The Bridge Youth & Family Services celebrated 50 years of transforming lives and building community in the Okanagan Wednesday night.
The organization was founded in October 1969, then known as the Kelowna Group Living Society, operating two group homes – one for boys and another for girls – and has quietly grown to become a local leader in the social services sector.
“Our business is a complex affair,” says executive director Celine Thompson. “We support people often at their most fragile, we engage in work that is by its very nature high risk, and we make lifetime and often generational commitments that need judicious investment.
“A stellar organization doesn’t build itself and excellence doesn’t occur by magic. Countless incredible people have contributed the very best of themselves to lay the groundwork to make The Bridge exceptional.”
The Bridge served more than 4,600 people last year through over 20 programs and services in the Okanagan, and the national Healthy Together program offered in 27 communities across Canada.
“Never have I worked with an organization who had such loyal and gifted people giving so much of themselves to one another and to the communities they support,” Thompson says. “They have created and fostered a culture of teamwork, respect and commitment that is, in my view, unique amongst workplaces.”