rona

Rona employees Katt Myers (left) and Katlin McLaughlin (right) were busy Thursday morning serving up fresh bags of popcorn, all by donation. 

There’s no "butter" way to raise donations for local charities than with a delicious bag of popcorn.

Rona store manager Chris Norlen said the popcorn machine near the front entrance earns approximately $10,000 in donations annually, thanks to the efforts of the community and Rona's employees.

“We change up who we’re donating to,” he said, explaining it’s a year-round effort collecting donations.

“We have popcorn every day. It’s quite the hit with a lot of people. For some of the staff, it’s breakfast,” he joked.

Right now, all donations received from the popcorn will be donated to the South Okanagan Women in Need Society’s Christmas families.

“You hear stories about children asking their parents, ‘Can we go to Rona and get some popcorn?’” said Norlen.

Norlen hopes to raise a similar amount as last year for SOWINS' Christmas families —   approximately $3,000.

The company donated $12,000 to SOWINS in September through a separate fundraising effort.

The store often donates to the Starfish Backpack program, too.

“It’s a part of being a corporate citizen,” Norlen explained of Rona's team efforts. “We want to support as much as we can, and we’re able to do it through donations. It expands our ability to support different things for the community’s good.”

Katlin McLaughlin, who has been employed at Rona for four years, said he’s glad the store collects donations for local community chairites.

“I think it’s great,” he said. “I think the popcorn donations is really great for a business to do. People love popcorn, and virtually everyone donates. Everyone. It’s great we found an effective way to donate to charities.”

McLaughlin said it’s heartwarming to see people so willing to donate money, adding he particularly likes how Rona supports families in need around holiday time.