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Logo of Central Okanagan Elizabeth Fry Society
Central Okanagan Elizabeth Fry Society
The Central Okanagan Elizabeth Fry Society (COEFS) was founded in 1972 by a group of volunteers who were concerned about safety for women in Kelowna and area. In 1982 the agenc...
Extra information
649 Leon Avenue
Kelowna, British Columbia
V1Y 9S3
Causes we care about

  • Gender Issues

  • Justice and Legal Services

  • Social Services

Businesses whose employees volunteer with us
Social Mission
We envision a world in which all are free from domestic & sexual violence. Our team provides services to support and empower survivors to have safe & healthy lives.
Our goals are:
- To stop intimate partner & sexual violence for all.
- To move low income survivors of domestic & sexual violence out of poverty.
- To promote the legal rights, justice, and services for survivors of domestic & sexual violence.
Businesses and organizations that we work with
Crowe MacKay LLP
Integra Tire Auto Centre
Do Some Good
Kelowna Capital News
Central Okanagan Foundation
Bellamy Homes
The Carma Project
Canadian Mental Health Association Kelowna
United Way Southern Interior BC
Stories of our community involvement
As part of our ongoing community giving program we have contributed $250 to Central Okanagan Elizabeth Fry Society on behalf of Louise.

Everyone who builds with Bellamy Homes chooses a charity of their choice to receive a donation. We love learning about what our customers are passionate about and to learn more about organizations in our community that are doing great things.

With COVID-19 staying safe at home is not an option for everyone. Please consider a donation to the #safespaces campaign to help those most vulnerable by visiting https://trellis.org/safespaces to donate or to seek help

#safespaces #speakout #domesticabusesupport #weloveourclients💕 #dosomegood #snapsomegood #bellamycommunitygivingprogram #bellamyhomes #okanaganbuilder #centralokanaganhomedesigner
#SPEAKOUT

Central Okanagan Elizabeth Fry Society is keeping the conversation going, and breaking down so many barriers when it comes to mental health and illness.

With their campaign #SpeakOut to Support Survivors, we can all help survivors of sexual violence by donating, championing, and advocating for services that help to heal the community 🤗

Did you know, their current waitlist for trauma counseling for sexual assault ranges from 6months to 1year - we can help them shorten this ⏳

Help them hit their goal by heading to this link
👉 https://lnkd.in/gGTJNEP.

Come join us for tomorrow's candlelight vigil in memory of missing + murdered women in an effort to raise continued awareness for persistent violence against women. Details here 👉 https://lnkd.in/ghckWCN 🖤

We're #speakingout to support + empower survivors of sexual violence - will you?
Our #SimpleGenerosity Neighbourhood Grants program supports events & initiatives that are focused on building stronger, more connected communities! We are currently accepting applications for funding of up to $500. Here’s a new #SimpleGenerosity idea from a Valley First, a division of First West Credit Union community, the Central Okanagan Elizabeth Fry Society; Often for local youth that face food insecurity it goes hand in hand with sanitary product insecurity. At risk girls in Kelowna are often leaving school early or missing it entirely because feminine products are too expensive for them or their families to afford. Through our prevention groups we use funds/gift cards donated to us to ensure the youth in our programs have at least one healthy snack/meal per day in the program and access to sanitary products. Maintaining healthy hygiene is often something we take for granted but for some at-risk youth in our community it is hard enough to deal with daily life when you’re 14, let alone having to ask for help to obtain sanitary supplies. The funds will be used in order to provide nutritious snacks to the youth in our community that participate in our prevention programs and provide the necessary sanitary products.
Do you have an idea, event or initiative that is aimed a building a stronger community? Apply today on Do Some Good; https://t.co/tGoKWn5PBb
Thank you to the First West Foundation and Valley First, a division of First West Credit Union for donating $10,000 to our organization!!! This will be used in order to further support the Central Okanagan Elizabeth Fry Society Girls United and Tough Guise programs. This will allow us to reach more adolescents in our community to promote safe and healthy relationships and lives. Thanks again to all of the wonderful people from Valley First and The First West Foundation that came down to our office to celebrate this momentous occasion!!!
Everyone has a right to feel safe. Help to shatter the silence on sexual violence in our community. Join us on September 13th at 6:00, in Kerry Park, for the annual TAKE BACK THE NIGHT-RALLY AND MARCH.
Organized by the Central Okanagan Elizabeth Fry Society and hosted by New Country 100.7
Many thanks to the team at Coast Capital Savings Kelowna for spending Monday afternoon painting the Central Okanagan Elizabeth Fry Society new office. Another terrific Pushor Mitchell United Way Day of Caring! #communityrockstars
Many thanks to the team at Coast Capital Savings Kelowna for spending Monday afternoon painting the Central Okanagan Elizabeth Fry Society new office. Another terrific Pushor Mitchell United Way Day of Caring! #communityrockstars
It was awesome attending this week's '100 Men who Give a Damn' event! http://100menkelowna.com We had the opportunity to hear from three amazing charities and it was exciting to see the proceeds go to the local branch of the Canucks Autism Network. Previous recipients have been The Canadian Mental Health Association, Pathways Abilities Society, Freedom's Door, Central Okanagan Elizabeth Fry Society, Central Okanagan Community Food Bank and the Kelowna General Hospital (KGH) Foundation
Help to shatter the silence on sexual violence in our community!
VOLUNTEER at Central Okanagan Elizabeth Fry SocietyTake Back the Night Rally and March taking place September 15th, 2016 at 6:30pm in Kerry Park.
We should all feel safe in our community - men, women and children.
Picture of Tamara McLellan

Tamara McLellan, Thanks for Doing Some Good!

What first inspired you to volunteer?


I moved around a lot growing up and saw my parents volunteer and get involved in the community everywhere we went. That was likely the first motivator that I recognized at an early age. I also had a life-changing moment when I was 22 years old, at a marketing conference where I saw the philanthopist John Wood (Founder of Room to Read and author of Leaving Microsoft to Change the World) speak. This was my awakening. Only then did I truly grasp the gratitude that I now have for the circumstances I was born into. It was my realization then, that I had to take my place in this world and pay it forward. Since that moment I've traveled around Africa, India and Central America volunteering, while getting very involved in each community I've lived in as well.

Which cause are you most passionate about and why?


I care deeply about gender issues because I believe women hold up half the sky and it's vital to our evolution as a human race that our voices are heard on a fair and equal level. I have spent time in India working with women and adolescent girls, and have also spent time with executives and the elite 1% at board tables in the West, and it's appalling that inequality is still happening at all levels.

I believe wholeheartedly in food security and work with a group of farmers in El Salvador who are fighting oppression just for the right to grow food in a healthy environment.

And I will fight for human rights for everyone - regardless of race, religion, age, gender or sexual orientation, for as long as I'm alive.


Which organization do you most commonly volunteer for?


Right now I split my time between four organizations: IWEN., TEDxKelowna, Otra Fe, and GECCO.
IWEN focuses on assisting women and children obtain education and freedom in Nepal, with a local focus on marginalized women in the Okanagan.
TEDxKelowna is expanding minds and igniting change in Kelowna with local TEDx events.
Otra Fe is a food security project that works with campecinos (peasant farmers) in El Salvador, helping them to secure heritage seed and all the tools necessary to farm their land, as well as education on sustainable methods of farming. Otra Fe is also involved with other projects in the community, including a women's run bakery, a health clinic, and child sponsorship programs.
GECCO is the newest chapter of BCCIC (BC Council for International Cooperation). It stands for Global Empowerment Coalition for the Central Okanagan. We plan on bringing networking and learning opportunities to the local international development community.

What does a typical volunteer shift look like for this organization?


A typical volunteer shift on the ground here in Kelowna for IWEN means working a scarf sale - sitting at a booth selling scarves and sharing the story of our women and girls in Nepal. Some back story: IWEN was involved in the creation of a UNAKO house in Nepal where women could come together in community and for enterprise opportunities. One of our enterprise opportunties is our Nepali women's sewing group. These women create beautiful scarves from material found in Nepal. We in turn take these scarves and sell them in our community and send all profits back through IWEN. We have a booth at most Christmas craft sales and various school and women's events throughout the year.

A typical volunteer shift for TEDx would mean volunteering time to help run the annual event - working with speakers, sponsorships, media, taking tickets at the door, seating people, etc.


What impact have you seen volunteers make in the community?



This last year, our TEDx event Igniting Change was awesome! It was amazing seeing what a small volunteer run committee is capable of putting on. The event had over 300 attendees and sparked conversations of change among many Kelowna residents.

This fall, IWEN will be launching a Women's Walk & Talk group, with topics based around wellness, inclusion, and self-care for immigrant women, in partnership with the Central Okanagan Elizabeth Fry Society and Kelowna Community Resources. I'm really excited to see how that goes.


What is the most memorable moment or experience you've had while volunteering?


It could be when we dedicated the Habitat for Humanity homes when I lived in Virden, Manitoba. It might have been when my adolescent girls class in India discussed and did presentations on gender-based violence and abortions, and I learned more from them then they did from me. Or possibly when, at a meeting with peasant farmers in Ahuachapan (a small community in El Salvador) they invited me into the crowd to come sit with them and took me in as their own. I remember working at a soup kitchen in Winnipeg and meeting eyes with some of those that we were serving, seeing silent thank yous as we went down the line. Or having a moment with the crew after TEDxKelowna's 2015 event to let the stresses of the event melt away. I simply can't choose, there are so many! The connection you make with a community by volunteering is always a beautiful thing.



What support does your organization currently need, and how can people learn more or get involved?


We definitely need help with all three local NGOs that I work for:

IWEN would love scarf sale volunteers, along with anyone willing to do administrative data entry or communications work.
GECCO is always looking for members to get involved with our events. Look up BCCIC.ca to understand more about the organization. We will have a facebook page soon!
TEDxKelowna is also looking for volunteers to get involved with our annual event.

Interested volunteers could send me a message to talk about any of the above opportunities.

Is there anyone else you would like to recognize that has helped support you to make a difference?


TEDxKelowna
@I.W.E.N. Canada
649 Leon Avenue
Kelowna, British Columbia
V1Y 9S3
Causes we care about

  • Gender Issues

  • Justice and Legal Services

  • Social Services

Businesses whose employees volunteer with us
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