Wanna have some fun? The United Way is looking for volunteers to help with Red Feather & Harvest Run!

United Way has a special opportunity for residents of Chatham-Kent to help give back through volunteering their time and talents to help support two of our community’s largest fundraising events this season: the youth-driven Red Feather and the ever-popular Harvest Run.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: As per school board regulations, all volunteers must be 1) over the age of 18 and 2) have been out of high school for at least one full year.

Here’s when and where you can lend a hand:

Tuesday, September 19
What: Dodgeball
Where: St. Clair College Healthplex
Time: 3:30 p.m.-6:00 p.m.
Available Volunteer Duties: Chaperone

Wednesday, September 20
What: Red Feather Trivia
Where: UCC Cafeteria
Time: 3:30 p.m.-6:00 p.m.
Available Volunteer Duties: Chaperone, Score Keeping

Thursday, September 21
What: Red Feather Football Double Header
Where: CK Community Complex
Time: 4:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m.
Available Volunteer Duties: Chaperone, Fence Watching, Parking Lot Patrols

Friday, September 22
What: Red Feather Dance hosted by United Way Chatham-Kent
Where: W.I.S.H. Centre
Time: 6:00 p.m.-11:30 p.m.
Available Volunteer Duties: Chaperone, Parking Lot Patrols
TICKETS are available online at: http://bit.ly/2wUZlWR
DISCLAIMER: This event is not a school board affiliated event.

Sunday, September 24
What: Harvest Run
Where: John McGregor Secondary School
Time: 7:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Available Volunteer Duties: Water Stations, Route Marshalls, Registration

To find out more information or to get involved, please contact Michelle Robbins at michelle2@uwock.ca or Erica Kitchen at erica@uwock.ca. Both Michelle and Erica can also be reached at the United Way office by calling (519) 354-0430.

United Way Campaign Goal set at $1.725 Million

At the 2017 Annual Campaign Kick-Off tonight, Campaign Chair Elizabeth Downey-Sunnen announced a goal of $1,725,000.

The United Way’s Mission is “to improve lives and build community.” Donations to and through the annual United Way campaign are invested in programs that help people cope with the numerous challenges of daily life – those associated with poverty, addiction, mental illness and physical disabilities. In 2016, over 40,000 residents turned to a United Way funded program in search of hope – hope that their life situation could and would get better for themselves and for their families.

Those on hand to pledge their support at the Kick-Off Event included Union Gas, the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance, Service Canada, Lanoue Chevrolet, the Chatham-Kent Labour Council, the Christian Labour Association, Big Brothers Big Sisters, InTouch Connection, the University of Guelph – Ridgetown Campus, Community Living Chatham-Kent, MC Business Solutions, the Canadian Mental Health Association, Shirley Davies, Councillor Brock McGregor, Municipality of Chatham-Kent and many of the agencies who administer United Way partner programs. The United Way staff also pledged their contribution of over $15,000 in support of this year’s campaign.

“The community support displayed tonight is beautiful.  We have received over $300,000 in pledges throughout the course of this evening. My team, along with other United Way volunteers and staff, will work tirelessly over the next three and a half months to achieve – and hopefully kick the heck out of – our goal,” said Elizabeth Downey-Sunnen.

“Setting this year’s goal was an informative process for our team. In our hearts, we all wanted to ensure that each of our partner programs would be fully funded and available to anyone in Chatham-Kent who needed to use those services. In order to do that, we would need to raise close to three-million dollars. We really did our homework this year, consulted and collaborated with our community leaders and key stakeholders, and the goal we felt we could realistically achieve while ensuring no further cuts to currently funded programs and services would be 1,725,000”, added Elizabeth.

Help spread more hope in our community by donating to this year’s campaign by calling (519) 354-0430 or by visiting www.uwock.ca  to make a confidential, secure on-line donation.

To pledge your support or get involved in the 2017 Campaign please contact Tom Slager at (519) 354-0430 or at tom@uwock.ca.

Operation BackPacks – A Program in High Demand … and We Need Your Help!

Operation BackPacks is in high demand this year. So far, the program has received requests for more than 1600 backpacks from families in need in Chatham-Kent … with more requests coming in every day. This is a substantial increase over previous years and we’re going to be short on supplies. We’re incredibly grateful to those who have already supported this program and are asking for a wee bit more help so no family in need will be turned away without a backpack.

In particular, we are asking for individuals who are able to donate the following items:
•  Lined Paper
•  DuoTangs
•  Pens
•  Crayons

They may be dropped off at the United Way office at 425 McNaughton Avenue West on or before August 25, 2017, Monday – Friday, 8:30 am – 5 pm.

How can I get a BackPack for my child?

Parents or guardians in need of assistance can request a backpack on or before August 22, 2017 for their children online by following this link or visiting www.uwock.ca.  Registration forms have been sent to all schools.  Or, parents can call 519-354-0430 to speak with the Project Co-ordinator. Your personal information is kept private and confidential.

How can I help?

Volunteer

We are actively looking for volunteers to help deliver the backpacks to schools throughout Chatham-Kent. If you’re able to lend a hand, please give Mary Symons, Good Neighbours Program Coordinator at United Way a call at (519) 354-0430 or you can send her an email at goodneighbours@uwock.ca.

Donate Money

The easiest way is to sponsor one or multiple backpacks at $25 each. Sponsoring a backpack allows co-ordinators to monitor the quantity of supplies and ensure each child receives the supplies they need based on their grade level.

For more information about how you can become involved please contact Mary Symons, Good Neighbours Co-ordinator at 519-354-0430 or goodneighbours@uwock.ca.

Operation BackPacks – Help is Needed!

Operation BackPacks aims to provide local children with new backpacks and grade-appropriate school supplies – the tools they need to achieve academic success – and help alleviate the financial stress parents face each new school year.

Operation BackPacks was started by staff of the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance Emergency Department in 2001, after learning about a similar program that was running in another community.  That first year they distributed 26 backpacks.  Since then, the program has steadily grown, adding additional partners along the way – Kiwanis Clubs, United Way, Service Canada, Union Gas, banks and others – to address the increasing need in our community.  Service providers came together in 2004 to ensure that families get the help they need through a more centrally co-ordinated and collective effort.  United Way was asked to take the lead and currently provides administrative support for referrals from agencies, schools and parents, centralization of supply ordering, and volunteer recruitment for assembling and delivering backpacks to schools and communities.

With support from Giant Tiger, Staples, United Way of Chatham-Kent’s Women’s Leadership Council and numerous local organizations and businesses, Operation BackPacks strives to serve every child and family in need throughout Chatham-Kent.

How can I get a BackPack for my child?

Parents or guardians in need of assistance can request a backpack on or before August 22, 2017 for their children online by following this link or visiting www.uwock.ca.  Registration forms have been sent to all schools.  Or, parents can call 519-354-0430 to speak with the Project Co-ordinator. Your personal information is kept private and confidential.

How can I help?

Volunteer

We already received orders for more than 1100 backpacks that will be distributed during the last week of August. We are actively looking for volunteers to help pack the backpacks and to help deliver them into the hands of the service recipients.

Donate Money

You can support this program by donating money, supplies or your time! The easiest way is to sponsor one or multiple backpacks at $25 each. Sponsoring a backpack allows co-ordinators to monitor the quantity of supplies and ensure each child receives the supplies they need based on their grade level.

Donate Supplies

We are in need of the following items in particular:

  • Scientific Calculators
  • Math Sets
  • Lined Paper
  • DuoTangs
  • Pens
  • Crayons

They may be dropped off at the United Way office at 425 McNaughton Avenue West on or before August 22, 2017, Monday – Friday, 8:30 am – 5 pm.

For more information about how you can become involved please contact Mary Symons, Good Neighbours Co-ordinator at 519-354-0430 or goodneighbours@uwock.ca.