Kelowna's Family Hub pushing forward despite funding woes - InfoNews

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Kelowna's Family Hub pushing forward despite funding woes

The Central Okanagan Family Hub is needing donations.
Image Credit: Contributed/United Way SCO
June 07, 2019 - 11:00 AM

KELOWNA -  The Central Okanagan Family Hub’s current fundraising drive will culminate June 14 with a drive-thru breakfast at the facility.

“Fundraising was started by a group of social justice students at Rutland Elementary School who raised almost $1,300 and donated it to the Hub because they felt it was an important service to continue,” Katelin Mitchell told today, June 6. “If the kids can do these things, then why can’t the rest of the community keep this vital service moving?”

Mitchell is the director of services for Kelowna Community Resources which is the funding host agency for the Family Hub.

The Hub was started three years ago when about 20 agencies joined together to set up programming for children and families age zero to 12 in a central location at Pearson Elementary School in Rutland.

Those programs range from testing for developmental progress and health-related services provided by Interior Health to things like parents and tots groups, Japanese story time and partnerships with First Nations.

They’ve served 12,000 children in their three years of operation.

The Hub was financed with a one-time $300,000 grant from United Way and around $50,000 per year in grants from the Ministry of Children and Family Development.

Mitchell knew the United Way funding would run out this spring but had expected the government money to last for five years.

The original contract with the government was for three years, with the option of two more years. She found out in November that the option would not be extended by the province as changes were made to the funding program throughout the province. As a result, Mitchell applied for new government funding.

She found out in late January that grant application was not successful, so the scramble started to find a way to fill that shortfall by applying for other grants and launching fundraising efforts.

If grants are received, that money likely won’t be available until the fall.

In the meantime, programming is continuing with the last of the United Way money and fundraising. The hope is to put a plan together to make the program sustainable into the future at an annual cost of $100,000.

The Do a Lot for a Little fundraising campaign started on Mother’s Day and ends just before Father’s Day with a drive-through pancake breakfast at Pearson Elementary School (700 Pearson Road) from 7:30 – 9:30 a.m.

Donations can also be made through Kelowna Community Resources.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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