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Meet Kim English, regional community development officer and NSG coordinator for the Community Foundation of the South Okanagan – Similkameen
NSG Communities and boundaries: Our boundary includes the Regional District of the Okanagan and Similkameen; we serve all communities from Summerland to Osoyoos, including Penticton, and west to Princeton.
Describe yourself: I am a curious adventurer, sometimes a little too curious! When I’m not driving around the South Okanagan, you’ll find me hiking and swimming with my dogs, often with my neighbours. Community is very important to me (and I’m passionate about actions that result in equality, diversity, and inclusion). Finally, I think potato-chips are a great way to break the silence.
Strengths of your community: (I live in Hedley, a tiny rural town that’s smaller than many urban neighbourhoods. Our population is about 350 people, including the community members of the Lower Similkameen Indian Band.) What we do really well is “break bread” together. A few times a year, there’s a community dinner, often a potluck. These dinners are important to our community (as they help strengthen our connectedness and deepen our sense of belonging). Many of our town’s isolated or vulnerable residents come out, and, the dinners also provide opportunity for any new residents to meet their neighbours-at-large. It’s understandable why many first time NSG events focus around food – people love to eat, and with full bellies, ideas and laughter always ensues.
Memorable moment of NSG: So many to choose from! I’ve attended over fifty NSG’s throughout the South Okanagan and at every event, it’s been heartening to see the excitement between neighbours as they meet, learn about one another, and have fun.