British Columbia

Alberta non-profit's merger with Kamloops outreach group raises hopes for helping more in need

The Mustard Seed, a charitable organization from Alberta, has taken the reins at New Life Community Kamloops, a small outreach group that offers poverty relief services. Both camps say the merger will benefit those who depend on the services in Kamloops.

The Mustard Seed has taken the management reins at New Life Community Kamloops

A participant in The Mustard Seed's employment program gets a haircut. The Albertan non-profit has merged with New Life Community to expand outreach programs and services in Kamloops. (Twitter/The Mustard Seed)

The plan is to do what has always been done — but better.

Alberta non-profit The Mustard Seed has taken the management reins at New Life Community Kamloops, an outreach group that has provided poverty relief services in Kamloops since 1980. 

There are high hopes that the organization, now known as the Mustard Seed New Life Community, will be able to draw on greater resources to help more people in need.

Kelly Thomson, interim executive director and New Life Community Board member, said the merger was sparked when he reached out to The Mustard Seed after New Life's executive director retired in March.

No immediate service changes

It turned out the Albertan organization was already considering moving into Kamloops and Thomson said it became apparent that it would be a great opportunity for New Life if the two groups joined forces.

"They are a very large organization with the human resources and volunteers we could only dream of," said Thomson. 

The Mustard Seed employs more than 300 people in Alberta. 

Boris Lesa, director of operations and programs at The Mustard Seed, said there will be no immediate changes to the services New Life has provided, including meal programs and dental services.

Increase capacity and funds

The plan is to add more capacity to existing programs and to use The Mustard Seed's expertise to help boost fundraising efforts, said Lesa.

According to Thomson, there has been an increase this year of people accessing services – particularly women, children and seniors.

Lesa said The Mustard Seed has already had conversations with community partners in Kamloops and is excited to see what else they can do.

The Mustard Seed New Life Community may have a new name, but both camps agree the agenda to help those in need will remain the same.

With files from Daybreak Kamloops


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