Together, we are possibility.  That’s the call to action – across the country – for this year’s United Way campaign.  And it couldn’t be more true – right here in Chatham-Kent.

For many years, our local United Way has been promoting the notion that no one sector of the community can solve society’s challenges on its own.  That’s why we have so strongly advocated that the business, government and voluntary sectors work together when it comes to improving lives and building community.

This year’s campaign target is $2,015,000.  Why?  “Because it’s 2015!”  Current political references aside, that’s the number our community needs to raise in order to maintain the present level of service provided to one-in-three of our Chatham-Kent residents by the over 40 agencies, programs and services supported through donations to United Way.

Our community has a rich tradition of giving back.  Witness the tremendous support of the Chatham-Kent Hospice received last year in surpassing its $5 Million goal.  That number was achieved because of the strong commitment of numerous community volunteers who shared their passion with others.

United Way needs that same passion to be exhibited during this year’s campaign.  Just yesterday – at our Public Report Meeting #2 in Wallaceburg – we announced an achievement of $600,000 towards our goal of $2,015,000.  But that means that we still have a little over $1.4 Million to go before our touchdown in mid-January.

We’re hoping that you’ll want to be part of the successful achievement of this year’s target.  So here’s how you can help …

If you are a local business – large or small – you can invite a United Way recipient into your workplace to tell you how United Way is helping.  We have several members of our 2015 Speakers Bureau who are willing to tell their stories of lives changed – because of United Way’s financial support.  And then you can offer an “easy to administer” employee payroll deduction plan to allow your employees the opportunity to spread their gift over the following year.  We’ll show you how.  It’s as “easy” as the Staples button!  Even $2.00 per week can make a significant difference in someone’s life!

If you are a local government agency, you can do the same – by opening your doors to hear the message and learn more about how partnerships can tackle current needs, as well as future challenges that have been identified.  Those conversations could result in policy changes that will better serve our local residents.

If you are a voluntary sector agency – specifically a member of the United Way family of agencies – you can identify service providers and service recipients who would be willing to share their personal testimonials with others.  We know that behind every changed life is a program co-ordinator or volunteer who gives of his and her time and talent to help others.

And … if you are an individual who wants to help, you can go online to the United Way website at www.uwock.ca and DONATE NOW.  OR … if you didn’t receive one of our “L’il Red” Envelopes in the mail, please call us at 519,354-0430 and we’ll be happy to hand-deliver one to your home as we’re passing by.

Whatever you choose to give – whatever you can afford – please know that your investment will change lives!  Just ask Patricia … or Steve … or Jason  … and the 40,000 other friends and neighbours who rely on our local United Way each and every year!

Together, we are possibility.  Please join us!

Karen Kirkwood-Whyte
CEO
United Way of Chatham-Kent