Monday, 30 July 2018

Parking lot expansion at the Thrift Shop

SOS is excited to announce our parking lot expansion at the Thrift Shop will begin very shortly, and should be completed in a couple of months. The parking lot improvements will result in an increase in the number of parking spaces from 31 to 53. The expansion will take place on the vacant grassy lot to the East of the Thrift Shop.

We would like to thank donors for their continued support at the Thrift Shop, and remind people to please drop off donations between the hours of 8:30 am- 4:00 pm seven days a week to ensure that your donations are received by staff. Items dropped off outside these hours may be stolen or vandalized, and may attract people who continue to vandalize our locked garbage dumpsters, looking for more items. We appreciate your support at the Thrift Shop, as it keeps all of our community programs and services running!

50th Anniversary Qualicum Celebration

It was a beautiful day to celebrate 50 years of SOS at our location at Qualicum Commons on Saturday, July 14. Event-goers enjoyed hula hooping, ballon animals, live music, bracelet making, bubbles, a vintage clothing race and a wonderfull spread of snacks and cupcakes provided by Qualicum Foods. SOS Executive Director Susanna Newton welcomed people to the event, and founding member Edith Chamberlayne said a few words about reaching such an amazing milestone in the community, and how proud she was of what SOS has become.

50th Anniversary Summer Celebration

Thank you for those who joined us to celebrate 50 years of SOS on Sunday, July 8 in Parksville. If you missed it, please join us at SOS at Qualicum Commons on Saturday, July 14 from noon to 2 p.m. This will be a '60s themed event with hula hoops, a vintage clothing race, live music, balloon animals, food and more. Come join us for a cupcake!  Aerial photo by Tim Allix of

Letter from the Premier

How nice! We recieved a congratulatory letter in the mail from the Premier.

WEB John Horgan Letter 50th Anniversary 2018

SOS won at the Canada Day Parade!

We won Best Community Entry and had a wonderful time at the Canada Day Parade in Parksville! We amped up our parade entry this year in honour of our 50th Anniversary. Thank you to our Amazing volunteers and staff who outdid themselves with preparations and decorations. A big shout out to Ray and Lyle at Kingsley Trucking in Coombs for an awesome flatdeck and driver, and Kim at Arrowsmith Golf & Micky J's Bar & Grill and Kevin at Paradise Seashell Motel for getting us a sweet golf cart! What a fantastic community we have!

AGM and Director's Reunion

To mark the 50th Annual General Meeting at SOS, past and current Directors enjoyed a reunion on June 20, where they reminisced about their time with SOS and all that has been accomplished. Kay Burgoyne was the second Executive Director at SOS, and she shared information at the event about the happenings during the first 10 years of the organization. Founding member Edith Chamberlayne also gave a speech and thanked Directors, past and present, for their committment to SOS. After the event, guests headed upstairs for the AGM Business Meeting.

Don Dempson said farewell as he completed an 8-year term with the Board of Directors. All other faces on the Board will remain the same, as will the Executive roles. At the meeting, staff was recognized for Years of Service milestones. This included Executive Director Susanna Newton who has been with the organization 25 years, and Kevin Newton, Manager of the Thrift Shop, who has also been with the organization for 25 years. Jackie Brice, Thrift Shop Operations Supervisor, has been with SOS for 15 years, and Sherry Thorpe, Financial Controller, has been with SOS for 10 years. Darren Paquette, SOS Custodian, has been with SOS for 5 years, as has Thrift Shop Shipper Receiver, Rob Taylor.

SOS Board of Directors photo: from back left Pamela May-Straka, Gordon Ball, First Vice Chair Martin Fereday, Joshua Dennis, Don Luke and Paul Ruffell. Front row from left, Dr. Jennifer Mullet, Secretary Treasurer Bonnie Wallis, Executive Director Susanna Newton, Board Chair Garry Cox, and Second Vice Chair Elaine McKinlay.

SOS Board and ED June 2018


Summer Program Guide 2018

SOS Child, Youth & Family summer programs start up July 3 and run until August 24.  Click here to check out the SOS 2018 Summer Brochure. Please note, there is no Child, Youth & Family Programming from June 18-June 29.

Electronic Summer Program Brochure 2018 1

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

SOS Garden Bed Display

Check out the beautiful new garden bed display on Pym Street! Our sincere thanks to City of Parksville for making this a reality, and for helping us celebrate this milestone with the community. We could not have had such a positive impact on so many local resident's lives these past 5 decades without community support. Click here to learn more about our free community celebrations this July!


Monday, 28 May 2018

SOS at Family Day

SOS has a blast at the 42nd Annual Family Day in Qualicum Beach on Sunday. We walked in the parade, decked out in 50th Anniversary attire, and set up a number of fun activities for families under our tent in the field. Here are some memories.


Monday, 28 May 2018

Celebrating SOS Programs in May

Throughout the month of May, SOS is celebrating 2 programs, in honour of our 50th Anniversary. 

The Oceanside Better at Home program is deisgned to help seniors aged 65+ remain at home by providing a range of non-medical support services. In May, participants of the program have been receiving local tea bags as a small gift, so they may enjoy a cup with a friend and look back at the last 50 years. Click here to read a recent article about the program in the PQB News. 

The Gradwear program is for local grads and their dates. They can puchase new and gently used gowns, dresses, tuxes and suits for $5, including shoes and accessories. Throughout the month of May local grads have been winning their outfits, and gift certificates to local grad services. Click here to read a recent article about the program.

50th Anniversary Volunteer Event

We were thrilled to honour a number of our volunteers at the 50th Anniversary Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon and Years of Service Ceremony on April 17. Volunteers were able to enjoy a buffet lunch, an SOS Thrift Shop Fashion show by staff, live music by Bruce Feltham, along with messages of appreciation from SOS, and from local dignitaries. SOS recognized volunteers who have reached certain milestones with the organization, including 50 years of service by Volunteer Verna Jenkins and Founding Member, Edith Chamberlayne. Thanks to everyone who helped make the event memorable, and a special thanks to the PASS Woodwinds students and teachers who helped us set up the event!


Gradwear models look glamourous at fashion show

The Ballenas Grad Fashion Show was a bit hit on April 11, and kicking it off on the runway was 12 SOS Gradwear Models.  The SOS Gradwear program offers complete new and gently used outfits to local grads and their dates for $5. Pop by Tuesday or Thursday from 1:30-4 pm to check out the selection at the SOS Community Services Centre in Parksville. Come during the month of May and you can win your outfit and a gift card to a local business! Those prizes are in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of SOS. Visit this page for more information on the program.

Thursday, 05 April 2018

Susanna Newton celebrates 25 years with SOS

What a wonderful thing to celebrate during our 50th year! Last week marked Susanna Newton's 25th year with SOS. Susanna became our Executive Director in January of this year, after working her way through the organization since 1993. Board members and staff surprised her on Tuesday with flowers and some of her favourite treats. We are lucky to have such a dedicated, capable leader!

SOS Easter Weekend Hours 2018

SOS Community Services Centres, and the SOS Thrift Shop, will be closed on Good Friday and Easter Monday. Click the image below for more on the SOS Thrift Shop.

Easter Hours Graphic

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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

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    ~ 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