It’s no secret that non profits and for profits can, and often do create mutually beneficial relationships as part of their business model…

As I sit here and think about all the tag lines out there and the clever marketing pitches informing us how to feel about this company or that product and their give back model, I ask myself- what does it really mean to be community driven?

It could mean donating a new vehicle to Mamas so we can do better, more cost effective outreach for our most vulnerable clients.

It could mean donating $10,000 to our sustainable nourishment program in 2018 to help  us as fill the gaps in sustainable fresh food security. It could be doubling down and donating $20,000 to our Mamas and family mental health program in 2019 because they recognize that the number of zeros in your bank account shouldn’t be a barrier to the chance to overcome depression, anxiety or other debilitating mental health issues.

It could be making us feel like part of the Kelowna Toyota family from the minute we walk through the doors, to the minute we drive away knowing we are part of a team.

It could mean referring us to a competitors dealership in another province to help us donate dozens of mattresses to kids in need.

To me… It means all of this and more.

Sometimes it even means filling a Tacoma to the brim with men’s clothing and local NHL players to provide necessities to the dads and teen boys support, and it often means finding ways to give back even when it’s done quietly and with little fanfare.

When you ask Jamie, GM of Kelowna Toyota about why he makes giving back such a big part of their business model he says without missing a beat, “We try and support as many different charities in different sectors as we can with only one thing that is required from all of them- that they support our local community in one way or another.” This is the kind of hand up we need from our community leaders, this is for profit companies using kindness and collaboration as currency with their non-profit partners. On that note, Kelowna Toyota is a title sponsor for an Oktoberfest gala on behalf of Brain Trust this Friday, and Mamas will be there to show our love and support for the amazing work done by Brain Trust in the Okanagan. Join us in celebrating companies like Kelowna Toyota who go the extra mile, every time.

Kelowna Toyota has supported all of the below charities in 2019 and I’d love to say it’s an exhaustive list… but knowing these guys, I predict this list will just keep growing.

We are very proud Mamas having partners like these, and proud to be connected to such a wide array of other organizations through their generosity.

Mamas for Mamas is a national charitable organization that supports mothers and caregivers in crisis by providing ongoing support to individuals and families facing various poverty-related struggles. Our mission is to change the landscape of poverty through innovative approaches to financial barriers faced by struggling families. We envision a future where no Mama or child is left behind. The most recent statistics from Citizens for Public Justice reports that a staggering 5.8 million people in Canada (or 16.8%) live in poverty ( https://cpj.ca/poverty-trends-2018/). We are committed to giving a hand up, not just a hand out to those struggling by providing them with essential needs. We are actively engaging with multiple levels of government and non-profit agencies; together we are working to change the systems that contribute to the vicious cycle of poverty, mental health issues, housing, and food insecurity and have recently expanded digitally across Canada. We provide a space where our Mamas and their kids feel safe and comfortable when they come in for poverty relief support. We refer to all existing community programs when available and fill the gaps in service when the need is higher than the resources available. Unfortunately, this is often the case, as evidenced by the need for our rapid program development. At the head office in Kelowna, BC, we offer a beautiful Karma Market where struggling families can access anything they need at no cost; the only currency we request is, kindness to your fellow neighbor. In our free store, we provide clothing, shoes, seasonal wear, and through our intake process Mamas can also access formula, diapers, baby furniture, and gear. We also offer individualized help navigating the available resources for food security, affordable housing, education, and access to our in-house mental health team where counselling is available at no cost for those who qualify. Community-based sharing economies are available for families not in Kelowna, with a resource coordinator available for preventative and intervention based poverty relief. It’s hard enough being a parent without the stress of clothing or food insecurity, lack of appropriate mental health care, and everything else that can easily fall through the cracks in our busy society. Mamas for Mamas is there for those parents who need help navigating eligible resources, applying for social supports, and getting direct intake support while joining this Mamas community that genuinely looks after each other. ( https://cpj.ca/poverty-trends-2018/ )

Other Side of Homelesness

To understand how a mom with a newborn and a toddler can end up living in their car in Canada, we must first re-examine our perception of poverty and the metrics that define it. Our current system does not accurately reflect the cost of living per capita when determining poverty cut-off lines, leaving thousands of caregivers at a disadvantage. Their income might appear adequate when compared to a national average, but in reality, it falls short of meeting their needs.

Addressing homelessness among caregivers and their children involves tackling both relative and absolute homelessness. Relative homelessness refers to those living in inadequate housing conditions, while absolute homelessness involves individuals lacking any form of shelter. Homelessness is more than just a lack of shelter—it's an obstacle to health, stability, and opportunity. Our campaign is committed to creating sustainable solutions that provide not only housing but also the necessary support systems to help families thrive.

By emphasizing advocacy, community engagement, and strategic partnerships, we aim to build a future where every caregiver and child has a safe and stable place to call home.
View The Campaign
close-link