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.

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Homelessness Task Force needs Volunteers

Want to make a difference in our community? Volunteer for the Oceanside Homeless Count on April 18, 2018. Click below to open the poster for more information.

 Click here for more details

Thursday, 01 March 2018

Income Tax Time!

Need help filing your taxes?

The SOS Income Tax Program assists residents with filing basic tax returns at no cost, if they fall within the income guidelines set out by the Canada Revenue Agency. That’s $30,000 or less (annual earnings) for an individual and $40,000 or less for couples.

Often taxes are the key to unlocking unclaimed government benefits and recovering overpaid taxes, plus it will help relieve the stress that comes with piles of unfinished business.

SOS is highlighting the Income Tax Program this month, during its 50th Anniversary year, and will be giving out sturdy envelopes to residents who access the program, which they can use for the safe-keeping of their tax papers.

This program works in conjunction with the Revenue Canada Community Volunteer Income Tax Program. Tax clinics take place by appointment on Mondays and Thursdays at SOS, where volunteers are set up and ready to help. This service does not assist with self-employment returns, rental income, capital gains/losses, or individuals who file bankruptcy.

The Income Tax Program at SOS is free, however donations are greatly appreciated to help offset costs.

To make a tax appointment call SOS at 250-248-2093 ext. 229.

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.

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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.

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