As one of United Way’s final “asks” in the 2014 campaign, its “L’il Green” envelope will be mailed to all rural households within the next ten days.  United Way volunteers are encouraging all rural residents to open the mailer as it includes a new component to their traditional “Bushels of Hope” program. 

Bushels of Hope volunteers are proud to introduce the “Future Fund” as part of this year’s program. This fund will be used to encourage investment in several current needs within Chatham-Kent and position our local community to take full advantage of future opportunities in agriculture and food. 

“We believe that this new “Future Fund” is an opportunity to invest in “growing” the strength of one of the key assets of our community,” said Bob Kerr, one of the Bushels of Hope committee volunteers. “Our committee’s focus will be on the development of people, methods and markets.  For example, Bushels of Hope Committee volunteers could be approached to support the education of students of agriculture, assist agricultural entrepreneurs to identify markets, develop business plans or innovate sustainable food systems.  Proposals could also include engagement in local farmers markets or culinary arts festivals.” 

This year’s “L’il Green” mailer offers donors choice – the opportunity to donate to United Way’s member charities and programs, to designate to their favourite charities as part of the United Way Donor Choice Program and/or to invest in the new “Future Fund”. 

“Our United Way Board of Directors recently approved its 2014-2015 strategic plan – which speaks to investments in three areas – From poverty to possibility, Strong communities and All that kids can be”, said Karen Kirkwood-Whyte, United Way’s CEO. “Youth out-migration and sustainable agriculture have been identified as two priorities which align to each of these focus areas.” 

Those who wish to contribute to the Bushels of Hope Program can also “donate a bushel” through their local elevator as pledge forms will be distributed to all participating elevators in the next two weeks.  Funds received before year-end are eligible for an income tax deductible receipt for 2014. 

For more information, please contact Karen Kirkwood-Whyte at 519-354-0430.