age 6.

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Child Safety Initiative

Providing convertible car seats to families who could not otherwise afford one

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Helping youth reach their full potential is a priority for United Way.  CODEanagan will give disadvantaged youth opportunities in the tech sector.

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Social Enterprise Accelerator Fund

Supporting youth adventure program at Elevation Outdoors through social enterprise grant

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Youth Engagement Strategy 

Creating positive change for youth aged 12 to 24 years in Penticton through public advocacy, providing accessible youth activities and the development of a youth resource centre.

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Youth Initiative Grants

An initiative which provides grants of up to $2,000 to help youth under 25 years of age create and deliver service projects that improve their communities

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Your Donations At Work

Because of your support, 4500 children and youth were provided opportunities to reach their full potential.

Your Impact

$10 provides one month of nutritious breakfasts for one student

$50 provides supplies for recreation programs at youth shelter

$100 provides 3 bike helmets for youth in bicycle safety program

$500 provides two months of licensed after school care for one child

$1,000 provides one at-risk youth with one year participation in outdoor sports program

When you support United Way, you’re helping to transform the lives of vulnerable children and youth right here at home.


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