Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, SOS is only able to offer essential services. We are fundraising to begin to restart other priority programs, including Child, Youth and Family programs. Current programs include: Meals on Wheels, Emergency Assistance & Advocacy, Seniors Advocacy, Counselling Referral, Seniors Grocery Shopping and Friendly Phone Visiting (through Oceanside Better at Home and BC211), Homeless Prevention Program,  Income Tax program, and Recreation Assistance for Children and Youth. 

SOS Thrift Shop is open as of June 15, 2020 with limited hours and new procedures to keep you safe. Please visit the Thrift Shop page for more information.

The SOS Community Services Centre in Parksville is open Monday - Friday, 8:30 am - 4:30 pm. The Qualicum Commons location remains closed. If possible, please call before coming to the Parksville Centre. 

Volunteer activities are suspended with the exception of a few areas, and we are not able to recruit, screen or take on new volunteers at this time. 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.

Summer Family Fun for SOS!

Interested in supporting our community and having some fun this summer? We need your help to restart our programs for children, youth and families! Consider hosting an event this summer with proceeds going to SOS. Click here to have a look at the 2-page flyer for more details, or scroll down to view both pages. Once you've read the flyer, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your fabulous idea and we'll get back to you right away. Thank you!

 FinalSOSSummerFamilyFunFlyer

 

 

Thrift Shop reopens June 15

We are very excited to welcome our Thrift Shop customers and donors back to resume treasure hunting and donation drop-offs on June 15!

Thank you for your continued support and patience as we continue to work through the challenges that have come with the COVID-19 crisis.

Your support is truly appreciated at this time and is helping us provide essential services to our residents. Thank you for helping us keep valuable items out of our landfill, for promoting ethical, sustainable shopping, and for supporting SOS as a local charity dedicated to improving our community.

The health and safety of you and our staff is a top priority to us, so you will notice some changes. Here’s what you can expect on your visit to the Thrift Shop:

Hours

Monday - Saturday, 9:30 am - 3:30 pm.  These reduced business hours will help us restock the store and maintain enhanced cleaning requirements with just our staff on the premises.

Enhanced cleaning procedures:

We will be cleaning high-touch areas frequently.

In order to limit the spread of viruses, we have added hand sanitizer stations and our staff team will be wearing facemasks.

Important details about shopping:

  • Do not enter, if you are sick.
  • Wear a mask, if you have one.
  • Please use the hand sanitizing stations at the entrance and exit doors.
  • Once inside, please follow directional signs.
  • Please stay 6 feet away from other shoppers, and staff, at all times.
  • All incoming donations have been isolated prior to being put on the sales floor; however, we recommend that you wash and/or sanitize your purchases.
  • Please avoid touching merchandise unless you intend to purchase the item.
  • Change rooms and washrooms are closed for your safety.
  • Tap debit and credit transactions are preferred; please avoid using cash.
  • New shopping bags will be provided.  Sorry, we will not be handling or using reusable bags.
  • We are limiting the number of shoppers for your safety. Please limit your visit to 20 minutes so that other customers have the opportunity to shop. Please help us ensure everyone gets a chance to come in and find some treasures.
  • Sorry, there are no deliveries available.

Important details about Thrift Shop donations:

  • If possible, please hold off on dropping donations as we are anticipating an influx of donations that will overwhelm our capacity to process them.
  • Drop off your donations during opening hours, 9:30 - 3:30, Monday - Saturday.
  • Sorry, no furniture or large appliances will be accepted for donation at this time due to our limited capacity to store isolated donations.
  • Please ensure your items are clean and in working order.
  • Please maintain a distance of 6 feet from SOS employees.
  • Sorry we are not able to pick up donations at this time.

Thank you again for your patience as we do our best to operate in this new normal. We are looking forward to seeing your happy faces again as you discover fantastic bargains!

SOS could not continue providing community support without valued supporters like you. Thank you for helping us ensure that everyone has a safe, enjoyable shopping experience at the best Thrift Shop on the Island.

Working together to support seniors

SOS continues to take care of local seniors through the COVID-19 crisis thanks to support from the community and our partners.

“Without my prescription I can’t sleep at night, I have terrible nightmares,” said Valdis, a SOS Seniors’ Advocacy Services (SAS) client. “I’ve got other medications that are covered by PharmaCare, but that particular medication isn’t, and I just didn’t have the coin to buy it.”

Valdis was able to purchase his medication after speaking with Seniors’ Advocacy Services Coordinator Dawn Barry.

Recently, SOS received a $5,000 grant for the SAS program from the United Way Central & Northern Vancouver Island's COVID-19 Seniors Response Fund, funded by the Government of Canada's New Horizons for Seniors Program.

SOS Seniors' Advocacy Services provides assistance to seniors over the phone, emergency vouchers for food and medicine, it helps residents access various government benefits, and more.

Heather accessed the program after her car broke down and she was dealing with health issues. “If  I didn’t get that help, I’d probably be living on the street,” she said. “I’ve lost weight and I’d probably be in the hospital or something. That little bit of help goes a long way. Programs like this are very essential. ”

If you are a local (District 69) senior and need support, call SOS at 250-248-2093.

DawnNewseltter2020

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.

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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

  • Not since the banquets of Nero... has such a meal been served on golden plates!

    ~ a delighted diner

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

    ~ a self-help participant

  • I have become more dignified and stable.

    ~ a community member enriched

  • This is the best day of my whole life.

    ~ a child's first picnic

  • Besides the hardship assistance, subsidized children's programming and vouchers... you have given us the greatest gift... respect, compassion, and dignity.

    ~ a family helped