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Monday, 19 February 2018

Helping to create successful renting outcomes

The local rental market is tight, and SOS wants to ensure that once people find accommodation, they have all the tools to make it successful. The STAR program, which stands for Supporting Tenancy through Action and Resources, is free and consists of four interactive and fun classes. The program will also help participants get an edge in the competitive renters market, as a certificate is issued upon completion, something landlords will look upon favourably.

Classes will cover topics like living with others, budgeting and rights and responsibilities. The program runs March 5-9 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the SOS Community Services Centre in Parksville. Light refreshments and healthy snacks will be provided, and there are prizes to be won. Pre-registration is required and space is limited, call 250-248-2093 ext. 241 to secure your space. Participants must be 16 years or older.


Celebrating Mad Hatter Style

Celebrating the Seniors Are Talking program during 50th Anniversary

About 100 local seniors had a very merry unbirthday during a Mad Hatter Tea Party to celebrate SOS’ 50th Anniversary on Feb. 7. Each month SOS is celebrating specific programs, and Seniors Are Talking is being highlighted in the month of February. The program provides a safe and friendly place for local seniors to have social interaction, get information about popular topics from guest speakers and go on outings. The Mad Hatter Tea Party was organized by Seniors Are Talking participants and staff, and event-goers donned creative hats, played an Alice in Wonderland trivia game, posed for photos at a photo booth, and enjoyed snacks and cake while listening to local musician Bruce Feltham. “I think this a wonderful program,” said Micheline Messner, who has been attending the program for many years. “You’d be surprised at how many people are lonely in this area. For some people, this is the only outing they have every week.”

Marnie Easton shared a couple of reasons why the Seniors Are Talking program is so important to her. “Exploring new places, places that I didn’t even know existed, and the camaraderie,” she said.

The program runs in Parksville and Qualicum Beach and currently has a waitlist for those interested in joining. For more information on the program, call program coordinator Shelley St. Marie at 250-248-2093 ext. 224 or email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..



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Thursday, 18 January 2018

Feature January Program-Homeless Prevention

As part of the 50th Anniversary of SOS, we will be recognizing and shedding some light on a different SOS program every month. The SOS Homeless Prevention Program is a partnership with BC Housing, which started in 2015. To date, the program has housed 44 individuals who were at immediate risk of homelessness and provided another 10 with one-time crisis supplements.

The coordinator of the program, Greta Hogan, is always on the lookout for trustworthy landlords who would be interested in entering into a positive relationship with the program, in order to provide safe, comfortable and affordable housing to clients.

Follow this link to listen to a recent radio interview about the program (pictured here, Greta, right, at the radio station 88.5 The Beach with Marketing Coordinator Lissa Alexander (left), Coordinator of Volunteer Resources Renee Caulder (back) and Radio host Dave Graham). To get in touch with Greta call the SOS at 250-248-2093 ext. 234.

 ProcessLissaGretaReneeDave Jan 2018


Personal Growth Programs 2018

Improve communication and gain wisdom and inspiration. These Personal Growth Programs start in January 2018 and run until March. 

*Please note, the Men's Personal Growth program has been postponed and will now start Jan 18, 2018.

Christmas Volunteer Appreciation Photos

Thanks to all the SOS Volunteers who joined us to celebrate how far we've come together in our community. It was a lovely evening with a traditional turkey dinner, live music by the KSS Jazz Combo, prizes and more! SOS couldn't do the work that we do in the community without our volunteers. Thank you and Merry Christmas!

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Silver Spur Equestrian Toy Ride postponed

Due to safety concerns for the horses and rider posed by the weather forecast for Nov. 19, the Silver Spur Equestrian Toy Ride will now take place Saturday Nov. 25. Please see the poster for details. Thank you for your support!


How to support SOS Caring for Community

Thank you for your interest in making Christmas a little brighter for our residents in need.
The SOS Caring for Community at Christmas program ensures all local children and youth receive a special gift at Christmas, and that individuals and families can choose food items that are meaningful to them over the holidays. To support the program, help SOS reach it's monetary goal of $115,000. The funds are used to purchase local grocery store gift cards which are distributed to families and individuals. Donate online, in person or by phone. SOS also endeavours to fill our Toy Shop at Christmas, so parents, caregivers and grandparents can shop for free for their children.

Drop off an unwrapped gift or gift card to the SOS Community Services Centre in Parksville, Monday-Friday, 8:30 am - 4:30 pm, at 245 West Hirst Avenue.  We are often short on gifts for tweens and teens, click here to see a list of popular items with that age group. Another great way to help fill the SOS Toy Shop is by locating an SOS Angel Tree hosted by a number of businesses and organizations in District 69 throughout the Christmas season. These are gifts that are popular this year with children and teens, and gifts that we often run low on in the Toy Shop.  Purchase the gift listed on an Angel and return the unwrapped gift to the location you found it.

There are also a number of third party events that help us fill the Toy Shop.  Click here for dates and locations.

If you are hoping to do more for residents this Christmas, or you have a group or classroom willing and eager to help, please click here to find 5 ways you can support the program this holiday season.

Tuesday, 07 November 2017

Mark your calendars for these heart warming events!

Get into the Christmas spirit with these great events held by our community partners. The gifts and donations collected at these events will benefit the Caring for Community at Christmas program, ensuring every local child and youth get a special gift under their tree, and that adults and seniors can enjoy a meaningful meal, with dignity. Click on the link below for more information.

Kids Cuts for Charity Ends Nov. 25

Equestrian Christmas Toy Ride Nov. 25 (this has been postponed from the 19th to the 25 due to the weather)

Tigh-Na-Mara Toy Drive Nov. 29

Community Toy Drive and Skate Dec. 16

Thursday, 02 November 2017

The Fall Newsletter has arrived!

Catch up on the latest SOS news, look back at some history as we mark the 50th Anniversary of the Christmas program, and mark your calendar for important upcoming dates. Click here to view the Fall Newsletter 2017.

Fall Newsletter 2017 Front page

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Vote for the Halloween Costume People's Choice Award

The Winner of the People's Choice is the CYF Team with Harry Potter! Congratulations! Since we all had fun, we were all winners!

We need your help selecting a winner for the People's Choice Award in our Halloween Costume competition! Please make a comment here or email your vote to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. before Nov. 6, 2017 and the winner will be announced Nov. 7. Thank you for your Halloween Spirit! BIG bragging rights at stake here.😊
There are 3 teams:
1. Child, Youth & Family Centre Team (Harry Potter theme)
2. Thrift Shop Team (Individual, no theme)
3. Admin Team (Peter Pan theme)

1. Team CYFC

2. TeamThriftShop

3. Team Admin

Friday, 27 October 2017

SOS 50th Anniversary approaching

This year marks SOS' 50th Christmas! SOS became a society Nov. 8, 1968, and the first program launched was the Christmas program. Read more here and mark your calendars for event celebrations in 2018


Tuesday, 17 October 2017

The STAR program returns

This free workshop gives you an edge in the competitive renters market. The program stands for Supporting Tenancy through Action and Resources. Classes are interactive and fun, and require active participation. Upon successful completion, a certificate is issued. Topics include living with others, budgeting, and rights and responsibilities. The program takes place Nov. 6-10 from 1 to 4 pm at the SOS Community Services Centre in Parksville. Light refreshments and healthy snacks will be provided, and there are prizes to be won. Pre-registration is required and space is limited. Call 250-248-2093 ext 241 to secure your space. Must be 16 years or older. The STAR program was created by the Nanaimo Women's Centre. The SOS Community Services Centre is located at 245 West Hirst Ave. in Parksville (kitty corner to the SOS Thrift Shop).

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Get into Halloween at SOS Thrift Shop

Want to get into the Halloween spirit without breaking the bank? Are you on the hunt for a creative, one-of-a-kind ensemble? Come check out the Halloween section at the SOS Thrift Shop! There's something for everybody, and all purchases support vital community programs and services. 188 West Hirst Ave Parksville, open 9 am-4 pm Monday-Saturday.

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Project Connect Health Fair

An event on Oct. 12 in Parksville will provide free products and services to homeless people, and those at risk of homelessness in Oceanside, while also bringing community members together to show support for our region’s mot vulnerable.

The Oceanside Task Force on Homelessness is hosting the fourth annual Project Connect Health Fair on Oct. 12 at the Parksville Community & Conference Centre from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. This event coincides with Homelessness Action Week in B.C.

A number of services providers will be present at the event, including Island Crisis Care Society, Forward House Community Society, Society of Organized Services (SOS), Canadian Mental Health Association, The Career Centre, Mental Health & Substance Use and Ministry of Social Development, among many others.

The event will offer free hair cuts, hearing exams, foot care, public health testing, portraits and many other valuable services. A veterinarian will also be on hand for those who have pets. Donations from service providers and community members will provide give-away items including food, pet food, and hygiene items.

Along with serving residents in-need, the event aims to raise awareness about homelessness in Parksville, Qualicum Beach and the surrounding communities, and to give service providers a valuable opportunity to connect with each other about their services.

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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