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, 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  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.


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.

Free Food Program for families

This free program will help educate low income families on cooking healthy food on a budget. Seating is limited so please register now!


Tigh-Na-Mara Toy Drive

What an incredible example of a caring community! Thank you to everyone who joined us at the Tigh-Na-Mara Toy Drive this year, we witnessed many big smiles and warm embraces, group photos with Santa and incredible Christmas spirit! A huge thank you to Tigh-Na-Mara Seaside Spa Resort & Conference Centre for putting on another successful and inspiring event. Altogether our community brought in 1,813 toys, $3,758 in gift cards and $8,861 in cash and cheques. We also received $1,000 from an RBC grant and $450 from the Kids Cuts for Charity event! Thanks to all the many volunteers at Tigh-Na-Mara, SOS and RBC, and thanks to Arrowsmith Moving & Storage for helping us transport all the gifts! Together we are helping create magic for local families and individuals in need at Christmas.


SOS Fall Newsletter

Please click below to view our Fall 2019 Newsletter, filled with new SOS initiatives and information on the impact we are making in our communities, thanks to support from our residents.

SmallFront Page Newsletter 2019

Halloween at SOS

SOS Halloween

We had a spooktastic time at our Halloween festivities! Our Annual costume comptetition tunred out to be another tough task for judges as everyone looked so incredible! But Directors John and Jo, our judges this year, did manage to pick some winners. Now we need your help with the People's Choice award! 
1. Child, Youth & Family Program Team with Tim Burton Characters
2. Admin Team with Disney Villains
3. Management Team with Day of the Dead
4. Thrift Shop Team with individual costume awesomeness

Votes will be tallied the morning of Monday, Nov. 4.
The Judges picked: Disnely Villains: Admin Team for Best Team Costume, Day of the Dead: Management Team for Runner Up, and Aimee won Best Individual Costume as a super creative Moth. Thanks to our three volunteers who dressed up and won a prize, you looked amazing! Enjoy these pictures of our Thrift Shop parade and leave a comment below to get your vote in!





Kids Cuts for Charity returns!

Does your child need a hair cut? Have them looking their best while also supporting local families and individuals this Christmas!  Hair Stylist Aneilla Veselisin from Tigh-Na-Mara's Grotto Spa created this event years ago, to support the SOS Caring for Community at Christmas program. Please call the number listed below for an appointment.

4unit Kids Cuts for Chairty Nov19

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Positive Reviews:

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    ~ 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

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    ~ a community member enriched

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    ~ 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