Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, SOS is only able to offer essential services. This includes: Meals on Wheels, Emergency Assistance & Advocacy (by phone),  Seniors Advocacy (by phone), Counselling Referral (online), Seniors grocery shopping and Friendly Phone Visiting (through Ocenaside Better at Home and BC211), the Homeless Prevention Program and the Income Tax program (by phone). SOS Thrift Shop is closed until further notice and cannot accept donations until we reopen. SOS Community Services Centres are closed, and volunteer activities are suspended with the exception of a few areas. For more information or for assistance, call 250-248-2093. Monetary donations are critical at this time to keep our services available. If you are able, please consider donating. We wish you good health and hope to reconnect again soon.

Income Tax Program goes virtual

SOS has restarted the Income Tax program. Thanks to community support, SOS continues to offer a number of essential services to local residents. Low income residents who need assistance filing basic tax returns can now call SOS at 250-248-2093 to set up a virtual tax appointment. SOS Coordinator Elizabeth Nicol discussed the program with 88.5 The Beach radio host Dave Graham over the phone. Click here to listen to that interview, which also discusses the other essential services we are providing residents at this time. If you would like to help keep SOS essential services available, please donate to our Grateful Hearts campaign through our website by clicking here or call us. Thank you!

 

Fundraiser by renowned artists

Renowned local artists Ken Kirkby and Nana Cook are fundraising to help SOS distribute food to neighbours in need. The fundraiser features 50 works of art by the two artists, selling for a fraction of the cost they would normally be sold for. All pieces in the fundraiser cost $500, and 50% of the proceeds will come to SOS. Work by these artists generally range from $1,000 to upwards of $5,000. To view the art on the artists' Facebook page, click here. 

Grateful Hearts Campaign - Help us continue essential services

Despite the closure of our Thrift Shop due to COVID-19, and the lost revenue that we count on every month to fund our operations, thanks to community support, we are still able to offer essential services to our most vulnerable residents. If you’ve made a financial donation, we thank you!
If you are a District 69 resident struggling to buy food or medicine, call us at 250-248-2093. Seniors who need help with their grocery shopping can contact us. Residents who need counselling services can call to access our Counselling Referral program, which will connect them with a professional counsellor online. Our vital Meals on Wheels program continues to deliver nutritious meals. We are continuing Friendly Visiting with seniors over the phone, and we are calling to check in on senior clients regularly. Our work with the Oceanside Task Force on Homelessness continues to help individuals experiencing homelessness with supplies and housing emergency assistance.

We’re here to help as long as our funds allow. If you can make a financial donation to help your neighbours in need, donate to our Grateful Hearts campaign by clicking here.  Your help can’t wait! #sosgratefulhearts #unityincommunity

The Grateful Heart

Please click here or on the heart below to open a larger version with cut lines. Thank you for your support!

 

April 2 COVID-19 Update

SOS services are available to residents who are feeling the financial strain of the COVID-19 pandemic. If you are struggling to buy food or medicine, you can call us for assistance. Residents who are in need of counselling services can now access our Counselling Referral program, which will connect them with a professional counsellor online. On behalf of the Oceanside Task Force on Homelessness, we are also continuing to provide supports for homeless individuals in the form of supplies and housing emergency assistance. SOS was created by and is supported by community, to ensure residents have help when they need it the most. Call 250-248-2093 for assistance. We are gratefully accepting donations to help us continue to provide essential services. Visit www.sosd69.com or call to make a donation.

SOS Spring 2020 Newsletter

SOS is committed to supporting seniors. Although the Thrift Shop and SOS Community Services Centres are closed to the public, we are here to help. Please see the message above for essential services offered.
Please click here or on the image below to view our Seniors-themed Spring Newsletter. Once the COVID-19 pandemic diminishes, we look forward to re-starting all of our programs for seniors, as well as for children, youth and families.
Without income from our Thrift Shop, we are limited in our ability to maintain service levels. If you are able, please consider donating online or over the phone. Please click here to make a donation. Your support is critical at this time.
Thank you for your support of SOS and our community, and we hope you enjoy reading our Spring Newsletter.

 

Community Issues: Blog 1 - Assisting Seniors through COVID-19

Keeping up with Seniors’ needs in challenging times

In these unprecedented times, SOS is aware of how challenging a situation this is for our residents, particularly for seniors. They are one of the most vulnerable segments of our population, as they are more likely than the rest of us to suffer serious consequences if they contract the COVID-19 virus.

At SOS, we know that many local seniors cannot afford to stock up on items at the grocery store, and when they visit the grocery stores for the items they need, they are finding empty shelves. They are on high alert, and stress is taking its toll.

We must all be diligent in practicing physical distancing, and it is also very important that we continue to check in on our local seniors, particularly if they are without close friends or family. Give them a phone call if you can. If they need support such as food or medicine, have them give us a call and we will do our best to support them. In times like these, our community must come together and look out for one another.

SOS is continuing to offer essential services, and we are in contact with seniors to establish what supports they have, and what they need at this time. Although our facilities are closed to the public, we are offering Seniors Advocacy Services over the phone, as well as Emergency Assistance. We will continue offering our Meals on Wheels program, as this is an essential service for many local seniors. We also continue to assist Ministry of Social Development clients in their submitting their reports, and our Homeless Prevention Program clients will continue to receive support, some of whom are seniors.

We know our area has a lot of seniors. Statistics Canada data confirmed in 2017 that Qualicum Beach has the most seniors aged 65 and over in the country. Parksville trailed close behind in third place. We anticipate more seniors, as well as residents who have been laid off from work, will need to access our services in the coming days and weeks.

Without income from our Thrift Shop, we are limited in our ability to maintain service levels. If you are able, please consider donating online or by phone. Your support is critical at this time.

Please join and support us as we keep the pulse of local residents. Follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram. Sign up for our monthly E-newsletter through our website. Start contributing: make an online donation. Sign up to volunteer once we are operating at full capacity again.

If you are a local senior in need of assistance, call SOS at 250-248-2093.
By looking out for one another, our community can get through this challenging time together.

Susanna Newton
SOS Executive Director

Click here to:
Make a donation
View our Seniors’ themed Spring Newsletter
Follow us on Facebook and Instagram (@society_of_organized_services)

 

SOS offering essential services only

SOS has had to make some difficult decisions in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, but will be offering some essential services to residents. The Thrift Shop and both Community Services Centres are now closed and most programs are suspended.

The Meals on Wheels program will continue, along with Emergency Assistance & Advocacy (by phone only), Seniors Advocacy Services (by phone only). Ministry clients can call about a drop-off/pick-up service for their report cards. The Homeless Prevention program will continue support for existing clients. All Child, Youth & Family programs and all other programs are suspended.

As the Thrift Shop is the main source of program funding, we are unsure how long we will be able to offer essential services to residents. If you would like to make a donation to SOS to help these services continue, please visit our website, www.sosd69.com or call 250-248-2093.

SOS will monitor guidelines from provincial and federal governments, and will reassess the situation on March 31. Until that time, staff will continue to maintain contact with senior clients to help them navigate these difficult times.  Staff will also be answering phones to provide information and support to residents.

For more information, call SOS at 250-248-2093 or visit www.sosd69.com.  Take care of yourselves and we look forward to seeing you on the other side of this pandemic.

 

SOS Thrift Shop closed due to COVID-19

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the SOS Thrift Shop has been closed until further notice, and unfortunately, we are not able to accept any donations at this time. Please keep your donations and then drop them off to us when we are able to reopen. As our lifeline and main source of program funding, we did not make this decision lightly and ask for community’s support at this difficult time. We will release an update on programming shortly. Thank you for your continued support of SOS and our community. Stay healthy and we will see you all soon.

Wednesday, 04 March 2020

Income Tax Clinics begin at SOS

The Income Tax program is in full swing at SOS.

Tax clinics take place at the SOS Community Services Centres from March 2 - May 14. Residents can book appointments for Mondays and Thursdays in Parksville, and Mondays and Wednesdays in Qualicum Beach. Once residents have all their paperwork, they can call SOS at 250-248-2093 to make an appointment at either location. 

The SOS Income Tax program is for low-income individuals who are filing basic tax returns. This does not include complex individual returns or self-employment returns.

The program works in conjunction with the Revenue Canada Community Volunteer Income Tax program. Trained SOS volunteers will be filing the taxes electronically at SOS.

The income guidelines for people who can access the program, set out by Revenue Canada, are $35,000 annually for a single person, $45,000 for 2 people, $47,500 for 3 people and $50,000 for 4 people.

After May 14, residents can still get their taxes done at SOS, dependent on volunteer availability. For more information call SOS at 250-248-2093 ext 229.

TaxQualicum MartinEliz

Support our Coldest Night of the Year team!

On Feb. 22 we are walking to help improve the homeless situation right here in Oceanside. Consider supporting our team, SOS and Friends, by making a donation, or by joining our team! Together we can make a difference. Our thanks to Island Crisis Care Society for hosting this event. #unityincommunity 

Click here to make a donation. 

ColdestNightTeam2020 Social

Women's Personal Growth January 2020

Looking to work on yourself and achieve personal growth this year? The Women's Personal Growth program runs January 23 - April 9 at SOS in Parksville. See the poster below for more details. To register or for more information call 250-248-2093 ext. 225.

WomensPG

Take our SOS survey and win!

By taking this short survey, you will be entered to win $25 in Thrift Shop gift certificates. This survey will help us ensure we are engaging with and supporting our residents. Thank you for your support!

 Click here to take the survey!

 

 

Christmas Volunteer Appreciation Event

We had a wonderful evening celebrating our Volunteers and the impact they make on our communities on Dec.12. We heard music by local musician Robbie Noland, and we danced to music by The Revolving Doors. Many volunteers won door prizes donated by local businesses, and we had a visit from Santa! We ate good food, we laughed, and some of us cried during a touching speech by a woman who has accessed SOS programs. She thanked our founding member Edith Chamberlayne for changing her life and presented her with a gift. SOS is a volunteer-driven organization and we appreciate and value our amazing volunteers!

Thanks to the following businesses for their donations:
Home Hardware,  Leslie's Esthetics, Black Goose Inn, Robert Held Art Glass, French Creek Seafood, British Bobby Restaurant, Blossoms n' Such, Mod Apparel, Looking Good Salon, Cultivate Garden & Gift, Mystic Lotus, Cuckoo Trattoria, Pacific Brimm Cafe & Catering, Lantzville Village Pub, Close To You Ladies Fashion & Lingerie, Boston Pizza, Wilde and Sparrow, The Courtyard Cafe.

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Positive Reviews:

  • Thank you for arranging a drive for my medical appointment... I really appreciate your cheerfulness...

    ~ a safely transported client

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    ~ a delighted diner

  • The program was most helpful, empowering, and valuable.

    ~ a self-help participant

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    ~ a community member enriched

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    ~ a child's first picnic

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    ~ a family helped