COVID-19: United Way launches online tool to help vulnerable people receive aid in North Okanagan

Header image: NexusBC – Vernon Staff

Vernon’s NexusBC staff and volunteers are ready to dig in and help local seniors get what they need during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to the United Way and the Community Foundation of the North Okanagan, a program is being put into place to help!

The United Way has developed an online tool to connect vulnerable people self-isolating at home in the North Okanagan with volunteers who can help provide support such as buying groceries.

The Mobilizing Local Love initiative, launched Wednesday, makes it easier for people in need to connect with pre-screened volunteers to help with grocery deliveries or prescription pickups, a friendly phone call, dog walking, yard work or help with technology, according to a United Way news release. Those who need help can sign up at by filling out an online form. Those who want to volunteer can also register and apply on the website. People can also call BC 211 to be connected if they aren’t as computer savvy.

According to United Way Southern Interior BC executive director Kahir Lalji, “Volunteers and existing social service agencies are of crucial importance for isolated seniors during this time of physical distancing. BC 211 operators are taking messages from seniors and sending them on to Nexus’s Better at Home program in Vernon, Lumby, Cherryville, and Armstrong .”

The Community Foundation of the North Okanagan is pleased to partner with Nexus and the United Way to roll out this critical program. “Collaboration has always been one of our strengths in the Okanagan,” added Leanne Hammond, executive director of the Community Foundation. “Utilizing United Way’s 211 service, pooling some funding, and utilizing the existing framework and talent at Nexus BC, will ensure people receive the services they need at this difficult time.”

“We encourage you to think about volunteering to help someone in your neighbourhood,” said Nexus executive director Kelly Johnson. “This is an incredibly challenging time and we all need to be able to lean on each other to ensure everyone gets what they need.”
Donors can give through any of the partners through their websites, or can call for more information.

Kelly Johnson,
Executive Director
[email protected]

Kahir Lalji,
Executive Director
United Way Southern Interior
[email protected]

Leanne Hammond,
Community Foundation
[email protected]

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